The Magician’s Castle is the fourth book in Mary Cunningham’s Cynthia’s Attic mystery/time-travel series for middle-grade readers. The action and adventure novels feature two best friends, Gus and Cynthia, who travel back and forth in time through an old trunk that lies hidden in the cobweb-filled attic of Cynthia’s house.
This time, Cynthia must travel back in time in order to find Gus, who stayed behind at the end of the third book. The problem is, an antique dealer steals the trunk and Cynthia must go through a series of obstacles to find it. When at last she does, an old magician named Sebastian the Great follows her, creating trouble. The old magician is searching for his long lost love, Kathryn, who disappeared through the magic trunk many years ago. An intriguing Book of Spells and a 1914 Swiss castle are just some of the things our young protagonists encounter as they travel back and forth in time.
I have read all of the books in the series and I have to say, the author doesn’t disappoint. This latest novel is action-packed and full of twists and turns that will keep most middle-grade readers glued to the pages. The pace moves pretty quickly and the dialogue is interesting and even witty at times. The banter between the two best friends is often funny, adding humor to the story.
The Magician’s Castle, as well as the earlier books, is especially appealing for girls. However, I recommend the books be read in order, as they might be confusing for new readers as stand-alone works.