From School Library JournalGrade 5–8—This historical fantasy, a follow-up to The Cabinet of Wonders (Farrar, 2008), brings magic and mystery to life. When British spy John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth, spirits young Petra Kronos away from Prince Rodolfo's monsters in Bohemia, Petra's only concern is returning home to London and rescuing her father. Instead, Dee keeps her captive and trains her as both a magician and a spy. On the other side of the world, Petra's friends Neel and Tomik unwillingly join forces to find not only Petra but also the Celestial Globe. Evil Prince Rodolfo also seeks the Globe, half of a set that reveals mysterious pathways through the world. Petra and the other characters have matured, and romance begins to play a role, but friendship and adventure remain at the forefront. While the multiple narratives dilute the action somewhat, the fantastical journey of Tomik and Neel, and Petra's struggles with her captor, her education, and her love interest will engage fans of the first book and bring new readers to the series. An author's note (cunningly penned by Astrophil, Petra's clockwork spider) explains which characters and events are rooted in historical fact.—_Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA_ © Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
FromIn this spirited sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders (2008), Petra Kronos escapes Prince Rodolfo's monstrous assassins with the help of British spy John Dee. Dee, an intriguingly amoral benefactor for stubborn, challenging Petra, refuses to return her to Bohemia, instead keeping her busy with lessons in swordplay and magic. As Petra struggles to outmaneuver him, Neel and Tomik search for two globes that enable travel through mysterious Loopholes, but they are not the only ones after this power. With a little romance, a murder mystery, and political intrigue in spades, this historical fantasy crackles with energy. Series fans will be pleased. Grades 5–8. --Krista Hutley