Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2018 Gr 3–6—In this companion novel to Castle in the Mist, Tess and Max return to England to enjoy a seaside holiday with their aunt. Once again, magic is magnetically drawn to Tess as she and Max are transported to a seemingly alternate world during a trip to a traveling carnival. Trapped in this strange place, they meet several mysterious characters, including the Baranova twins, who perform in the aerial ballet and attempt to help Tess and Max escape back home. On the run from menacing carnival owner Lorenzo, Tess and Max slip through a mirror portal and discover the missing eldest Baranova. Placing friendship and loyalty above self-preservation, Tess and Max undertake a journey to reunite their new friends' family as well as their own. Ephron excels in creating an enchanted yet believable world in which both good and evil exist. The hazy, dreamlike atmosphere of the carnival provides cover for the enigmatic danger that surrounds it. Tess and Max experience the thrills of magic, but also learn it can be wielded to cause harm. Similar to the author's previous work, the setting is contemporary—yet the language and tone feel distinctly nostalgic. VERDICT This novel, which works as a standalone, will captivate readers who enjoy their whimsy with a dash of risk.—Sophie Kenney, Vernon Area Public Library District, IL - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2018 Tess and her brother, Max, are as ready as they’ll ever be for another summer in England with their aunt Evie. After having spent a previous summer exploring a mysterious castle with an equally mysterious neighbor (The Castle in the Mist, 2017), Tess can’t shake the feeling that there are strange things afoot. When Tess agrees to be hypnotized at a psychic’s tent at a carnival, suddenly Tess and Max find themselves part of the carnival, which seems to have no exit. Trying to find a way back home, Tess and Max become tangled in a mystery involving the magical carnival and three talented aerial ballet siblings. The peaceful, calm tone of the first book continues here, and the short chapters filled with mystery and action will have readers eagerly continuing to discover the secrets that await them. Tess and Max have learned to regard the world with wonder and continue to add their cleverness and wit to the story. Fans of the first book will be eager for this fun middle-grade fantasy with a classic sensibility. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.