cover image City of Time and Magic

City of Time and Magic

Paula Brackston. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-26069-7

Brackston’s expansive installment of the Found Things series (after The Garden of Promises and Lies) continues the story of a time-traveling spinner and antiques dealer. Xanthe Westlake is desperate to find her boyfriend, Liam, who is trapped in the past (when, exactly, Xanthe doesn’t know) after a failed attempt to join Xanthe in the present. During an appointment with a client, she acquires three objects that “sing” to her, including a writing slope, hoping one of them will take her to Liam. At home with the antique lap desk, she travels to Victorian London, where she lands on a far more urgent mission than finding Liam: protecting the future from the Visionary Society, a group of spinners who disregard the rules and norms that bind most time travelers. After having had Xanthe keep her time traveling a secret for most of the first three books, Brackston’s decision to have her heroine tell her family and friends about her journeys pays off here, as does the introduction of the Visionary Society. Brackston repeats the formula from the past installments, but she does so without letting the story feel dull; it’s fast-paced throughout, and features a new, unexpected twist. Series fans will enjoy. (Nov.)