Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

Petra Kronos lives in a world of magical mechanical wonders. Petra’s father, a metalsmith who creates living clockwork creatures for a living, is hired by the teenage prince of a neighboring kingdom to work on a special project. This single event soon draws Petra and her talking tin spider, Astrophil, into a dangerous world filled with dark magic, political intrigue, and a cabinet full of wonders.

I found the world Petra lived in intriguing and the clockwork animals her father created charming. The people she meets during her adventures were colorful characters you can’t help but love—or hate, as the case may be. However, I would have liked a little more information about certain aspects of the story that didn’t always make sense. (For example: I would have liked to know more about the nature of brassica oil why it gave the metal creatures life when it was fed to them. Why did Iris’ skin ooze acid? Was she born that way or was she cursed later in life? And why did Astrophil suddenly start sleeping when he never had before. What had changed him?) These few quibbles aside, the Cabinet of Wonders is a whimsical fantasy that will have most children begging for the next volume right away.

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