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Interspersed with notes, magical recipes, and a handful of tales from central European folklore, this is an enthrallingly darktale of mystery, magic, and alchemy set in 16th-century Prague and ViennaEverything changes for orphaned Jan when his beloved uncle, Gustavanatomist, natural scientist, and aspiring alchemistenlists his help in a quest to create a life-generating serum. To test the serum, they must follow a set of ancient instructions and play a dangerous game of bringing the inanimate to life. When Gustav dies suddenly, it's up to Jan to continue his worklittle does he know that his beautiful, calculating aunt dreams of using the serum for her own purposeseternal life. Under the facade of her grief, she convinces Jan they must move from Vienna to Prague, and when she mysteriously disappears, Jan searches for her. In the plague-ridden ghettos and inthe court of the mad Emperor Rudolf, he must pit his wits against an extraordinary cast of characters and events. His only ally is Zuzana, a girl with secrets of her own. Set against the vivid backdrop of 16th century Prague and the equally breathtaking Vienna, this magical, historical adventure is reminiscent of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein.
About the Author
Joanne Owen is the author of "Puppet Master," which was longlisted for a Carnegie Medal.
"The blend of terror, macabre theater, magic, lore, and fin de siècle setting creates an unusual, captivating adventure that, like many old Czech legends, celebrates strong women and their power to rescue entire lands." Booklist on Puppet Master