rating: 4 of 5 stars
An excellent sequel to Gideon the Cutpurse (or The Time Travelers, depending on which edition you read). Like the first book in the trilogy, it gives you plenty of historical details to make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time with the modern day characters, and the time travel conceit makes the 18th century more accessible to a modern reader. It still feels like a dangerous place, though – especially when the characters get involved with the French revolution.
The characters are really enjoyable, and there’s a moment few chapters in when you realize that the author has chosen to put one character into a heartbreaking situation, one that I didn’t expect and she could have avoided, but it made the whole thing much more emotionally intense. I don’t think the first book had a hook like that for me, so I might have liked this one better. I also like Buckley-Archer’s use of fairly well-rounded adult characters, who are actively involved in the story and work with the children to solve problems.
It’s a thick book, but the pace is fairly fast and the historical details add a sense of adventure rather than feeling like a history lesson. Best to the start at the beginning of the trilogy, otherwise you’ll miss a lot of background on the characters.