In the last year, two students have walked up to me and said, "This is the best book I've ever read!" With that kind of recommendation, I had to read this book.
First of all, what a terrific setting! Nick lives in glamorous Las Vegas. True, his dad is a second-rate magician in a second-rate hotel, but Las Vegas is exciting. Everyday Nick skateboards past the huge Winter Palace Hotel and Casino, where snow falls continuously from the upper floors. There are huge signs outside of the Winter Palace, showing the incredible Damien, the star magician of a huge magic show.
Nick's mom died when he was a baby and he lives in a hotel room where his dad works. On the day he turns thirteen-years-old, his grandfather gives him a mysterious key that originally belonged to his mother. After that everything changes in Nick's life! He discovers that magic is real and that he is part of the important family of Magickeepers. He becomes the apprentice of the world-famous Damien and moves into the Winter Palace to learn about his magic abilities and perform in Damien's show. There are huge Siberian tigers and rare Akhal Teke horses right in the Winter Palace. The snow falling from the upper floors is real and there are evil Shadowkeepers who want Nick and the key he owns - the key to an important magical relic -the Eternal Hourglass.
The author, Erica Kirov, has written a fast-paced story with lots of fascinating details and characters. I especially liked how historical figures pop up in the story - people like the magician Harry Houdini, the mysterious Princess Anastasia of Russia and the evil Rasputin. There is also a mystery about who Nick really is. I can't wait to read the sequel to see what we discover about Nick and his future.
Hurry up and read the Eternal Hourglass now. The sequel, the Pyramid of Souls, is already available and the third book, the Chalice of Immortality, will be out soon.