R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada
I started reading Pantomime because it came highly recommend via a fellow blogger. Usually I agree with the books they like and so I knew that I had to pick this book up to read. Fortunately, once again, she had hit the nail on the head. This book was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and am incredibly glad that I decided to pick it up and read it. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started reading, except knowing that it was set in a circus, and I was instantly blown away by the words on the page. After just finishing Night Circus which I wasn’t too enthralled with, I wasn’t sure if this would be a book I liked but I was proven drastically wrong. This book is completely unique and is just an incredible read.
The hardest part about reviewing books is talking about them without spoiling them for other readers and Pantomime is a book that is incredibly hard to review due to a rather large twist in the book. I will not be mentioning what it is, but just know that it made the book ten times better for me and I found myself truly enjoying the read. In all honesty, there should be more books like this one on the market! The plot of this book was compelling and entertaining and is also shrouded in mystery which helps to keep the reader entertained. I enjoyed the descriptions of Ellada and the circus, and found myself sucked into this world, fully engaging with the characters and hoping that everything would be alright for them.
With A Choice
There were a lot of characters mentioned in this book but none of them felt unrealistic in any way. They seemed to all be well-written and 3D which is always a lovely thing to get with books. My favourite character was Micah. I found him to be an incredibly interesting character. He had a lot of things to work through, a lot of secrets pulling him down and just seemed to be a genuine character who was afraid of just being himself in front of people. He was a character who was strong and often unsure of himself but always willing to just put himself out there; a brave individual who just wanted to be accpeted and understood. I also liked Gene as well. She was a character who was stuck with a secret and just wanted to feel free and happy. She was loyal to her brother, loved her friends but felt like a burden to her parents and didn’t feel natural in her own skin. I found her to be a compelling character that I quickly felt emotional over.
That Could Change
It would be unworthy to finish this book without mentioning Aenea and Drystan. I really loved Aenea, she was a vibrant character who I just instantly liked. There was such a likability to her, especially with how accepting she was of Micah to the circus. It is clear that she is a very spirited individual. Drystan was also a character I liked quite early on. He was a bit more reserved, and you could tell he kept a lot of things to himself but I quite liked the mystery surrounding him. He was also friendly to Micah and I just really liked the connection that the two characters had. Definitely keep an eye on these two when you read the book.
Everything You Have
One of the things that really pulled me into this story was the way that it was written with the chapters alternating between Micah and Gene. It was really nice to get the story in this way, allowing you to quickly see the full picture by the end of it all and feeling as though you know so much about the characters completely. I really feel that Laura Lam is an incredibly talented writer and one that I am definitely going to be keeping an eye on from now on. Her writing style is simply easy to read but full of description, which allowed her to write a magnificent fantasy book with a lot of entertaining world building.
Overall, Pantomime was a book that I am really glad that I read and one that I truly enjoyed. It was a different book to those I have read recently and I really liked how fresh of a read it was. A genuinely pleasant book that I was happy to have read and have to thank Daphne for the recommendations. This is a book that will surprise you, make you smile, and ultimately make you fall in love with Ellada and all the characters living within the world. It is a wonderful book that allows you to escape this world for a little while as you escape into a magical world. If you like YA fantasy reads and want something that is unique and intriguing, then you should definitely get your hands on Pantomime.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **