When I read a fabulous book and find out that it was the author’s debut novel, I just want to exhale for the author. To finally be able to get this wonderful story out of your head and onto paper, it must be an amazing thing.
When Celia is a little girl, she meets her father, “Prospero”. On stage he is a magician. In real life, he is so much more.
He binds his daughter into a competition with an unknown competitor and then goes forward, training her to control the elements around her until she can change the color of her hair, a dress, heal wounds, turn paper into a bird and then back again.
Her competitor was an orphan, picked to compete because he was smart; he liked to read. He learns to manipulate his surroundings until he can create entire environments and make you feel like you are there. He can also manipulate people and, to some degree, control their thoughts.
The venue for their competition is a circus. A wonderous circus that opens at dusk and closes at dawn. It entrances its visitors and gets a following of people who go from location to location, just following the circus.
I loved the book. I loved the love story. I wish the love story had a few more pages. The book ends with Widget talking to Alexander. That’s fine, but it’s not really his story, and I wish it wrapped up with Celia. You invest 400 pages into this story, you just want to see her ending and make sure that she is truly happy. Without that, the ending felt a little empty.
This book is very popular right now, and the waiting list at the library is long. Very long. But it was worth the wait.