Becky and her friend go to a fair, where they decide to get their palms read for fun. Becky is surprised when the palm reader tells her she has the same markings as her daughter Tania, who is a Time-Witch. She explains that Time-Witches have the rare ability to travel through time, Tania used mirrors to travel through time but she was inexperienced and got lost somewhere in time. Becky feels sorry for the woman but doesn’t believe her story, when she looks through mirrors all she can see is her reflection.
It turns out Becky has a different way of travelling when she finds her self being pulled into her TV. She meets Tania, but Tania is being chased by an evil witch Enzida. Enzida does not have the same power as Becky and Tania, she has to use stolen spells to travel. Enzida catches up with the girls and uses a spell to separate them and send them to another time. Becky finds herself in an ancient Arabian Bazaar, there she helps the daughter of a Sultan escape the Black League. She catches up to Tania again but again they get sent away to England around the 13th century. There Becky is captured by the Baron’s soldiers for trespassing, Tania is rescued by a boy just before her capture. Luckily for Becky before she is thrown in the dungeons she is recognised by the steward’s daughter, Giselle, and saved. Giselle has a carpet that her father brought back from the crusades, it depicts Becky saving the Sultanate.
Together they track down a wise woman and also meet up with Tania, again. They defeat Enzida and together the 2 girls have enough power to get home.
Another time travel story, but with a bit of a difference. I like the idea that Becky herself is a time traveller. Often girls would just stumble on to a doorway/ painting / mirror etc. and wind up in the past. The idea that time-witches are rare and they travel in different ways is interesting as well. A fun set up in the first page, has Becky complaining about the TV not showing the scheduled programme, not knowing that she’s actually seeing a portal to the past.
Throughout the book the art is good at depicting the different eras. I also particularly like Enzida as the villian she looks ordinary yet creepy at the same time. Another highlight is the transition in travelling between times and when Becky is first transported into the TV.
A lot of the time Becky ends up looking for Tania, so they can get home, though it doesn’t come across as just being self serving. It seems she really wants to help this girl and that they become close very quickly. This seems to stem from the beginning, when Tania’s mother talks about her daughter and shows her a picture, Becky sympathise with the woman missing her daughter (even if she doesn’t believe the time travel stuff). So when she meets Tania there is already a good connection built between them. Tania seems to be constantly getting caught by Enzida so it is nice to see her be the one to steal her scroll away in the end.
Becky gets to have adventures outside of trying to get home, showing her compassionate nature and quick thinking when she helps the sultanate and her friend hide in a carpet. The friend’s father is a carpet maker and its quite coincidental that Becky’s adventure in Arabia, helps her later in the book but I actually quite like the tie in.
There is a build up when the wise woman (good witch) battles off Enzida’s spells, Becky faces fierce winds in trying to get to the woman and Tania, and inside the cabin they face fires and ice coldness. Despite this in the end it seems Enzida is defeated quite easily while the wise woman fights and distracts her Tania just runs up grabs the scroll. Still its a small complaint, as it is an accomplishment to set Becky up as a time witch, travel to three different time periods. and have a fight with the evil witch in such a small book and it does well.