Cover Image: City of Time and Magic

City of Time and Magic

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Member Reviews

What a fun and thrilling romp through time! Xanthe, a "spinner", is one who can spin time and travel through it. Her access point is the old blind house facilitated by objects which "sing" to her, calling her back in time to right a wrong or correct an injustice. As it turns out, this is the call of the "spinners". But what happens when "spinners" go wrong and upset the balance of the universe? Can plucky, fearless, resourceful Xanthe set things aright?

In this story, Xanthe's friend Liam is kidnapped by a previously trusted spinner during a return trip to present day England. Xanthe is angry, hurt, confused and determined to go back in time to rescue Liam. Once Xanthe lands in 1878 London, it doesn't take long for her to get the lay of the land, get some questions answered and set a course of action in motion. 

Author Paula Brackston, through her extensive research, is brilliant at world building and deftly creates two - the now and 19th century then of England - specifically, London. Her writing is exquisitely crafted and at times poetic. Such a wonderful imagination this author has to spin such a fabulous yarn.

This fourth in series book, stands well enough on its own. However, there are a few tantalizing references to the earlier books in the series which may well entice new readers to go back and read the stories from the beginning. 

I am grateful to Paula Brackston and her publishing team at St. Martin's Press for having provided a free uncorrected digital galley of this book through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

Publication Date: November 23, 2021
Pages: 320
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-1250260697
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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. 
Expected publication date: November 23, 2021
Paula Brackston brings her time traveling romance novel series “Lost Things” back with a vengeance with her fourth instalment, “City of Time and Magic”. Delighted to get a chance to read the first three novels, I was excited to know that Brackston had continued this charming series, and went into the fourth with high expectations. Brackston did not disappoint! 
During a recent trip back in time, Xanthe lost her new love, Ian, somewhere across the centuries, as he was snatched from her grip. Desperate to find him again, she searches for antique items from long ago, hoping that one of them will call to her and will bring her to the time where Ian lies in wait. After finding a writing slope, a broach and a hatpin that all call to her with such strength Xanthe knows Ian must be on the other side of one. But which one will take her to where Ian is? With the help of a few spinner friends, a witch and a Scottish bartender Xanthe uses all of her resources to help locate Ian, but finds that she may have a much more important task at hand. A nefarious group known as “The Visionary Society” are using their Spinner talents for evil, and Xanthe must destroy them before they alter life and the future as we know it. 
I found Brackston’s first three novels compelling and delightful, and it was not necessary to read them in order. However, the fourth would come up empty without having the first three novels to go on, as “City” requires a deeper knowledge of the settings and the characters in order to fully enjoy it. That said, every novel in this series is a delight, and should not be missed! 
Once again, Xanthe and her mother Flora are back in action, running their antiques shop. All of the usual characters return, including Harley and Ian, and Miss Flyte’s character has an unexpected twist that will have readers doubting all they knew about the elderly time spinner. This character takes place primarily in London (in both modern day and in various stages of the past) and Brackston paints such a detailed picture that she serves to completely ensconce the reader in the city, both with modern day technologies and without. 
The romance component in this novel is sweet and heartwarming, now that Ian and Xanthe have found their way to each other, but the focus of the plot continues to be on the magical items and Xanthe’s trips through time. I loved Brackston’s creative spin on the ‘singing objects’ and I am glad to see they remained a strong component of the plot. 
Like its predecessors, “City” has a conclusive ending, but still leaves many possibilities open for future novels, which I very much look forward to. Brackston’s series shows no signs of slowing down, and I hope to be along for the ride!
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I love crossovers and this one was really well done, the characters felt like their previous versions. The story was really well done and I had enjoyed going on this adventure.
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"City of Time and Magic sees Xanthe face her greatest challenges yet. She must choose from three treasures that sing to her; a beautiful writing slope, a mourning brooch of heartbreaking detail, and a gorgeous gem-set hat pin. All call her, but the wrong one could take her on a mission other than that which she must address first, and the stakes could not be higher. While her earlier mission to Regency England had been a success, the journey home resulted in Liam being taken from her, spirited away to another time and place. Xanthe must follow the treasure that will take her to him if he is not to be lost forever.

