Master of Revels: A Return to Neal Stephenson’s D.O.D.O. by Nicole Galland, William Morrow, 2021, 541 pgs., $29.99.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., the 2017 novel by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, gave its readers quite a bit to think about as it was prodigiously loaded with invention. It imagined a world where magic is real, and where only magic can facilitate time travel, which is also real. With the time-traveling ability granted to it by witches, the United States government established something called the Department of Diachronic Operations (D.O.D.O.) with basically one goal in mind: to use time travel in order to strengthen the position of the United States not only geopolitically but chronologically.

Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Galland made a rich and entertaining feast out of all these disparate ingredients, creating an antic, involving read. It also invited endless sequels.

Nicole Galland has returned solo to write one of those sequels, Master of the Revels, and she has filled it with every bit as many plot-twists and every bit as much zesty humor as the original. In these pages, our small band of D.O.D.O renegades is racing all over time and creation in order to thwart the plans of Gráinne, an Irish witch.

The novel sprawls with fervid invention, as did its predecessor. Characters frequently lapse into idiom and expletive, and the narrative takes many forms: memoranda, emails, letters, and diary entries. And a large chunk of the story centers on a seemingly unlikely plan of Gráinne’s: she will work history-changing genuine witchcraft into the text of a popular play called Macbeth by an established Elizabethan playwright named Shakespeare. Under her care, the “double, double, toil and trouble” of Macbeth will become the far more malevolent “scorch their minds and raze the rubble.”

In order to make such substitutions, Gráinne must face a force more powerful and more mindless than any sorcery: the publishing world. Specifically, the book’s most unlikely main character is Edmund Tilney, the Master of the Revels, the man who reads and approves of everything that makes its way to the stages of London. Gráinne realizes what many a two-penny Eastcheap hack knew before her: the key to the stage is Tilney’s approval.

In a way, it’s the novel’s biggest flirtation, the closest poor Edmund Tilney will likely ever come to getting a high-profile star turn in a work of historical fiction. He’s a fascinatingly elusive figure in history, somebody who wielded enormous power in his own day and is virtually an enigma in our own. He was born into a high-placed courtier family and worked hard to maintain his connections with the Duke of Norfolk and the Howard family, but he was also a writer.

Tilney is just one part of a book that ranges over many cities and many eras. Ms. Galland has enthusiastically continued the over-the-top, over-stuffed nature of The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Readers will never quite know what’s coming next, and that kind of narrative is undeniably fun. And Master of the Revels leaves plenty of doors open for sequels.