What better place to set a modern story of an historic and epic battle between good and evil than in Las Vegas. It is hard to imagine that there could be a better backdrop for a family of real magicians than the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino where the family's lead magician, Damian, is starring in the greatest magic show on earth.
These descendants of Russian royalty are quite at home in the Winter Palace complete with snow, onion domes, horses, bears and tigers. Secret floors and vaults are available only to the family but like most Las Vegas hotels, the lobby is still a casino and Damian stars nightly in the Winter Palace theater.
Author Erica Kirov comes by her Russian history honestly. Although not from a family of magicians, she is of Russian descent and grew up hearing about life in Russia including stories of what life was like before the Bolshevik revolution. The arch villain in this story is the same Rasputin who betrayed the last Russian tsar and his family.
Our hero, Nick Rostove, and his cousin Isabella are being trained for Damian's show while also learning magic from the family practioners. Rasputin is after Nick believing that Nick knows the secret of the Eternal Hourglass that was rendered unusable by Nick's mother before she died.
Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass is the first installment in what promises to be a terrific series. What do you get when you mix an interesting array of characters with a shared history battling the forces of good and evil in the magical playground of Las Vegas? A rollicking good story, that's what. This middle-grade adventure is fun to read alone, but it would also be a terrific read-aloud.
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