**I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. Thank you TOR publishing for this book.**
Synopsis: Welcome to the Circus of the Fantasticals.
Ringmaster – Rin, to those who know her best – can jump to different moments in time as easily as her wife, Odette, soars from bar to bar on the trapeze. With the scars of World War I feeling more distant as the years pass, Rin is focusing on the brighter things in life. Like the circus she’s built and the magical misfits and outcasts — known as Sparks – who’ve made it their home. Every night, Rin and the Fantasticals enchant a Big Top packed full with audiences who need to see the impossible.
But while the present is bright, threats come at Rin from the past and the future. The future holds an impending war that the Sparks can see barrelling toward their Big Top and everyone in it. And Rin’s past creeps closer every day, a malevolent shadow Rin can’t fully escape. It takes the form of another Spark circus, with tents as black as midnight and a ringmaster who rules over his troupe with a dangerous power. Rin’s circus has something he wants, and he won’t stop until it’s his.
My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book. I love almost any book that involves a circus, especially if there are dark, sinister things happening as well. This book did not disappoint.
I will say, it is quite slow moving for most of the book, but that’s because you get a ton of backstory on Rin and Edward. And, all that information is a slow build up to the ending. It turned out very well. Honestly, though, I hope this is a second book that gives more of Edward in the current time instead of mostly in the past.
There is time jumping in this book, so some past, some present, some future (the “present” is in the 1920’s). It’s not confusing at all and adds an interesting element to Rin and the story. It also shows how people who are ‘different’ are treated during these times, especially those that have the magical abilities (a Spark).
I really enjoyed Rin and her relationship with her wife and her circus family. All she wants to do is protect them, no matter what. It was neat to read about her past and her present and how much she changed for the better. I also liked how each person had a different Sparks and some used it for good and some used it for evil.
Highly recommend if you like circus/fantasy books. This releases June 2023.