Xanthe is certain that Mistress Flyte has Liam and determined to find them both. But when she discovers Lydia Flyte has been tracking the actions of the Visionary Society, a group of ruthless and unscrupulous Spinners who have been selling their talents to a club of wealthy clients, Xanthe realizes her work as a Spinner must come before her personal wishes. The Visionary Society is highly dangerous and directly opposed to the creed of the Spinners. Their actions could have disastrous consequences as they alter the authentic order of things and change the future. Xanthe knows she must take on the Society. It will require the skills of all her friends, old and new, to attempt such a thing, and not all of them will survive the confrontation that follows."

Time for some more magic!
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The City of Time and Magic is the latest adventure of Xanthe Westlake by Paula Brackston. Ms Westlake is a "Spinner", she finds antique items that "sing" to her and because of them she is able to spin herself back in time. It isn't necessary to have read other books in this series in order to be able to follow along. In this story Xanthe goes back to the 1800s to free a friend of hers that was kidnapped and to help another Spinner. I enjoyed this story and learning more about the era involved. I want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an early copy to review.
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In this fourth installment of Paula Brackston’s Found Things series we are brought full circle and introduced to Elizabeth Hawksmith from Paula’s Witch’s Daugnter series. I was so excited to see this. As usual this book is full of magic and history and is written with style and and a robust plot. The characters remain well written and well thought out.
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Paula Brackston is simply fabulous!  She has written so many books but never seems to lose her creativity and ability to surprise the reader.  In this 4th book in the Found Things series Xanthe must balance her desire to find Liam, make sure her mum is safe at home and deal with the group of Spinners who are using their powers for profit.  She is mastering her skills and is better prepared when she makes her journeys through time which moves the story along, but she is still enough of a novice to make it exciting. And honestly, I did enjoy her attempts to take modern day clothing and accessories back in time with her and figure out how to fit in.  

 I had a little difficulty wrapping my head around Time Steppers and Time Spinners and how they were alike, or different, but ultimately it all started to make sense.  Again, just another example of Ms. Brackston’s imagination taking shape.  

This is a fabulous series and while each book can stand alone I think the experience will be better if they are read in order.  Looking forward to Xanthe’s next adventure.  

I received an ARC from the publisher St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley and appreciate the opportunity to read this book.
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This fourth book in the Found Things series is just as delightfully entertaining as its predecessors. The main character Xanthe is determined to save her friend Liam from a life of being stuck in the wrong time. She learns that her mentor, Lydia, had good intentions in kidnapping Liam. As a result, Xanthe finds herself obligated to assist Lydia in her quest for righting a serious wrong within the Spinner community. Brackston writes such meaningful and enjoyable relationships for her characters. Xanthe is emboldened by the support her friends are willing to provide in order for her to be successful with her unconventional calling. This book is a bit of a cross-over as Brackston writes into the story her beloved character Elizabeth from her debut novel The Witch's Daughter. It will be interesting to see if Brackston continues utilizing Elizabeth in future installments of Xanthe's adventures. That single addition made this book even more enjoyable. This book had a lot of moving parts and the reader must pay attention to the unraveling of loyalties. Brackston sets up nicely for additional books in the series without leaving the reader with a cliffhanger ending. 
I received a copy of this title via NetGalley.
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This fourth book in the Found Things series starts right where the last one left off - which is good, because something big happened at the end of book 3, and I needed to know the outcome!

Reviewing a later book in a series is always tricky, as I'd hate to spoil anything if people haven't read previous books. For this series, I would recommend reading them in order - they build on each other nicely and it really is a continuing story. That said, this book has a very tidy conclusion, which leaves room for future books but most things are wrapped up.

But enough about the end! The story itself was interesting. In this story we spend most of our time with Xanthe in the past, and the people she is working with also have awesome stories - and many would be deserving of their own books. (Note: I just saw that one of them DOES have her own book and I am excited to check it out!)

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review!
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I am impressed with City of Time and Magic, Book four of the Found Thing Series. Paula Brackston has done a great job communicating the lore of this world in the book. It is done in such a way that both series followers and new readers can appreciate. Brackston has provided detailed and realistic characters and created interesting relationships between them. I particularly enjoyed the setting of Victorian England and how it is brought to life in the story. The story begins where the last book ends with Xanthe trying to find Liam. I like how the reason Liam was taken is slowly revealed leading to the main plot of the book. 

This is an entertaining series that balances history and action very well. I look forward to the next book in the series. 

