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.
Micah’s story continues in Shadowplay with him and Drystan on the run from the policiers as well as the Shadow. In order to survive, they live with Maske, who is not allowed to practice magic because of a deal made 15 years ago. To earn a way out of the country, they decide to become his apprentices and set up magic shows. Micah gets entangled in the Chimaera history, and the Vestiges have more power than previously known. Reluctantly, he is being dragged into something that relates to the extinction of Chimaera all those centuries ago.
The writing is spectacular this time around too, with lush descriptions and good pacing to the plot. The overall atmosphere is of secrets and lies, and Micah wants to say the truth for once, but who is to be trusted and who is to be not? That was presented very well, including the little shocker at the climax. He might get answers about who he is but he might not like it, especially when it involves the fate of the world. There are a lot of flashbacks in the book, which add to the beauty of the story since it all depends on the past and the reflection of the mistakes in the present. The plot, however, was a bit slow to develop, in my opinion – when compared to the previous book. Pantomine was great and Shadowplay falls a little short when it comes to presenting Micah; he just doesn’t make as much of an impact as he did in the former. Maybe it’s because the story is being set for the other Chimaera revealed in the book, or maybe it’s because the story relied a little too much on the flashbacks. In any case, I hope he has a larger role to play in the next. The romance was expected, really, and it made me happy for him and Drystan. The magical aspects – the real one and the stage one was a brilliant base for the book and I enjoyed the fact that a bit of technology-like magic was constructed – the automata, the mirror, etc.
In conclusion, this was a great book, but suffered from the sequel syndrome I guess. 3.5 stars!
Received a copy from Angry Robot via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.