Magician Gilbert Blake has spent his entire life conning drunkards in the seediest pubs in the darkest towns, careful to hide the true depths of his power. But when he spends a little too much time in Shadowsea and the infamous slumlord Count Reuben gets wind of his abilities, hiding within the Circus of the Damned may be Gilbert’s only chance at survival.
But there’s more to the Circus than meets the eye. Every time a performer dies, a new one must take his place, or the entire circus suffers the consequences. And while the handsome ringmaster Jesse isn’t one to coerce unwilling performers into giving up their souls to the devil, a recent death in their ranks makes Gilbert exactly what they need.
Yet the longer Gilbert stays with the Circus, the more danger he seems to bring them. Being with Jesse is more than Gilbert could have hoped for, but as Count Reuben’s men continue to search for Gilbert and the Circus loses another performer, they all face running out of time long before the Devil claims his due.
I really liked several shorts by this writer and she already had circus in some of them , so when I saw her doing a long story of course I had to grab it.
I love circus, so any story which deals with gets a bonus point for the topic alone, but here we have the circus as a protection for some *freaks* of the world - in this world them being people who have real magic of the sorts.
And of course there is a devil and deals with devil, and you know how well those usually go. Although devil in this one is interesting, lets put it this way. And I knew I met this devil already - and I was right, he featured in her "Devil at the crossroads" short.
Gilbert is a magician, who has a real true talent, but he is using it to scam people for money till one day Count Reuben almost catches him and mysterious circus performers offer him to join their circus, because they need to replace somebody who died within their ranks or they are all damned. Gilbert agrees because anything is better than to die right now and then next day comes ooops.
And friendships and villains and performances and of course romance. I so enjoyed this book.
And true magic running wild when these people are performing. Pretty!
"He swung his arms in an intricate dance , and the spheres spun too fast for Gilbert's eyes to follow, painting beautiful, complex streaks of fire in the half darkness of the tent. Above him, behind him- the spheres swung all around Jesse's body without ever brushing him, encasing him in an ever-changing cage of light that lasted but an instant. Jesse moved, quick and steady, not missing a bit of the tune only he could hear, but Gilbert could glimpse its echo in the fading swirls of light like a heartbeat painted in fire and air".