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The Illusionists

Ie between the stifling domesticity of marriage or a downwards spiral to the streets – no matter how determined she is to forge her own pathOne night at a run down theatre she meets the charismatic Devil Wix – showman master of illusion fickle friend Drawn into his circle Eli. This engaging and evocative novel presents a different side of Victorian England than we re used to seeing one where charlatans and hucksters vie to make a living by peddling magic tricks to a gullible and impoverished public Though THE ILLUSIONISTS can feel a bit crowded at moments plot wise its characters are riveting especially the unreliable and conniving protagonist Devil whose ambition to open his own theater sweeps up a variety of characters into a maelstrom including pick pocketing dwarf Carlo Bonomi Heinrich Bayer and his eerie automaton Lucie and Jasper an artist who helps pull off the illusions and is romantically drawn to enigmatic Eliza a young woman who dreams of personal emancipationEliza appears late in the story but her relationship with Devil forms the heart of the novel as she leads him on his own merry dance fueled by her fight to control her destiny Ms Thomas excels in portraying their oft contrary partnership while spinnig a web of deceit that eventually catches up with them However several plot threads seem to come and go without much dramatic denouement and it becomes challenging to decide whether Devil is an otherwise decent man trapped by the misogyny and corruption of his era or merely an irredeemable rogue The ambiance alone however makes the effort worthwhile as Ms Thomas paints in expert colors a portrait of the seedy desperation and volatility of England as it struggles under rigid sovereignty and the horrifying chasm between wealth and destitution

