The synopsis of this book totally sucked me in so I knew I just had to read it… thankfully the story was just as captivating! Full of magic, love & illusions, this book is incredibly entertaining & will leaves readers numb by the end.
I was sent this book in return for an honest review as part of a YA Bound Book Tours blog tour.
This book contains one scene that involves homophobic violence.
Thomas Pendelton was born into wealth and prestige. He has a sensitive heart and wants nothing more than to write poetry. Instead, he is apprenticing for Neville Wighton the Great, an aging magician who has become somewhat crazed over the years in his pursuit of fame. With Thomas’ help, Wighton is about to premiere the greatest illusion seen by man, for Thomas possesses something no other illusionist has: real magic.
Many in the theatrical world are desperate to learn Wighton’s big secret. One such magician is Paolo il Magnifico. His apprentice, Saverio Moretti, is also seeking the answer. He has a scheme to get close to Wighton by seducing Thomas but seduction turns to real feelings.
Now the young men must struggle to keep the secret of their romance, as well as the secret of Thomas’ magic, as both of these things could cost Thomas his life. Through journal entries, posters, letters, and other documents, ILLUSIONS is a story of love, betrayal, and of course, magic.
I spent weeks thinking about this book before I even picked it up & I now know I’ll be thinking of it for weeks after putting it down; Illusions was an incredible journey, & one that has finally made me admit that I don’t hate romances (as long as there’s some fantasy drama thrown in with it). Thomas & Saverio are gorgeous & their scenes together are incredibly seductive; Thomas’s pure soul is beautiful & his situation broke my heart & as Saverio softens with love, he becomes impossible not to adore too. I loved everything about this book & I would love a sequel.
Generally, Illusions plodded along quite leisurely & if you like slow burners than this book will definitely work for you, however, the plot kicks off at a fast pace within the first few pages & thankfully I wasn’t left waiting chapters before the story got going. A big chunk of the plot in Illusions was blatantly obvious from the get-go, but I was still desperate to read the story & the ending left me on the edge of my seat. The world-building in Illusions was also fantastic – I could imagine the bars, theatres & other locations really easily & every time I opened my kindle I was transported back in time. The atmosphere of this book held the same magic as circus-set books for me too, & that’s got to be the main reason I loved it so much.
Moreover, the character development in Illusions was incredibly well done & it was obvious that Thomas & Salverio were changing throughout the story. Thomas’s character development was very steady, but also very intense – as the plot tiptoes along slowly, Thomas’s confidence increases in size rapidly after he meets Salverio & it was warming to watch him fall in love with himself & his gift, as well as with Salverio. As for Salverio, at first he was unlikable, but even though I knew I should hate him – I just couldn’t! Salverio’s charm jumped off of the pages & I think it would’ve been impossible for anyone not to fall for his tricks. As Salverio’s feelings towards Thomas shifted though, his own personality morphed too, & by the end of the book he was softer & incredibly sweet.
I can’t seem to put my finger on what it was about this book that specifically made me fall in love – maybe it was the passion between Thomas & Salverio, maybe it was the purity of Thomas’s magic & his relationship with it, & maybe it was the writing & scene-setting, but one thing I can be sure of is that this book filled me with warmth & contentedness & I desperately wish to experience those feelings all over again.
Madeline J. 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.
You can find Madeline’s website here.
Two Print Copies – US Only