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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
The Celestial Globe - Marie Rutkoski by Marie Rutkoski

Opening line: "Some days are just born bad."

This is, of course, the sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders. Petra Kronos returns. This time she is trying to readjust to life with her cousins and father after her excursions to Prague. Unfortunately for her, her time there was not uneventful, and she attracted quite a bit of attention.

The book wasn't quite what I was expecting somehow--I think I had thought that it would focus on the new relationship between Mikal and Petra. What I got was quite different, and yet I ended up loving it just as much as the first book.

I'll try to avoid spoilers, but I will just say that John Dee remains an enigmatic figure. From the very little I know about the historical person, this seems quite appropriate. Petra is still a sympathetic character, although some of her responses show a growing complexity. Some of my questions from the first book got answered, while others linger.

I loved the interactions between Tomik and Neel. All too often when any sort of triangle, whether love or not, is set up, the only relationships that are really explored are the ones between the opposite genders. I liked seeing the boys and their dealing with each other.

BUT! The absolute best moment of the whole book! The one that caused me to emit squees of joy! Shakespeare discussing the fact that Bohemia is not a landlocked country in a world where it arguably isn't! I read that line and then I stopped reading and sat there for a minute. Then I said, "Did she just do what I think she did?" Then I decided that she did. And it was awesome.

I'm looking forward to a third book.

Book source: public library
Book information: Farrar Straux Giroux, 2010; middle grade

The Cabinet of Wonders