Title: The Tower at the End of Time
Author: Amy Sparkes
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 5th January 2022
Synopsis: Adventurous, magical and brilliantly funny sequel to The House at the Edge of Magic.
Nine and her friends have broken the curse on their marvellous, magical House, and are free to travel the worlds once more! Their first stop: The Wizarding Hopscotch Championships. There’s only one problem: the House is nervous about travelling – and gets the hiccups! Bouncing from world to world with every “HIC!”, they finally land at the championships, only for Flabberghast to have an unfortunate run-in with square number nine, and find himself faced with the terrible Tower at the End of Time. But maybe here they can find out how to cure the House’s hiccups, and Nine might finally discover who left her the beloved music box, and who she really is… A young middle grade novel full of humour, magic and mischief – and the second in a three book series.
- Follow-up title to The House at the Edge of Magic, a runaway lockdown success moving 15,000 copies to date.
- Easy, flowing prose with lots of dialogue and humour, aimed at age 8+
- Perfect for fans of Peter Bunzl, Abi Elphinstone, Kaye Umansky and Diana Wynne Jones (especially Howl’s Moving Castle)
Nine, Flabberghast, Spoon and everyone else is back – but this time, their house is hiccupping and bouncing from world to world as they try to win the Wizarding Hopscotch Championships, and amongst it all, Nine continues to find out who she us and where she came from. Yet amidst all the trials and games, a sinister threat from square number nine – looms for Flabberghast, and the appearance of the Tower at the End of Time means they need to find out how to cure the house’s hiccups! Only time will tell if they all succeed!
In the delightful sequel to The House at the Edge of Magic, Amy Sparkes has brought her characters back to life in a new yet familiar adventure, with big heart and joy, as well as a touch of danger whilst they navigate a new adventure and a new threat. It all comes together throughout the book nicely, with each character getting their own time and voice on the page, in a world where the young and young-at-heart characters have the power to determine their fates and what they do to solve the problems they are dealt. This was a really good sequel – it kept the same tone and characters, whilst giving us a shiny new story and deepening what we already know in the new novel.
The creativity of a hiccupping house was lots of fun and brought a new dimension to the idea of portals, world hopping and time travel, and when combined with the hopscotch championship, the storyline evolves neatly and allows readers to have fun with it. I hated putting it down when I had to sleep or do other things, and I would love to go back and read both back-t-back – I love doing that when an entire series is out, as you pick up on things you may have missed in the first reading, but it is also lots of fun to do this and rediscover beloved characters.
Books like this are fun and comforting for readers eight and over. The stakes are high enough to keep readers going, yet they’re the kind of stakes that you might expect in childhood play. It made the novel feel light-hearted, delightful and fun in ways that felt calming and reassuring – an escape from the stresses of everything going on in the world today for all readers who are into this sort of book – yes, even teens and adults, because I’ve found reading middle grade books to be very calming lately, as well as adult books that give the reader hope. That’s what this book does – it gives readers hope that Nine will find out who she is and what that will mean for her.
I think this sequel wrapped things up nicely and in a satisfying way, but at the same time, left space for a potential follow-up. But I felt very satisfied with the ending. It was equal parts mysterious and comforting – bringing things together nicely as well. I’ve really been loving all the books I’ve read over the past two years, trying to read diversely but also within the area I want to and do work in – children’s books. I’ve read some brilliant stuff from the UK and Australia and have to say that I think these authors have come up with some really cool stuff!
Another great book!