Their past is not what they think it is…
Thrown back in time after the spells binding Whitehall School together nearly collapsed, Emily finds herself in the days of Lord Whitehall. But everything she knows about the past is a lie. The Whitehall Commune is in hiding from a great and terrible foe, while some of the legendary founders bicker like children and others call on deadly and untrustworthy entities with agendas of their own.
Desperately seeking a way back to her own time, her mere presence a boon and a curse to established history, Emily is drawn into a conflict against both rogue wizards and a mysterious force intent on exterminating all magicians before the future school can take shape. But as deadly powers converge on the castle, her time is running out…
…And, deep beneath Old Whitehall, something dark and dangerous is about to be born.
I was actually somewhat hesitant concerning this book. I generally despise time travel in books, movies and TV-shows. It generally ruins the story and worse, is often used as a shortcut to cover up holes in the story. I am happy to write that I was totally wrong. This book is definitely one of the rare books that I rate at 10 out of 10 stars.
As was hinted already in the cliffhanger at the end of the previous book Emily has, somehow, been transported back in time to the age of Lord Whitehall himself. As I wrote above I am wary of time travel but in this book it was really a genial move. It allowed the author to create a new fresh environment for the story and yet keep some of familiar surroundings.
Emily is still at Whitehall even though it is not, yet, a school. At the beginning of the book Emily has no idea what world changing events she is about to bring about. There are plenty of elements in the story that took me quite buy surprise although once the path had been set (and having read the previous book) the ending was somewhat less of a surprise.
I really liked that the book felt “new” in that Emily had to again explore a new environment that was much different from the Whitehall she knew. As an additional little twist the magicians in this time are vastly powerful just like the rumors told but she also discovers that they are equally vastly unskilled in that they lack the technique and vaste their magic using brute force instead of skill. Something that gives Emily the upper hand on most occasions. Naturally she manages to get herself into more than a few troublesome spots despite this.
As usual the writing, the characters and the story that Mr. Nuttall put together was very, very good. I have to confess that I read the entire book in one day since I simply could not put it down. Something that wrecked havoc with my original plans to do some cleaning and other work in my apartment. Well…c’est la vie!