Review: The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet

On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Mayas own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes…nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?


With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family trees brother. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper.


As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris…before it is too late.


I loved The Cabinet of Earths by for SO MANY REASONS. It’s a beautifully written, gripping and enchanting tale in a beautiful setting.

Cause, come on, Paris. I LOVE Paris and I thought Paris as the background added so much to the story – it was almost like another character, which I absolutely loved. I loved seeing Paris through Maya and James’ new and innocent eyes – reading about cafes and new schools and the moment they saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

I loved Maya. She’s probably one of my favourite protagonists I’ve read in a middle grade so far. Given her family’s situation, especially with her mother’s illness, I thought she was a wonderfully brave protagonist and a realistic one at that. She had this sense of responsibility to take care of her family even when it wasn’t necessarily her job, and I thought that was very realistic given the situation. I loved her little brother James and the rest of the characters – especially her cousin Louise and Valko.

The storyline was so fantastical – I loved the concept of The Cabinet of Earths. The idea of jars holding sands from people and anbar and just, gah! There were so many intricate details that went into the story that I really loved. I thought The Cabinet of Earths was paced excellently and rife with exciting twists.

The Cabinet of Earths is enchanting and exciting and so original. Anne Nesbet’s writing style is sure to appeal to middle grade and older readers alike. Trust me, if you’re a fan of fantasy, be sure to check out The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet.