Fourteen-year-old Janie Scott is new to London and she's finding it dull, dreary and cold - until she meets Benjamin Burrows who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father, the mysterious apothecary, is kidnapped he entrusts Janie and Benjamin with his sacred book, full of ancient spells and magical potions. Now the two new friends must uncover the book's secrets in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons.
Beautifully written and expertly paced, this stunning and poignant novel will have readers on the edge of their seats.
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If you read anything this summer, this book should be the one. - Daily Telegraph
Meloy weaves fantasy into a fine work of historical fiction. - New York Times
Book of the Week - Sunday Times
An absorbing and original historical thriller with a Pullman-esque feel. There's an irresistible seam of magic, and a vivid 1950's setting. - The Bookseller
Cracking read - Evening Standard
Part fantasy and part historical, this beautifully written and expertly paced, stunning and poignant novel will have readers on the edge of their seats. - Julia Eccleshare, LoveReading4Kids
Thoroughly enjoyable adventure, filled with magic, humour, memorable characters . . . with evocative, confident prose. - Publishers Weekly
A gem of historical fiction. - Sunday Star Ledger
Two children are swept up in an enthralling race to save the world, by way of international intrigue, danger and a good dose of apothecary's magic. - The Bookseller
Inventive, smart and fun, an absolute delight. -
A whodunit seasoned with fantasy, and a psychological thriller. Ian Schoenherr’s moody black-and-white drawings intensify its atmosphere. - Irish Times
Simply beautiful . . . a gripping story and a joy to read. - Children's Books Ireland, INIS
A magical novel with surreal and evocative illustrations. - Children's Books Ireland, Recommended Reads
This book is magical . . . exciting and intriguing - Teen Titles
About the Author
Maile Meloy has written several adult novels and short story collections.Her stories have been featured in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Granta. This is her first young adult novel. Visit Maile at www.mailemeloy.com.