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Za becomes the catalyst of change for his colleagues – a dwarf an eccentric engineer and an artist – as well as Devil himself And as Eliza embarks on a dangerous adventure she must decide which path to choose and how far she should go when she holds all their lives in her han. Full review here book of the year so far Every once in a while you find a book that hooks you from the very first page and doesn t let go until long after you ve finished it The Illusionists is one of those booksFrom the minute that I read the blurb for this novel I knew I was going to love it and I was not disappointed From the very first page you find yourself completely immersed in Victorian London the sights sounds and smells so well described you feel as if you are there walking alongside Devil as he goes about his daily life The novel also provides a fascinating insight into the world of Victorian magic and illusion revealing the amount of work behind the scenes that was necessary to make a show a success From the guillotine to the famous bullet trick you ll never look at magic in the same way againDevil Wix is a character worth a paragraph of his own A brilliant showman he is also witty and loveable and I found myself willing him to succeed Haunted by bad memories from his childhood he is a man determined to prove his worth in the world and along with his band of misfits he sets out to put on a show like no otherThe story moves at a relatively slow pace and at just under five hundred pages it s a hefty novel but one that is well worth taking your time over The characters are compelling darkly so at times and I found myself looking forward to immersing myself in their world for an hour or so each evening It s been a while since I ve been so eager to find out how a book ends yet at the same time so reluctant to say goodbye to the characters and the world that they inhabitTold in third person primarily from the perspectives of Devil and Eliza it is clear from the start that this is their story and you get the feeling that had the narrative reflected a different point of view Carlos or Jasper s in particular we as readers would have a completely different perception of Devil There are moments in the novel that you ought to hate him yet you instantly forgive him just as Eliza doesAs the Palmyra blossoms under Devil s ownership the man himself undergoes a transformation from an opportunist showman into a husband and eventually a father I found myself falling in love with him as the novel progressed and the ending image of Devil with his son on his shoulders is purposely a million miles away from the Devil that we met on the first page All of the characters mature and grow as the novel takes place over the span of twelve years a long time to cover but so expertly managed that it never feels drawn out and all makes perfect senseThe story is not unlike Sara Gruen s Water for Elephants in its themes of love triangles misfits and showmanship but at the same time it is entirely different from anything I have ever read beforeThe only predictable part of this novel was Devil and Eliza s relationship but even this doesn t run smoothly and as events begin to take a darker turn you find yourself wondering which characters will actually make it to the end55 stars So much than a love story The Illusionists is a story of friendship and fellowship of magic and illusion of life and death It is the most absorbing and atmospheric book that I have read this year by a mile Read it and you won t be disappointed Mystery in Spiderville the catalyst of change for his colleagues – a dwarf an eccentric engineer and an artist – as well as Devil himself And as Eliza embarks on a dangerous adventure she must decide which path Spring to choose and how far she should go when she holds all Unknown (Anders Knutas, their lives in her han. Full review here book of A time for being human the year so far Every once in a while you find a book Stanley and the Women that hooks you from The Gene the very first page and doesn The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, t let go until long after you ve finished it The Illusionists is one of Seasons of Splendour those booksFrom Stage Mum the minute A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife that I read The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships the blurb for Salvage this novel I knew I was going Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, to love it and I was not disappointed From Blue Book of Grown-Up Fairytales the very first page you find yourself completely immersed in Victorian London Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle the sights sounds and smells so well described you feel as if you are Broken Horse (Saddle Club, there walking alongside Devil as he goes about his daily life The novel also provides a fascinating insight into Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible the world of Victorian magic and illusion revealing Will in the World the amount of work behind Traitors Purse (Albert Campion Mystery the scenes How Baking Works that was necessary The Birthday Party to make a show a success From The Summer House the guillotine The Seance to Crap Crimes the famous bullet Horse Tale (Saddle Club, trick you ll never look at magic in The Best of Daughters the same way againDevil Wix is a character worth a paragraph of his own A brilliant showman he is also witty and loveable and I found myself willing him Unclaimed Experience to succeed Haunted by bad memories from his childhood he is a man determined Wilfred Owen to prove his worth in Indurain: La historia definitiva del mejor corredor del Tour de Francia (Córner) the world and along with his band of misfits he sets out The Inbetweeners Scriptbook to put on a show like no otherThe story moves at a relatively slow pace and at just under five hundred pages it s a hefty novel but one Out of Breath (Breathing, that is well worth A Profound Secret taking your Moby-Dick time over The characters are compelling darkly so at The Double Silence times and I found myself looking forward Enemies of Promise to immersing myself in Walking Nature Home their world for an hour or so each evening It s been a while since I ve been so eager Behind Bars to find out how a book ends yet at Walking For Fitness the same Naked. Brucia in fretta, rompi le regole time so reluctant Dawn of Fear to say goodbye Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court to Eagle & Birds of Prey the characters and Pony Club Weekend (Perfect Ponies, the world As Far as the Stars that Its OK to be Gay - Celebrity Coming Out Stories they inhabitTold in The Prague Cemetery third person primarily from Drift Heat the perspectives of Devil and Eliza it is clear from Katie Morag Of Course! the start 15 Minutes of Fame that Holy Fools this is The Complete Idiots Guide to Twitter Marketing their story and you get The Complete Idiots Guide to Glycemic Index Snacks the feeling Freedom Hospital that had Dull Men of Great Britain the narrative reflected a different point of view Carlos or Jasper s in particular we as readers would have a completely different perception of Devil There are moments in Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep the novel The Making of Modern Medicine that you ought Ad Women to hate him yet you instantly forgive him just as Eliza doesAs Oh! Calcutta the Palmyra blossoms under Devil s ownership In Another Time the man himself undergoes a The Complete Idiots Guide to Starting and Running a Winery transformation from an opportunist showman into a husband and eventually a father I found myself falling in love with him as The Wheel of Fire and Other Stories the ending image of Devil with his son on his shoulders is purposely a million miles away from Reversing Diabetes in 21 Days the Devil The Santas Gift that we met on The Cat and Shakespeare the first page All of Amrita Sher-Gil the characters mature and grow as The Hobbit the novel Working Hard is Not Good Enough takes place over DC Comics: Anatomy of a Metahuman the span of Arts of Wonder twelve years a long The Good Daughter time Jasmine Summer to cover but so expertly managed Simply Sensual (Simply, that it never feels drawn out and all makes perfect senseThe story is not unlike Sara Gruen s Water for Elephants in its Frank Gehry themes of love The Wake triangles misfits and showmanship but at Ethics the same The Discovery of Insulin time it is entirely different from anything I have ever read beforeThe only predictable part of Swimming Pool Sunday this novel was Devil and Eliza s relationship but even Scottish Exodus this doesn Antonia White t run smoothly and as events begin A Word Child take a darker Alan Titchmarshs Fill My Stocking turn you find yourself wondering which characters will actually make it Fill My Stocking to Things That Matter the end55 stars So much Sibling Rivalry than a love story The Illusionists is a story of friendship and fellowship of magic and illusion of life and death It is Essential CG Lighting Techniques the most absorbing and atmospheric book A House In The High Hills that I have read Sunshine and Shadows this year by a mile Read it and you won The Palace of Dreams t be disappointed

