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YA Fantasy Review: Shadowplay by Laura Lam

Shadowplay by Laura Lam (Pantomime #2)

Egalley thanks to Strange Chemistry

Synopsis from Goodreads
The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.

He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which could decide all of their fates.

People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus–the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he’s perfecting…

A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey’s extraordinary journey.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£2.71) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
Although I loved Pantomime, I loved Shadowplay even more. Maybe it's because Micah The Acrobat for me wasn't as interesting as Micah The Illusionist? Maybe the world-building got even more vivid and sumptuous? Or maybe the main characters, deeply flowed as they were matured very gracefully.

In the end of Pantomime Micah and Drystan are on the run, and Drystan takes them both to the only person who can hide them successfully - a retired magician, Jasper Maske.

Hiding in a dusty old theatre, full of secret workshops and faded glory, Micah, Drystan and Jasper come up with a plan to bring the magical performances of the past back to life. All of them have their grave secrets to bear and all of them need some hope to go on. With the addition of the lovely Cyan, their plan brings them first to attention of Jasper's sworn enemy and then makes them stand out as the word of the upcoming duel between the two famous illusionists spread out.

Funny how, despite Micah's dual nature I kept thinking of him as a boy. He mostly felt like a boy except for a few girly moments. I guess it was a state of mind, not just physical attributes. Because of that, Drystan's acceptance of him as a person not male or female was even sweeter. The romance between them felt mature, tangible, gorgeous without any sexual details. I really rooted for them both, there was such a strong link between them.

Apart from the romance, there were plenty of other wonderful things going on. Micah and Drystan were learning magical tricks, constructing illusions, while trying to locate a mysterious Shadow who went after Iphigenia in the first book.

And of course there was ever strengthening link between an ancient Chimaera and Micah, which at last shed light on Micah's abilities and his connection to the technologies of the past.

Amidst seances, romance, secrets, emotional blackmail and striking visions, be ready for a vivid fantasy adventure with an explosive finale! Heartily recommended.

* * *
Мне даже вторая книга больше понравилась, чем первая. Наверное потому, что Мика Акробат был мне не так интересен как Мика Фокусник.

Если вы помните, в конце Пантомимы Мика и Дристан удирают из цирка, и единственный, в ком Дристан уверен и кто может их спрятать - это бывший фокусник Джаспер Маск. У каждого из трёх есть свои тёмные секреты, и только взаимная цель - возродить театр Маска к бывшей славе сможет удержать их тандем от распада. Джаспер начинает учить Дристана и Мику мастерству иллюзий, и с прибавлением очаровательной ассистентки Сиан у беглецов появляется надежда на будущее.

Однако им необходимо остановить Тень, идущую по пятам Ифигении, победить в магической дуэли старого противника Джаспера и понять чего же хотят от Мики Химеры.

Красивая книга, яркое построение мира, и чувствуется насколько главные герои взрослеют.  Концовка вообще блестящая и напоминает о фильме Престиж.

Я бы сказала, что неожиданный роман между Дристаном и Микой придаёт их отношением нежность и красоту, так как Дристан принимает дуалистичную натуру Мики-Джин без вопросов и не ставит того перед выбором - быть женщиной или мужчиной. По большой части от такого развития их отношений, Мика быстро взрослеет и наконец перестаёт сопротивляться своей натуре.

Очень хорошее подростковое фэнтези, советую!

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