This is the third book in the wonderful series by Nicki Thornton. I loved the previous titles “The Last Chance Hotel” and “The Bad-luck Lighthouse” so I was delighted when this book dropped through my letterbox. I was even more happy when I was asked to take part in this blog tour.
We were introduced to the hero of this series, a young boy called Seth Seppi in the first story, when he is the kitchen boy at the rather weird ‘Last Chance Hotel’. Life changes when he discovers that some of the guests are magicians, but then one of them is murdered and Seth’s life becomes complicated. this is also the book where Seth discovers that he has got some magical ability. Nicki Thornton has created a totally sympathetic hero, who is bemused by the new world that he finds himself in, but who wants to make the most of the opportunities he is given.
By the beginning of this third book in the series Seth is headed for the magical town of Gramichee, together with his talking cat Nightshade and his magical friend Angelique. He hopes to be taken on as an apprentice, so that he can learn to control his magic and also learn more about his missing mother (who was also a magician). Unfortunately strange things are happening in the town and Seth soon finds himself in the centre of the action. The problem is, who can he trust? His friend Angelique is away on magical business and his new teacher Miss Young treats him as a shop assistant; whilst her other apprentice, Cheery Damson, really doesn’t want him around. Seth needs to find out who is attacking magical people before magic is banned from the town.
Once again we have a fantastic story, full of heroes and hidden villains. There is a lot of humour, both in characters such as Nightshade and in the names that the author has used. I absolutely love the quirky and zany names that abound in the book. It is not just the characters but also some of the potions that are part of the magical businesses in the town; there are people such as Haddock Troutbean, Herb Camphor and Sagacious Pewter, whilst the potions include Sinful Skin and Delicious Demise. The author has really gone to town with her imagination. This is a world that we are able to identify with, even though there are some very strange differences to the world we live in. However the people have the same personality traits that are found all around us; we have examples of insecurity, greed, jealousy, prejudice and friendship. The author keeps the action going and we are never quite sure who is trustworthy; there are twists and turns that keep us guessing and on the edge of our seats.
This book has been a delight to read and the whole series is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. In fact I can’t wait to read the next instalment and discover some of the answers to a whole host of questions.