Heir of uncertain magic

Charlie N. Holmberg, 1988-

Book - 2023

Merritt deals with his burgeoning powers that give him access to the thoughts of all living creatures while his friend and former housekeeper considers a high-level position, in the second novel of the series following Keeper of Enchanted Rooms.

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1st Floor New Shelf SCIENCE FICTION/Holmberg Charlie (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Holmberg, Charlie N., 1988- Whimbrel House ; bk. 2.
Fantasy fiction
Historical fiction
Seattle : 47North [2023]
Physical Description
285 pages : map ; 21 cm
Main Author
Charlie N. Holmberg, 1988- (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Hulda Larkin and Merritt Fernsby are back in the second book in the Whimbrel House series (after Keeper of Enchanted Rooms, 2022). The house is no longer occupied by the spirit of Merritt's ancestor, but the events of the first book mean that the ancestor is in the body of a dog now. The first book's events also mean that Hulda has an opportunity to head the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms (BIKER). Hulda has to prove herself to the people from London, but her enemy is still ever present. While Hulda is dealing with BIKER, Merritt is trying to figure out his newfound magical abilities and heal the wounds he has received from his family. Merritt and Hulda work together to uncover the new evildoer, who wants to control BIKER in order to manipulate the magical family trees. The continuation of their story lays the groundwork for the future of the series. Their tension is captivating and enjoyable, and readers won't be able to wait to see where the series and the romance go.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The charming sequel to Holmberg's Keeper of Enchanted Rooms sends "house tamer" Hulda Larkin and Merritt Fernsby on another magical adventure in 1840s New England. Myra, the indomitable head of the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms (BIKER), has gone missing, and Merritt and Hulda are on the case. When the London Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms steps in to oversee BIKER and install a new director, however, Hulda finds herself torn between continuing to investigate and wanting the position for herself. Meanwhile, Merritt struggles to master his burgeoning and somewhat wild magical abilities while untangling shocking secrets about his family's past. Complicating matters for both of them are their growing feelings for each other. Holmberg's detailed scene-setting will again transport readers back to a magic-infused past and familiar faces from the first installment take on the air of old friends come to visit. Marrying a delicate love story with an addictive mystery, this cozy fantasy is sure to please series fans. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Kicking off where Keeper of Enchanted Rooms left off, this cozy sequel continues the gentle romance and adventures of Merritt, Hulda, and their found family in 1846 New England. As Merritt struggles to understand his new magical abilities, Hulda finds herself mixed up with representatives from LIKER, the London division of the Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms. LIKER has been called in to investigate after the events of the last book, as well as the disappearance of Myra Haigh. LIKER's true purpose may be more than meets the eye, however, and Hulda and Merritt seek their own answers to Myra's whereabouts. The quirky characters, period detail, and personal journeys Merritt and Hulda take, particularly delving into their pasts, are well wrought, but the magic system is largely left up to the reader to imagine, as much is unexplained and underdeveloped. Owein steals the show, adapting to his new life as a dog with a warm sense of humor. VERDICT Recommended for fans of the first book.--Katie Lawrence

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