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With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family tree. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper.
As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.
My interest in this novel first started when I read an interview of Anne Nesbet at Literary Rambles. Natalie and Casey, I just have to interrupt for a moment and scream from the mountaintop how much you both ROCK! Okay, so I mention this for two purposes. One, to point out how making an appearance at blogs can work. I don't read much in the MG level but Anne's interview was fun and the description of this novel intrigued me so much I wanted to give it a try.
The second reason I mention the interview is because of some of the tidbits Anne shared that added to my already-germinating intrigue in the book. She mentioned the following about her own experience and inspiration for this novel: "When we moved to France for a year, we ended up living in an apartment that had a beautiful glass cabinet in the corner, and in that cabinet were all of these mysterious jars and bottles full of sand. I found out later that our landlady had always had a particular love for deserts, and brought back desert sand as a souvenir from every trip she went on, but of course before I heard that explanation, I had spent many hours staring at those glinting bottles and wondering, wondering, wondering...."
I mean, seriously, how cool is that? So this got the gears in my brain really tick-tocking and I had to read this book.
I enjoyed it thoroughly! Maya, James and Valko made a wonderful trio of differing personalities that just fit perfectly together. The phantas-mically witty elements woven throughout the story kept me turning the pages. An aunt is introduced in a way that I couldn't begin to describe. Anne does a phenom job of doing it though, and yes, I'm sounding a tad bit fangirl lol!!
Let's just say I would certainly recommend this novel, especially for MG readers or parents/grandparents looking for something unique and adventurous to share with the kiddos. It will keep their imagination going, for sure.
So, what would you do if you reached for a salamander shaped door handle and the salamander winked at you?