So, I finished Mary Hooper’s “At the House of the Magician” series.
Synopsis from Amazon:
Lucy has become a firm fixture in the household of Dr Dee, a real-life figure who was court magician to Queen Elizabeth 1. Lucy, in return for saving the queen’s life, has been told that she is to work as a spy for Her Grace and that she is to remain with the Dee family and await further instruction …And then Lucy hears unexplained cries in the Dee house, and finds a young girl imprisoned there. What is Dr Dee doing? Lucy means to find out. A thrilling historical story, full of intrigue and royal plots and counter-plots, from the acclaimed Mary Hooper.
Okay, so I have to admit, this book wasn’t quite as interesting as the synopsis would lead. That storyline maybe takes up two chapters at the beginning of the book. The rest of it is Lucy being given a spying task – to watch one of QE1’s ladies and follow her. That was interesting, because in one of the events where she follows her, she flees down the river toward London and it was fun to hear the different places she was going through. This book felt a little weak, but again, it’s aimed at middle schoolers.
It’s still a fun book to read if you know West London, or if you’re introducing a middle schooler into first-person historical narratives. It doesn’t glean much information about John Dee or Edward Kelley, though, other than assuming the stance that Dee had a weak character and was easily persuaded by Kelley to participate in devious schemes.
The final book in the trilogy is titled “The Betrayl”. It’s a very good conclusion to the series. John Dee appears as a character very little.
Synopsis from Amazon:
In this final volume, Lucy is asked to continue her work on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. And her romance with Tomas, the queen’s fool, seems to be flourishing – or it is until Mistress Juliette, the new lady-in-waiting, arrives and Tomas pays her far too much attention for Lucy’s liking. But then Lucy realises that Juliette is telling lies and is not what she appears to be. Lucy fears for the safety of the queen as there are always supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots who are willing to risk all. How will Lucy convince Tomas of her fears when he just teases her and tells her that she is simply jealous? Desperate times call for desperate measures A thrilling and romantic historical novel that will give all teenage readers an accurate sense of the Elizabethan period.
In short, court has moved to Whitehall and Lucy has been sent ahead to prepare the Dee’s house. She gets up to a few far-fetched schemes, but even though they are a little unbelievable, they are fun to read about and do provide “an accurate sense of the Elizabethan period” as the synopsis states.
I feel kind of bad because I don’t have much to say about these books. They were entertaining, fun, and they did provide some background historical information. I don’t think I’ll ever pick them up again, though.