The Vanishing Trick


Leander seeks a hiding place on his first encounter with Madame Pinchbeck. He is confused when she appears to know his movements and thereafter when a girl appears. Yet more confusion continues, when Leander returns to Madame Pinchbeck in an attempt to negotiate a job.

Once he hands over the locket, a souvenir from his mother, it appears that Madame Pinchbeck holds Leander captive. Somehow, she has captured a part of his soul. While the girl, Charlotte, and Felix, another captive child, explain how Leander might hope to survive his new circumstances, he cannot run away from them. Furthermore, it seems that his enchanted Cabinet, his locket, is to be kept open at all times, if he does not want to disappear.

Yet, Madame Pinchbeck has more magic at her fingertips than Leander could ever imagine. While he thought his mother’s Rat King stories were fantastic fairytales, suddenly he’s facing worlds of wonder, trickery, threats and lies. More than that, Madame Pinchbeck, ‘England’s most gifted medium’ has ambitions that threaten the captive children. Will the three be able to work together against her in order to survive and arrive at a plan to break free of her chains?

From the first page, readers are gripped by Leander’s story. Furthermore, building the adventure so that the other captive children, Felix and Charlotte, narrate events, builds our apprehension, awareness and attachment. The Vanishing Trick is an outstanding story, which Bookwagon recommends highly.


The Vanishing Trick

Jenni Spangler, with illustrations by Chris Mould

(Simon & Schuster)

Leander does not believe Felix and Charlotte’s warnings of The Vanishing Trick. Madame Pinchbeck offers him work as a ‘strong pair of hands’. However, Leander realises he was tricked, like Charlotte and Felix before him. He learns that the locket he entrusted her with as security has become an enchanted Cabinet and Madame Pinchbeck his warden and commander. For it seems that through her magic, Madame Pinchbeck has captured a part of Leander’s soul. Furthermore, Leander must remember to keep his locket Cabinet open or he will be trapped inside it, lost forever.
Madame Pinchbeck is a ‘clairvoyant, medium, spiritualist, miracle worker‘, ‘the most gifted medium in all of England’. Therefore, what does she want with Leander? As he learns her ways and expectations, it seems as though Madame Pinchbeck’s ambitions and trickery grow. Furthermore, so does the risk of Leander, Felix and Charlotte disappearing for ever.
The Vanishing Trick is a truly gripping story. We sense the Victorian atmosphere and can smell the candle wick and realise the threat. Like Evernight we call from the stalls, urging our three heroes forward to escape the horrors of Madame Pinchbeck’s magic!


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Vanishing Trick”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…