Published: August 25, 2020
Genre(s): fantasy, young adult, romance, magic
Read as: ebook library loan
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide. (Goodreads)
“A good trick amazes, leaves everyone breathless in the moment. But a great trick truly deceives, keeps the audience wondering what happened, long after the performance.”
Ya’ll, I am not going to play around with you, this book was a garbage YA fantasy. It is now living in my brain as one of the most time wasting, over hyped, useless books I’ve ever read and I’m angry. Before you argumentative types start with your, “Well, you must not read much YA fantasy because here are the reasons I thought it was good and my opinions are obviously superior,” you can stop right now. I know fantasy. I know what I enjoy in fantasy. This book promised things that I know I enjoy and it did not deliver so get off my back you troll monkeys.
Let’s start with what the synopsis promised was The Star of the book, Kallia. Now, I have a lot of things to say about her and none of them are particularly kind. “A powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost.” That is what she is billed as. What is on page is a selfish, self centered, emotionally stunted, arrogant, ignorant child. Kallia thinks of no one but herself, doesn’t have a care for anyone’s feelings but her own, and even treats her so called friends as a convenient commodity. Now, she says otherwise on the page, stating how much she values the people around her, but we all know that talk is cheap and her actions paint her as a simpering and spoiled infant. It is okay to be selfish sometimes, even healthy to do so, but the world doesn’t revolve around you sugar and you need to get a grip.
Next, we are going to talk about the Big Bad in this book. Which, as far as I can tell, is…mirrors? Kallia and one of her fellow not quite magicians avoid mirrors like the plague and she comments frequently about seeing menacing shadows in them. But, for real? A shadow in a mirror is our bad guy? No, I need something more than that if you expect me to hop on board with this story. Everything else about this book is very in-your-face but the assumed villain is a shadow in a mirror. Child, please.
Lastly I want to quickly address the fact that this book is frequently tagged as a romantic fantasy. I love romantic fantasy but this story is not that. The supposed love interest in this is a washed up magician who is too deep in his Sad Boy emotions to be of any use to anyone and spends the entire story whinging. I mean constantly. He is absolutely useless and I’m not surprised that Kallia was attracted to him because she just wants to stomp on everyone anyway and he seems like the type to let her.
Overall, I hated this book. The story was dull, the villain is nearly non-existent, the love interest is laughable, and if you look in the description you see The Master which sounds all menacing? He pretty much doesn’t do anything and takes up every little space in the book. Hardly worth a footnote. I know some people love this book but I just can’t see what they got from it. I will not be continuing with this series.