This is a time-slip novel set partly in the present and partly in 1666. It’s the sequel to Wickedness, in which teenager Claire inherited a casket from her grandmother and a special ring that opens it. She’d also discovered that an evil man named Robert would stop at nothing to possess the casket. He’d lived for 400 years, thanks to 20 ancient Egyptian spells, and claimed there was a 21st spell inside the casket which would make him immortal.
In the first book, Robert fell from the top of a crane and disappeared, but returns after two years. This time he’s determined to get Claire to open the casket for him. In order to get his way, he kidnaps Claire’s baby brother. Although she manages to fool him and get her brother back, he then kidnaps her sister instead. He is determined to force Claire to do his bidding. Can she best him again?
Claire’s story is interspersed with that of Margrat, her ancestor who lived in 1666 and was the first custodian of the casket (and the love of Robert’s life). Margrat wants to escape Robert’s clutches and is determined to protect her baby daughter at all costs. She flees to France, but Robert is hot on her heels …
The two stories are exciting, but I found Claire rather naïve and foolish. Despite numerous warning signs, she carries on trusting the wrong people and just blunders unnecessarily into one scrape after another. She alienates her boyfriend and he cuts all ties with her, which I found very disappointing. The ending felt a bit flat. Margrat’s narrative, although well written with lots of historical detail, was ultimately unsatisfying too, but this was necessary for the story to work in the present.
This book would probably appeal to younger teens.