If you haven't met Theodosia yet, Theodosia Throckmorton is a very improper and unconventional girl in the Victorian Age. She has discovered she has a talent of ancient Egyptian magic, which is a Good Thing, since her parents run the Museum of Legends and Antiquities and you never know when a nasty Egyptian curse is going to crop up. In the first two Theodosia books, we learn many secrets, meet several secret societies that range from ridiculous to terrifying and get a glimpse of secrets yet to come.
I had high hopes for this book, despite it being a sequel. I am a bit soured on sequels at the moment. Actually, that understates the case. Hand me a sequel and I will shriek in agony and whap you over the head with it, especially if it involves: vampires, feisty young girls, boys with mysterious origins, or quirky characters of any age or gender.
I had hoped that the characters and plot would live up to the previous two volumes. Well, they didn't. They were even BETTER!! Theodosia retains every bit of her sharp and curious personality, from her bossiness and intelligence to her vulnerability and very human mistakes. Will continues to emerge as a character as we learn more about his life and ambitions. The plot continues to fit together smoothly and tightly and grips the reader from the first sentences; "I hate being followed. I especially hate being followed by a bunch of lunatic adults playing at being occultists." to the satisfying but still suspenseful conclusion. And it's still funny. Very few authors can maintain the humor of a series through the third book, but I snickered throughout at the dry and ticklish wit.
Verdict: Hand this series to (sigh. do I have to say it?) fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Tamora Pierce, Victoria Hanley, er...well, hand this to boys and girls who like suspenseful and exciting fantasy with strong characters, humor, and excellent writing that will grip them from beginning to end!