by Anne Nesbet
256 pages that will have you wondering how time and life could go – if you could live forever, would you? If you could change others, would you?
The Cabinet of Earths is a beautiful thing. A startling combination of glass, wood and metal – of sculpture, design and light that flows and buzzes with energy. In the beginning – in the 1890’s – it seemed like a good plan to bring magic and science together. The unity of the Lavirotte and Fourcroy families seemed to be a strong one. They discovered away to capture the sands of time and store the essence of life away. Granules of earth in a bottle, one for each person who would become immortal and live as long as the keeper of the Cabinet of Earths was able to keep them safe. But in 1944, when brother betrayed brother and son killed son, the balance of life and time, of science and magic was upset. The Cabinet has been waiting and now that Maya is close by change seems inevitable.
After Maya’s mom’s battle with cancer she has the opportunity to fulfill one of her greatest wishes – to spend a year in Paris with her family. Maya’s dad was invited to work in a laboratory exploring his specialty, Physical Chemistry. The Society offered to pay their moving expenses and had given them an apartment. The offer was too good to pass up and that is how Maya and James, her five-year old brother, found themselves in Paris. That is how they discovered the Salamander House, the man with violet-blue eyes and The Alchemical Theater. That is how they discovered the fountain of the missing children, their long lost cousins, Henri-Pierre and seemingly invisible Louise and how they found themselves in a historical tangle of intrigue, science and magic.
Thank goodness for Valko, Maya’s school friend. He helps Maya negotiate the social circles of school, the confusing roads and squares of the city and keeps her grounded when she could easily be caught up in her worry and questions. Why does the brass salamander look at her? How can glass move and flow? What is anbar, the hourglass? How can people be unseen and invisible? How can people be perfectly beautiful? Valko helps her plan and establish priorities. But will he always be there? Read The Cabinet of Earths to discover what happens when captured time is let go and magic and science are released – does it end, does it change, what continues in its place?