“Delusion” Laura L. Sullivan

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). To be published January 8, 2013. Harcourt Children’s Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). 341 pp.

Phil and Fee are as close as two sisters can get. They’ve grown up on stage performing feats of magic with their parents, but the bombing of London by Germany put an end to any further performances. Against their wishes, they are sent to a small, unknown village in the country. Expecting to be bored to tears, the sisters are pleasantly surprised to discover a castle full of magicians living nearby, including handsome Arden and Thomas. Romantic Fee is instantly smitten by Thomas’ charms, but hot-headed Phil doesn’t have any plans to let Arden anywhere near her heart. However, when Germany’s secret agents find their secluded village, and threaten all they hold dear, she finds love can be a mighty weapon.

“Delusion” is a clever mix of historical fiction and fantasy. At first, it seemed ludicrous to combine facts from something as serious as World War II with fantastical, magical elements. However, Sullivan did a good job weaving together the storyline, which actually made the resulting events believable. Despite no indication of it being a series, the obvious open ending shows there will be a part 2 to “Delusion.”

The cleverly concealed sexual innuendoes make this book better understood by readers 14 and older.

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