Shadowplay by Laura Lam

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Shadowplay by Laura Lam

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Stunning sequel to the wonderful Pantomime is a must-read for fantasy fans. Brilliant in the way it tackles so many big themes with great characters. Laura Lam was kind enough to give us some background to the magicians.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: December 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1908844392

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Warning: Major spoilers for book one, the wonderful Pantomime, here.

Micah Grey and the clown Drystan have left the circus. Trying to escape their past, and the terrible tragedy that ended Pantomime, they find Jasper Maske, a retired magician who owes Drystan a favour. While they seem to have found a safe haven, the return of a figure from Maske's past reignites an old rivalry. Can they help Maske and avoid detection when the mysterious Shadows seek both Micah and the person he once was? And who is the mysterious Cyan, and can they trust her?

I was nervous about reading this one because Pantomime was my very favourite reads of 2013, but if anything this is even better. I love the romance between Micah and Drystan, and the contrast between the pair. Micah is still unsure of himself in some ways but has developed wonderfully through the two books while Drystan is far more confident; they make a lovely couple. Cyan, who appears on the scene at a time when the pair are struggling to work out who they can trust, is a brilliant character. Maske is also intriguing and the history between him and his rival is revealed at just the right points. I particularly liked the way that we found out more about the history of magic in the world and the mysterious Penglass which played a crucial part in the first book.

I still love the way Laura Lam deals with so many big themes in these books - love, friendship, family, trust, sexuality, gender issues, loyalty and forgiveness being just some of them. Also, she again gives us a fantastic conclusion which ties up events of this book well but leaves me absolutely desperate to read book three. It's also quite dark, while Lam's writing style is gorgeous to read.

Hugely recommended as one of the most imaginative, inventive, and exciting fantasy series around.

I think fantasy fans should just read everything Strange Chemistry publish, as they're brilliant. Perhaps my favourite of their books apart from Lam's two is Skulk by Rosie Best.

This review was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah

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