Rosie Thomas Þ 4 Free download

From the bestselling author of the phenomenally successful The Kashmir ShawlLondon 1885As a turbulent and change filled century draws to a close there has never been a better time to alter your fortune But for a beautiful young woman of limited means Eliza’s choices appear to l. Apart from the danger of choosing a book based on its cover we should all be aware of the dangers of basing one s choice on a book s synopsis We read one thing buy the book because that thing sounded great but then the actual story is a bit differentThis was what happened to me with The Illusionists I saw it was about a young woman called Eliza who was a bit too far ahead for her time and who decides to join a theatre company after meeting one of its charismatic performers a man who went by the name of Devil Wix Against a Victorian London background I was promised a dangerous adventure and thus I decided to buy this bookDon t get me wrong there was danger But the book starts off with Devil Wix meeting a dwarf who calls himself Carlo Boldoni and the two of them managing to get a job at the decrepit theatre Palmyra run by the execrable Jacko Grady All great but where was Eliza the young woman who decides to make her own path in life in 1885 from my book s synopsis She didn t appear until page 64 By then I had already understood that The Illusionists was not about a woman going against society s conventions but about a whole lot of different thingsThere was Devil and Jasper s background managing the theatre and coming up with new tricks four men in love with the same woman that woman in love with one of those four men and what else can I say This is a book with a lot of things and comprises some different genres There s romance historical fiction a bit of fantasyThere was also uite a large cast of characters but very positively they weren t difficult to memorize and led to no confusionsThe tricks were probably the best of this book Not only were they described in the stage but we were also told how everything worked The setting of the story in London at the end of the nineteenth century add an interest to itSo why the three stars Why not fourFor me Thomas s The Illusionists is a clear example of a story with a lot of potential and poor execution The book is than five hundred pages long and it is not just the telling of a group of people trying to strive in order to bring back from the ashes a ruined theatre Devil gets the the Palmyra from Grady and becomes its manager And then we have the entire story of managing the theatre looking out for ways of bringing in money In the midst of this there was also Devil s relationship with Eliza which was very interesting to follow in the beginning but turned out to be one of this book s disappointments for meRemember the young woman from the synopsis who didn t want to settle and live the life society intended for her Well in the end she doesThere was also the matter with Heinrich Bayer the awkward Swiss engineer who build automata Even though his end was one of the most enthusiastic if creepy parts of the book I couldn t uite agree with it I didn t like Carlo s end as well I understood but felt it was shame especially considering the fact that he disappears for some parts in the middle after making up most of beginning of the storyWhat I mean is that I felt that the characters and the book in general had a lot of potential but Rosie Thomas felt the need to write a long slow book full of descriptions that became most of the times boring Then because it was a long story she had to put a lot of characters obviously something in this case a lot of somethings had to be missingAll in all I was expecting In content and uality not in lengthI had never read anything by Rosie Thomas I didn t even knew she existed Apparently there s going to be a seuel to this book with the Palmyra still making an appearance I don t think I will read it


10 thoughts on “The Illusionists

  1. says:

    Apart from the danger of choosing a book based on its cover we should all be aware of the dangers of basing one's choice on a book's synopsis

  2. says:

    35 ⭐️ Stared off really stong and pulled me into its world instantly but it started to lag I really enjoyed the characters and the world but something was just missing

  3. says:

    DNFThis is one of the books that I DNF'ed this year which is very rare and it might be 2nd or 3rd one this year The story revolves around a set of people with different backgrounds who join together to run a theatre which gives shows

  4. says:

    This engaging and evocative novel presents a different side of Victorian England than we're used to seeing one where charlatans and hucksters vie to make a living by peddling magic tricks to a gullible and impoverished public Though THE ILLUSIONISTS can feel a bit crowded at moments plot wise its characters are riveting especially the unrelia

  5. says:

    I liked this book It was way on the darker side than I expected Which is a nice present Sometimes the magical world can come off as just that magical The author did a good job of portraying the other side of this p

  6. says:

    A big old no Hey guess what? Saying I could have you anyways and her resistance excited him is uh about rape Not sexy not good Pretty goddamned bad Also there were several other instances that were just a big old

  7. says:

    An interesting book about Victorian Theatre A mixed bunch of characters mainly connected to the theatre in some way From the unscru

  8. says:

    Full review here book of the year so far Every once in a while you find a book that hooks you from the very first page and doesn't let go until long after you've finished it The Illusionists is one of those booksFrom the minute that I

  9. says:

    I very much enjoy the magicianillusionist genre But this book is really at heart a romance There seems to be a lot of books published in the last year or so set in London in the late 1800s but that might be simply

  10. says:

    Did not finish Probably should have been edited to 50% of it's actual length Got tired of waiting for something to happen though part of me wishes I'd had the fortitude to stick with it

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