Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: Shadowplay - Laura Lam

New UK Cover
Old magics are waking, but will the world survive their return?

Micha Grey almost died when he fled the circus with Drystan - now he and the ex-clown seek to outrun disaster. Drystan persuades his old friend Jasper Maske, a once-renowned magician, to take them in. But when he agrees to teach them his trade, Maske is challenged to the ultimate high-stakes duel by his embittered arch-nemesis.

Micha must perfect his skills of illusion, while navigating a tender new love. An investigator is also hunting the person he once seemed to be - a noble family's runaway daughter. As the duel draws near, Micha increasingly suffers from visions showing his real magic and future terrors. Events that broke the ancient world are being replayed. But can Micha's latent powers influence this deadly pattern?

Micha Grey Series:
Pantomime
Shadowplay
Masquerade

Vestigial Tales:
(Series of short stories set in the same world as the Micha Grey series)
The Snake Charm
The Fisherman's Net
The Tarot Reader
The Card Sharp
The Mechanical Minotaur

Visit Laura Lam's website for more information.

Review:
I loved Pantomime when I read it last year, it had the most wonderfully diverse characters that I completely fell in love with and I couldn't wait to catch up with them in Shadowplay. The story picks up immediately where we left off with Micha and Drystan on the run and desperately needing a place to hide out after what happened to them. Drystan takes them to the run down Kymri Theatre and his old friend Jasper Maske agrees to let them stay. After helping them find disguises Maske also agrees to teach them magic to give them a new way to earn a living now they can no longer perform in the circus.

I'll admit I was a bit disappointed when I realised that this story was going to have a different setting. I loved the circus in the first book, from the crazy eccentric characters we got to meet through to the tales of the performances and Micha's adventures on the high wire, it was just so much fun to read. Although I could understand why a change of scenery was necessary I was still worried that the story would lose some of the magic. Thankfully that isn't the case and although this story is very different it was just as good as the first book. We are treated to a new kind of magic in the form of illusions and seances that was just as exciting to read about and I'd quite like to have magic lessons with Maske myself.

The much smaller cast at the theatre allows us to get to know the different characters so much better. Micha is one of my favourite fictional characters ever, he has been through so much in such a short amount of time and has grown so much since we first met him. I loved seeing Micha become more comfortable in his own skin and accept both sides of his personality. It was also wonderful to see him open up to Drystan as they grow closer. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Micha and Drystan together, the way their friendship develops and slowly starts to blossom into something much more is just delightful to see and I can't get enough of them. They are both struggling to deal with the emotional fallout of previous events but it was great to see them lean on each other and get through it together. I also really enjoyed getting to know Maske and Cyan, both characters have their secrets and hidden talents so it was great to start uncovering them even though I'm sure we have a lot more to learn.

Another thing Shadowplay does is really start to give us a bit more information about the world Laura Lam has created outside of the circus and the theatre. We get to learn a lot more about the history of Ellada and of the chimera which I found really interesting. There are definitely exciting things to come on that front and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book to discover more! If you enjoyed Pantomime you're going to love Shadowplay just as much. If you haven't started the series yet then it's one I can't recommend highly enough. If you want a YA series with a wonderful fantasy setting full of magic and intrigue along with incredible and boundary pushing characters who you will immediately fall in love with then you need to pick up Pantomime today!

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
Cookie's Tasty Reviews
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Original UK Cover
Paperback / Kindle:

3 comments:

  1. I am so happy that there is going to be 6 books in this series so we can learn more about the world of Ellada and its politics. I am curious to see what we learn about Cyan & Drystan later in the series.

    Question though: what did you think about the cliffhanger we got left with?

    My review of Shadowplay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea that there were going to be 6 books in this series! I'm pleased we're going to see so much more of Micha and Drystan though so that's great news :o) I have a feeling there is a lot more to discover about both Cyan and Drystan!

      I'm kind of used to cliffhanger endings in series but I didn't think this one was too bad, the story had enough of an ending that I wasn't screaming with frustration when I put it down which is good! I am looking forward to seeing what happens next though.

      I'm going to go and read your review now to see what you thought of it!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for linking this up to the British Books Challenge x

    ReplyDelete

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