The Secrets of Time and Fate. Book Review

Del Rey. p/b. 384pp. £8.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

Jackdaw has tasted blood and is only beginning to see what changes it will have on her life, let alone understand those changes. Something is within her now. Something that takes control, leaving her with lost time, lingering fear, and the shadow of terrible deeds.

Jack is gone. Missing. Perhaps closer to death than she has ever been in all the time he has known her, and she was always fairly close. Now it is Felix’s turn to find her and his turn to save her… if he can.  But it is not only Jack who wanes ever close to death. Sadie too is weakening and it may only be the descendents of Elizabeth Báthory that have the power to save her. But how does Felix know if they can be trusted?

And in the past, it is not only Edward Kelley and Dr Dee who are in danger from the countess, but Kelley’s own daughter, and her children too, cower before Bathory’s evil, and that of Saraquel.

Miss Kelley’s journal entries make a welcome addition to the beginning of the Kelley chapters in this third instalment in Alexander’s series, adding a well needed layer of tension to what is overall an otherwise fairly slow read. As a continuation of an ongoing story The Secrets of Time and Fate delivers comfortably, but as a dramatic continuation it unfortunately falls a little short of expectation.

Felix and Jack again share the present day point of view between them, but in this book the narrative feels very closed – the threat and the solutions for it are too near, the outcome too clear, and as a result the journey towards it lacks pace and really lacks obstacles enough to make it as exciting as it could be. For an accompaniment to a journey, as a holiday read, or for those not looking for too much complexity it will be enjoyed.