Thank you St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the e-arc. This is my honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley,  author, and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-arc.
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This is the fourth book in the Found Things series and I've followed it from the start.  It just gets better and better. I think this was my favorite so far, but it may be that I just know all the characters and like them more each time I visit them.  

In this book Xanthe finds three items that sing to her (previously it has always been only one) and she must choose the perfect one that will take her back to the time and place where Liam was taken from her in the last book.  She has to rescue him and bring him back to the present.  Xanthe is pretty sure that Mistress Flyte has Liam, so she needs to find them both.  

For this book you really need to have read the last one.  There's too much going one that you would miss if you haven't.  This is a great mix of history, mystery, suspense and time travel.  Overall a great series. and I hope there will be more adventures for Xanthe.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.  This book will be published November 16, 2021.
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The Garden of Promises and Lies left off on such a cliffhanger that it was a very difficult wait for Xanthe's next adventure. So I was especially grateful for the opportunity to read this fourth book in The Found Things series.

One thing that is really important to me in books with time travel or similar fantastical elements is that they are consistent within the world of the story. I love that through this series, we learn the boundaries of what is possible along with Xanthe. And it all feels real within the world of the book. And we learn about new fantastical elements and lore at a pace that makes sense and is easy to follow. 

I loved this book. I don't want to spoil it or earlier books in the series. So I will restrict myself to say that Xanthe's continuing adventures are fun with a good amount of suspense and tension; the people she meets are amazing and add to the strength of the plot; and her romance gets better and better. 

Indeed, I feel the series keeps getting better. And the whole series is a perfect fit for fall reading with it's touch of magic. I recommend this book and the series if:

- you like time travel
- you like seeing the magic in ordinary items or events
- you like stories of righting injustice
- you like journeys of self-discovery
- you like reading about a variety of different historical eras

Thank you to @stmartinspress for the advanced reader copy. These opinions are my own.
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The fourth book in the Found Things series, City of Time and Magic is time traveling-supernatural natural-historical fantasy page turner. 

Xanthe Westlake, the novel's  protagonist, is a Time Spinner, and can travel between centuries. As a Time Spinner, her primary responsibility is to set right past wrongs. In City of Time and Magic, Xanthe is emotionally blackmailed  by a former mentor into disbanding the Visionary Society, a group of unethical Spinners who alter time for wealthy clients. In order to do this, Xanthe requires the help of friends from her own twenty-first century, as well as Elizabeth Hawksmith, a Victorian-era witch and cross over character from another Brackston novel, The Witch's Daughter. Brackston does a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life, heroes and villains alike. She has clearly done a great deal of historical research as she  is able to recreate the sights and sounds of Marlborough, England at the end of the nineteenth century. 

As enjoyable as this series is, the plot twists and literary conflicts often resolve too quickly, leaving the reader wanting more. The reader also has to navigate through some loose ends and unfinished story lines. For example, who were the Time Spinners that Xanthe sees in the Marlborough market, how did the Visionary Society travel from place to place. what role did the "doors" play in all of this? I'm hopeful that Brackston will add a fifth book to this series answering these questions. (Also, does Marcus ever make good on his previous threats?)

City of Time and Magic is an entertaining book, making it a great casual read for curling up next to the fire or taking along on a holiday.
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Book Four in the Found Things Series finds our Xanthe still upset about Liam who was snatched in time by Mistress Flyte. She is determined to find a way to get him back in his own time and by her side.

I was thrilled that Xanthe gets to meet Elizabeth from Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter!

Out of the blue, she is summoned to a home where not one but three things are singing loudly to her. But which one will take her to Liam? The writing slope is definitely loud but the mourning brooch and a beautiful hat pin are vying for her attention.

, Unable to take all three, she chooses the writing slope and ends up in the home of a Time Stepper and Elizabeth! From there, things get very complicated. By finding Liam, Xanthe also finds out that Lydia may have stolen Liam, but it was for a good reason. There are Spinners who are using their gift to enrich themselves and others. They are a ruthless group that has plans for Liam to help make more money.

This was such a good one! Elizabeth crossing over to Xanthe and the story of her life with Erasmus intersects nicely with Lydia's story. Which is a shocker. For this case, she needs to bring in the big gun. Harley! Oh my, what a time I had with Harley in Regency England!

Brackston’s vivid descriptions are spot on and her attention to detail is exceptional. I can honestly say this is my favorite Historical Fiction/Time-Slip Series.

