Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
Still in search of their missing parents, the Lancelot twins are going on another thrilling adventure through the mists of time in the middle-grade adventure, The Shadow of The Great Fire (Shadows From The Past: Book 17) by Wendy Leighton-Porter. A new clue to the disappearance of eleven-year-old Joe and Jemima Lancelot's parents is revealed by the Guardians of Time. Joe, Jemima, their best friend Charlie, and their enormous talking Tonkinese cat, Max, must race against the clock to piece the mystery together before it's too late. Armed with their knowledge of history, a special amulet that allows them to speak and understand all languages (including cat), and a key to help them return home, the three children and their cat must use their wits to uncover the mystery of the enigmatic round object for which they are now searching. Their destination: London in the Summer of 1666. The Plague is still ravaging the city. Joe, Jemima, Charlie, and Max are horrified to learn that although the numbers of deaths are decreasing, they must still be cautious. Adding to the threat, the children quickly discover that they have arrived a few days before The Great Fire of London. Now, they must warn the city of the looming fire and uncover the secret to their other mission before they are discovered. When the fire breaks out, the children find that there is more going on in the city streets than they first realized. As Joe, Jemima, Charlie, and Max search for more clues surrounding the new object, they learn that their secret isn't safe and the key is in jeopardy of being stolen. Will Joe and Jemima finally be reunited with their parents? Or will they too be lost in the mists of time?
The Shadow of The Great Fire by Wendy Leighton-Porter is a perfect pandemic treat for the middle-grade reader. When twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, their best friend Charlie, and Jemima's large talking Tonkinese cat Special Agent Max, step through a portal in time, we never know what to expect. What we can be certain of is that their new time-traveling adventure will be riddled with danger, intrigue, and the wild hope of finally finding Joe and Jemima's parents. I am always impressed with the ingenuity, love, and compassion of the friends as they search for James and Isabel Lancelot. As a parent, I am very particular about providing my son with educational stories. I truly enjoy Ms. Leighton-Porter's Shadows of The Past Series, as the books are historically accurate and the author includes dossiers on the central elements of history and how she changed circumstances to include them in her stories. The books are so educational, I have used several titles in the series as a base for history class in my son's schooling. The characters are charming, the adventures thrilling, and Max's attitude (and delightful fear of rodents) keep us anxiously waiting for the next installment. Now, with the introduction of a new twist, fans of Shadows of The Past series simply do not want to miss this book! Although this is not the first book in the series, it is an excellent standalone.