Back cover copy:
On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Maya’s own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes . . . nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?
With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family tree—grandmothers who walked in magic, a cousin so unremarkable she’s actually hard to see, and a terrible family habit of betraying one’s brother. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper.
As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.
The Cabinet of Earths, Anne Nesbet’s debut novel for tweens, blends fantasy, science, and horror into an irresistible story in the vein of the classic His Dark Materials series.
Twelve-year-old Maya is miserable when she has to move from California to Paris. Not speaking French at a school full of snobby French girls is bad enough, but Maya believes there is something sinister going on in her new city. A purple-eyed man follows Maya and her younger brother, James. Statues seem to have Maya’s face. And an eerie cabinet filled with mysterious colored bottles calls to her.
When James becomes the target of dark forces, Maya decides she must answer the call of the Cabinet of Earths, despite the danger.
“Blending elements of magic, science, and even horror with evocative prose and a confident narrative voice, Nesbet immerses readers in her contemporary Parisian setting.”
“In her debut novel, Nesbet has crafted a carefully imagined, magical worldone that is shrouded in mystery and keeps the reader engaged and guessing. With imaginative alchemy, compelling action, and sensitive characterizations, this novel will undoubtedly win over fantasy fans.”
“Maya is a fully realized character...and readers will be rooting for her to find her strengths and save the day. This unique fantasy will catch its audience’s attention and leave them thinking about time, families, and immortality.”
“Nesbet has written a unique, interesting fantasy with just enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages long into the night. Fantasy readers of all ages, especially middle school students, will enjoy this story.”
“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”
“Nesbet’s first novel is an impressive achievement, its substance and style gracefully blended. Above all, Maya is a fully rounded, complex character, someone whose qualities and struggles are admirably and appealingly central to the fantasy.”
“This debut novel of intrigue, family betrayal and an unsolved case of missing children will grip readers from first page to last. Readers will be swept along by the novel’s swift pace and enjoy the mystery’s unraveling with Maya and Valko as their companions.”
“Though it’s easy to generalize this as a coming-of-age tale, Nesbet more specifically pinpoints this as the story of a young girl coming to terms with mortality while realizing that finding her intrinsic worth makes her content and also inspires her appreciation of those around her.”