NetGalley/November 16th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
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Xanthe meets Brackston's most famous heroine, Elizabeth Hawksmith from The Witch's Daughter, in this crossover story with all the "historical detail, village charm, and twisty plotting" of the Found Things series (Publishers Weekly).

City of Time and Magic sees Xanthe face her greatest challenges yet. She must choose from three treasures that sing to her; a beautiful writing slope, a mourning brooch of heartbreaking detail, and a gorgeous gem-set hat pin. All call her, but the wrong one could take her on a mission other than that which she must address first, and the stakes could not be higher. While her earlier mission to Regency England had been a success, the journey home resulted in Liam being taken from her, spirited away to another time and place. Xanthe must follow the treasure that will take her to him if he is not to be lost forever.

Xanthe is certain that Mistress Flyte has Liam and determined to find them both. But when she discovers Lydia Flyte has been tracking the actions of the Visionary Society, a group of ruthless and unscrupulous Spinners who have been selling their talents to a club of wealthy clients, Xanthe realizes her work as a Spinner must come before her personal wishes. The Visionary Society is highly dangerous and directly opposed to the creed of the Spinners. Their actions could have disastrous consequences as they alter the authentic order of things and change the future. Xanthe knows she must take on the Society. It will require the skills of all her friends, old and new, to attempt such a thing, and not all of them will survive the confrontation that follows.

Review to follow closer to publishing date
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I just found out this is part of a series, so I will be looking to read more of this. I thought the author did a pretty great job painting a picture that you could easily imagine. The characters weren't bad either.
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this was such a fun little read! i liked to learn about these characters . and the town! omg. so cute! i'm super pumped to read more in the future for sure!!!!!
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CITY OF TIME AND MAGIC is Book 4 in Paula Brackston’s Found Things Series. I loved the first three books and couldn’t wait for the next chapter in Xanthe Westlake’s story. When we left Xanthe in Book 3, she had time-traveled with her boyfriend, Liam, but he had failed to make it back to the present time with her. Xanthe is sure that Mistress Flyte took Liam, but to find them, she must determine which of three treasures singing to her will take her to the right time and place. Not knowing what danger might await her, Xanthe takes her friend, Harley on her trip back in time. When she arrives in London in the 1870s, she is forced to confront a spin-off group of Spinners called the Visionary Society that are using their skills for evil purposes that could change the whole course of history. Can Xanthe use her growing powers to take down the Visionary Society but also get Liam, Harley and herself back to the present? As with all the books in the series, the story is rich in historical details and wonderfully-described settings. The suspense, adventure and magic kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting story and highly recommend it. I sure hope there are more books to come in this series! Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review an early copy.
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Xanthe Westlake and Elizabeth Hawksmith are by far my favorite of author Paula Brackston’s protagonists. Both women know that they hold extraordinary gifts from a very young age. Both have mothers who nurture these gifts while struggling against illness and life altering betrayals. Both Xanthe and Elizabeth find themselves propelled onto lifepaths that are filled with adventure, magic, and more than a little danger.
 
Elizabeth comes from a time when witch hunts and superstition are rife, and war and plague are decimating entire villages. She is a woman who has spent most of her nearly 400 years lonely and two steps away from imminent danger. Readers of The Witch’s Daughter series (two books) are ready for her have some love and happiness in her life. You need to read her story now. Trust me, there is a reason that I’m telling you this.
 
Xanthe is a 21st century woman who is seeking a fresh start with her mother in historic Marlborough in the wake of treachery and loss. Xanthe is also a psychometrist. She can sense the past by being in the presence of objects imbued with the memories of people long gone. Moving to Marlborough takes that ability to an entirely new level. City of Magic (Book 4 of the Found Things series) begins with Xanthe at a moment when she is finally reconciling her unexpected ability to use antiques to spin time (aka time travel) with its impact on her personal life and relationships. When the actions of her mentor put her beloved Liam in danger of being lost in time, she finds herself pulled to Victorian London.
 
Is it possible that Mistress Flyte has really betrayed her? Can she find and save Liam? Will her time spinning ability drive the course of her life, and how will it impact those she loves? Will everyone survive? Paula Brackston has an ability to create characters that readers genuinely come to care about. (I’ve read all of the first three of The Found Things series more than once.) I was riveted from the beginning of each novel by the need to know that these literary friends would survive the perils that unfold page by page. Brackston didn’t let me down. City of Time and Magic leaves me hoping for even more.
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