Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas


From Goodreads

London, 1885.
As a turbulent and change-filled century draws to a close, there has never been a better time to alter your fortune. But for a beautiful young woman of limited means, Eliza’s choices appear to lie between the stifling domesticity of marriage or a downwards spiral to the streets – no matter how determined she is to forge her own path.

One night at a run-down theatre, she meets the charismatic Devil Wix – showman, master of illusion, fickle friend. Drawn into his circle, Eliza becomes the catalyst of change for his colleagues – a dwarf, an eccentric engineer, and an artist – as well as Devil himself. And as Eliza embarks on a dangerous adventure, she must decide which path to choose, and how far she should go when she holds all their lives in her hands.

My thoughts

I gave this 3.5 stars or 7/10.

Whilst I did enjoy this bittersweet story, I felt it wasn't one of the best that I've read by her. You really do need to check out this authors back catalogue as she has written some amazing stories that have stayed with me.

This is a gothic tale, that I found to be a slow burner about Eliza and how she becomes the linchpin to how this story evolves ~ she is drawn in by the enigmatic Illusionist Devil Wix and his performing friends. She appears to have them all eating out of the palm of her hand, but as her future becomes uncertain who will become her saviour. The story is mainly set around a theatre where they all perform their different acts. With lots of infighting between one another as to whose performances bring in the biggest audiences, Devil wields his cunning and soon manipulates things in his favour.

Sad to say I found this a little over long and lacking, I found myself with my mind wandering at times yet I still was invested in the story enough to find out how everything panned out.

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