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Rose and the Magician's Mask

Rose and the Magician's Mask by Holly Webb

The third of the Rose books.  In which they leave England and travel by boat and train to Venice -- through Talish.  The alternicity of this series is a little --weird.  Spoilers ahead for the first two.

It opens with the servants being reconciled to the notion of Rose's magic -- because they can get her to tell them about the princesses after the events of the last novel.  (Which are info-dumped with a bit of clumsiness, but at least quickly.)  But then she and Freddie (and Gus) are bustled off to the palace, because the magician's mask, an immensely valuable if not well-understand magical mask, made in Venice and owned, at one time, by Dr. Dee.

Christmas comes.  Rose gets a doll house from Princess Jane, and a doll from Bella.  And then some accidental magic makes the doll a poppet -- between a miscast spell and a drop of blood -- who, indeed, reveals some crucial information, albeit cryptically

Which leads to the trip across Europe.  And the rest of the tale encompasses a duke who is taken with a cat, a table with lobster, Miss Fell who notices something about Rose and tells her she should learn to embroider both as a young lady and as a magician, a sailor who calls Rose "Miss" which brings home how she can't be taken for a servant on this trip, a servant boy in a chest, a dance with a boy whose eyes don't match, Rose getting the perfect mask, which she can't wear, and much more.
Tags: fiction reviews: alternate world fantasy, fiction reviews: children's fantasy
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