Today we're excited to spotlight Illusions by Madeline Reynolds.
Read on for more about Madeline and her book, an excerpt, plus an giveaway!
Meet Madeline Reynolds!
Madeline Reynolds is a YA fantasy author living in Chicago. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a background in journalism and has always loved storytelling in its various forms. When not writing, she can be found exploring the city, eating Thai food, or lost in an epic Lord of the Rings marathon.
In 1898 London, a magician has just performed the greatest illusion the world has ever seen. Intent on stealing his secrets, another magician sends his apprentice, Saverio, to befriend his rival’s apprentice, Thomas. Get close. Learn the trick. Get out.
But Sav is not a card to be played. He has a plan of his own: abscond with every secret for himself so he can finally step out of his master’s shadow and become the world’s most famous magician.
Then Sav discovers the truth—that Thomas performs real magic and is responsible for his master’s “illusions.” This trick cannot be stolen or duplicated. And worse, Sav finds himself falling hard for Thomas, the one person who can never discover his true purpose.
Their forbidden romance sets off a domino effect of dangerous consequences that will leave their love—and their lives—hanging in the balance.
~ Excerpt ~
Illusions by Madeline Reynolds YABC Excerpt
There are no words for what we witnessed tonight.
That was the most incredible trick I have ever seen in all my life. True, my life has not been very long, but even Paolo, who has walked this earth nearly twice as long, was completely lost for words.
I hardly know where to begin, but I shall do my best.
Upon entering the theatre, I noted that the stage was barren. No elaborate set pieces or decorations, no signs, no indication that anything significant or remarkable would be taking place.
Once all the patrons had found their seats, the house lights dimmed and a spotlight demanded we focus our attention to center stage. Neville Wighton the Great strolled rather casually out onto the stage and took his place under the limelight. He was even older than I thought he would be. His clothes were marvelous, but I had already gotten a sneak peek of the ensemble while in the square. Everything else about his appearance was slightly off. His hair was uncombed and sticking out in certain places, and his smile, if you can call it that, was awkward and strained. Watching him, I wondered at how a man with such poor presentation managed to gain as much fame as he has in London.
And then I saw a sight I had not been expecting—at least not upon the stage that evening. Young Thomas, who I already had the fortune of meeting, walked out and took his place—far enough from Mr. Wighton that the magician was still the center of attention and near the props that had been meticulously laid out on a table draped with purple velvet.
An apprentice taking over the duties of a beautiful assistant. (In fairness, I thought the boy was striking enough in his own rights, but I was certain the audience had been expecting someone a little more feminine, in far more sequins and pearls.)
How many times now have I offered to lend a helping hand onstage with the especially complex illusions during Paolo’s performances? But each time Paolo has told me that the apprentice’s place is behind the curtain. I will certainly not let him forget this.
Even as Wighton initiated his first trick, my focus lingered on Thomas. The boy’s nervous quivering proved more interesting than what Wighton was doing. For nearly the entire performance, I was completely and utterly bored. Simple levitation illusions and modern cabinet tricks had the crowd fawning and gasping. The difference between myself and these people is that I have seen all these tricks performed by at least five other illusionists and, in most cases, they were executed much better.
Wighton did not even have the sense to dress up his act with any sort of flair. Music. Colored lights. Hell, even a few articulated hand gestures would have done something to stir me. But he completed each trick with the calculated stoicism of a carpenter putting together a shelf.
I am surprised I did not fall asleep before he performed his final trick, but I am endlessly grateful that I was awake to witness it. Finally putting in some effort, Wighton started rambling, reciting a monologue about how the feat he would now perform cannot be explained through science or logic. Yet again, I was bored. I have heard some variation of the same speech a hundred times from conjurers all across the globe, assuring the audience that what they are about to witness defies everything they know to be possible and true about the world we live in.
I shifted in my chair, wondering how easy it would be to slip away to the bar before the theatre began to empty and the lounge would be flooded. As I was planning my escape, Wighton walked upstage, briskly brushing past his apprentice. Without another word, he turned and sprinted back downstage. Upon reaching the edge of the stage, he sprang forward, launching himself toward the audience and flying over their heads.
And then he was gone.
By: Madeline Reynolds
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 6th, 2018
One winner will receive a copy of Illusions (Madeline Reynolds) ~ (US Only)
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