Debut author Sarah Jean Horwitz brings to life a fun and frolicking middle grade adventure, packing it full of enough fantasy, humor and heart to make giddy even the most finicky reader.
Felix Cassius Tiberius Carmer III is a magician’s apprentice and an amateur inventor, though his passion truly lies in the pursuit of the latter. But the makeshift family he’s found in the likes of his master, Antoine the Amazifier, and his lovely assistant, Kitty Delphine, is all Carmer has, and he can’t abandon them now, when their show is facing financial ruin. Elsewhere in Skemantis, something sinister is attacking faeries, and one-winged faerie princess Grit is determined to find out what’s going on. Carmer and Grit couldn’t be more different, but they’ll have to figure out how to work together if they’re to solve either of their problems.
In a story populated with small boys with impossibly long names, cat automatons and feisty faeries, Horwitz strikes a balance between being humorous and fun and also holding deeper meanings that stretch beyond mere entertainment and make a lasting and important impact on the lives of the young readers. Through Carmer and Grit, kids will learn what it is to surpass what others see as your limitations and embrace them, rather than trying to ignore or hide them. They will see a model of how to work, and even form a friendship, with someone very different from themselves, and the many unexpected benefits that can bring.
Great life lessons and tons of fun await anyone who ventures into this landscape of steam-powered cities and faerie-inhabited willow trees.