From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-- Fans will want to follow the continuing adventures of Caitlin and Badger in this third book in a series that began with The Spellkey (1987) and continued in The Glass Salamander (1989, both Atheneum); new readers can also comfortably join in. Seven years have passed since the last book ended. Caitlin and Badger, the latter now known as Matthew Binder, have married, and in so doing have broken their pledge to serve the Cloister of Chameol. Caitlin has taken on a new quest, partly as penance for the broken pledge and partly as distraction from her concern about their son, Bram, who was stolen in infancy by the Elf Queen. She must find the "Books of the Keepers," which hold powerful magic. Her struggles to find clues to their whereabouts involves her in exciting episodes, helped by new and familiar characters, notably Bram. Caitlin is able to find three of the books and return them to the library; the fourth one eludes her, and readers can expect the next volume to deal with that. As in the previous books, the main story is intertwined with interesting subplots that chiefly concern the relationships of adults in work and marriage. The whole makes for a complex, fast-paced story of high adventure and romance, written in the rich poetic language readers have come to expect from this author. --Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In the third in a series (The Spellkey, 1987, etc.), the author interweaves four main stories and many minor ones in an intricate braid of elves, humans, and their offspring the goblins, all linked by love and magic. Caitlin the seer seeks the books of the Keepers; the wolf girl Ulfra finds love with the King's gamekeeper; Ylfcwen, elf-queen of Below, loses both her Consort Pending (Caitlin's stolen son Bram) and her goblin son Ethold to Above, where she, too, then goes; humans Fel and Ilona- -two strong and competent women--break tradition to set up as printers and woodcarvers. The many stories meet, separate, and join to form new stories, by turns menacing, poignant, funny, familiar, and strange. Downer's skill in building a wholly believable world that she unveils bit by bit is undiminished. There's not the dominant major plot found in the earlier books; but that hardly lessens the pleasure of exploring a world where the suspension of disbelief comes so easily. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.