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The Portal: 10/04/19

The Portal

The Portal by Kathryn Lasky is the first of the Tangled in Time series. Rose who comes from a line of women named for the flower, though her's is the shortest at just Rose. She has recently been forced to move in with her grandmother after her mother's death in a car crash.

Rose's grandmother suffers from dementia and relies on a caretaker for help. She prefers to eat dinner in her elaborate greenhouse and is her most present when in there or when talking about gardening.

It doesn't take long for Rose to notice unusual things about the greenhouse. Time doesn't seem to work the same way in there. And then one day she ends up at Hatfield Palace and in the employ of Princess Elizabeth.

There are extended scenes of Rose's time in the past that conflict with her present day story of adjusting to her new life and her new school. I would have preferred to have a greater division between the two. If this series really is about finding her true history in the past, then the present day material is filler.

This book, does, however, fit into the road narrative spectrum. Rose believes she is a literal orphan. Her mother is dead and she doesn't know anything about her father. With her mother dead, she becomes an orphan traveler (FF).

The destination while literally a known place in England, the time difference, makes it a uhoric one (CC). Rose also learns that she isn't the first person to travel to this place, though the years in the past have crept forward just as they do in El ministerio del tiempo (2015-2017).

The route there, through a greenhouse, is an offroad one (66). As the novel progresses it becomes apparent that the greenhouse isn't necessary for time travel, that it is instead an inherent one. There is something about Rose (and a few others) that makes time travel possible, in the same way that some people can naturally step in the Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

The next book in the series is The Burning Queen and it comes out on October 29th.

Three stars

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