First of the 'Magician's House' series, this is where the magic of Magician's House Quartet begins.
Covering an eventful year in the lives of the Constant children, William, Mary and Alice, whose parents, both doctors, are away, working at a hospital in Africa. Consequently the school holidays are being spent with Uncle Jack and Phebe at Golden House, in The Golden Valley, an area of wild country on the Welsh borders.
Little by little, the children discover that things in this remote old house, far away from anywhere, are not quite what they seem. There are powerful forces at work, calling to the children from across the centuries, and they each have an important role to play in what turns out to be the most exciting adventure of their whole lives.
In 'The Steps Up the Chimney' the children discover a secret room at the top of the tower. Here they meet an Elizabethan alchemist and magician, who has discovered the secret of time travelling, and together they learn about alchemy and so begin the mysterious great task that the magician has set them.