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Orphans, magic, and evil combine for a thoroughly diverting read. Rose is less romantic than the others at St. Bridget”s Home for Abandoned Girls. Found on a war memorial in a fish basket, she rejects notions of war heroes and decides “her family probably had something to do with fish.” She is thrilled to be chosen as a second housemaid for Mr. Fountain, a rich alchemist, but soon finds she is far more sensitive to the house”s magic than the other servants — maybe even more than Freddie, the alchemist”s snobby apprentice. Rose”s powers are a scary distraction, and she would prefer to get rid of them and focus on her job. But when her friend Maisie disappears, Rose joins up with Freddie and Gustavus, a talking cat, to discover why children across the city are vanishing.
The plot moves briskly, pulling the reader into an alternate Victorian London where both magic and money separates the classes. Characters are well-rounded, from spoiled Isabella, the alchemist”s daughter, to Freddie and the many servants.
Paperback Book 5.21