September 18, 2011
Summary (from the cover):
Since the gripping conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision--one so terrible that it could destroy her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.
Tamsin is a delightful, selfless character. She wants to do what is right by her family, not by herself. As the novel opens readers are prepared to celebrate her sister's wedding, but quickly things take a turn, and Tamsin makes a fateful decision to step back in time to save her family.
This sequel was satisfying until the very end. There were many twists and turns; there were many cringe-worthy moments; there was a magical showdown. All three of these made me love this novel. At times I was not sure where MacCullough would take her plot, and that was refreshing.
While I did not feel Tamsin grew as a character, I felt that that was never the author's purpose. She is a storyteller, and thus she took two books to tell the story of Tamsin - a teen who comes from a family of talents; a teen who believes she has no talent; a teen who discovers she does have a talent; a teen who pays the ultimately price for that talent.
This is a great, witchy tale of wanting to belong, of first love, of family, of sacrifice.
Without giving too much away, I do want to make a final comment on the title of this novel - clever, very clever.