Author: Laura Lam
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot imprint)
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.
Shadowplay is a mysterious and haunting continuation of a series cloaked in magic and secrets. Hiding once again, Micah discovers there's more to his situation than he thought, more secrets to uncover and visions to see, more magic. Perhaps it's not as fast-paced and dangerous as its predecessor, but this book is just as enchanting and enthralling.
Micah is on the run again but this time he's running from a far more dangerous situation. He's still afraid of being caught, of returning to the family from his past, of being trapped once again. But he's not alone this time, he has Drystan with him. He has someone who supports him, who cares about him. It makes Micah feel less alone, as less alone as possible when Micah's differences are always there. There's always the sense of loneliness, of difference, even when someone new appears. Because of the visions Micah is shown, because of the task he's been given.
This book continues the exploration of self. Living as the person you want to be, not the person other people want you to be. But it's never that easy. It requires strength, courage, and change. It means accepting that you can never go back. It means there could be a different future waiting for you, one you never imagined possible stemming from a past long lost, faded and crumbling.
I found this book a welcome return to the world first introduced in Pantomime, a world both old and new, the faint blue light of the moon shining down, the shimmer of Penglass. The world created by Lam is rich with magical and fantastical things but also secrets and hidden dangers. Magic and secrets go hand in hand in this world, it seems. And I'm desperate for the next installment and the continuation of Micah's story.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Angry Robot through NetGalley.)