Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Magician's House: The Steps up the Chimney

The Magician's House: The Steps up the Chimney

William Corlett
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2011   ISBN: 978-1442429352

William, Mary and Alice are not too keen when they find out that they have to spend the Christmas holidays with their aunt and uncle. They would much rather be with their parents than at an old house in the middle of the country, but it would seem that they have no choice in the matter.

The three young people soon find themselves at Golden House, a place their aunt and uncle have bought and which they plan to turn it into a hotel, - once the renovations are finished that is. At the moment much of the house is still in dire need of work. Worse still, their aunt Phoebe is pregnant and she and uncle Jack are vegetarians. Imagine Christmas Day without a turkey! It is all too dismal for words.

Then William notices, as he is out walking, that there is a small window right up against the chimney, and he is determined to find the room that must surely go with the window. To make things even more peculiar he sees what looks like a light in the little window. Could someone be up there?

Soon the siblings are caught up in a bizarre and at times frightening adventure. They discover that there is indeed a room under the roof and the only way to get to it is by going up the chimney. When they get there they find that the room is occupied by a very peculiar man who seems to be talking in riddles, and who tells them that they need to be tested for some very important job that he needs them to do for him.

Secret rooms, alchemy, time travel, sinister indications of evil, and bizarre magic makes this a gripping and addictive first book in series of four. William Corlett empowers his characters and creates an atmosphere which is sure to thrill readers who enjoy fantasy titles.