A complimentary copy of this book was provided by BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Thomas Nelson Incorporated on March 7th 2017
Source: BookLook Bloggers
Genres: American, Historical, Suspense
Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.
Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.
Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron is rich with historical detail and suspense that will keep you turning the pages. I have read (and liked) all of Kristy’s works so far but this one really pulled me in. At one point I sat with tears rolling down my face, in shock and horror at the realization of what Wren Lockhart had endured. The fractured mind of a little girl, the same age as my youngest daughter just shattered me.
This book was so emotionally gripping and I have a feeling that the characters are going to haunt me for a while. A mother’s love. A sister’s duty and two children, their innocence lost in a senseless act of violence that would forever mar their ability to ever trust—or love.
This book was intense. Once I started reading, I really couldn’t put the book down. I was fascinated by Wren. I wanted to know her secrets and as her dark past came to light, my heart broke in a way that only another mother could understand.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Our mother used to say that a hero doesn’t always have to slay a dragon to save the day.” She swept a lock of hair behind her ear in an honest gesture, then pursed her lips and looked back at him, her gaze endearing. “Sometimes he just walks through the fire alongside you, and that’s enough.”[/perfectpullquote]
Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I was glad that just this once, Wren opened herself up and allowed someone to be her hero. It wasn’t that love would heal her wounds, but she finally had someone who she could trust to be in the fire with her.
I see this book being one of my top favorites of 2017. If you’re a fan of Christian Historical fiction and the era of the 1920s, this is a book I would suggest. Make sure you have tissues on hand—especially if you have a soft spot in your heart for children.
This book has some violent content that may bother some—particularly victims of domestic violence and I feel that in the sake of disclosure that I need to mention that. My heart was bruised and I do feel a lingering emotional trauma that so often happens to me after a book like this. It is a good hurt—one that means the author used her gift of words to touch a part of my spirit in a way that few authors have.