Review: The Snake Charm, by Laura Lam

Snake Charm

Series: Micah Grey | Genre: Fantasy, YA | Format: ebook (Kindle) | Publisher: Penglass Publishing (Laura Lam) | Publication date: 3rd June 2014 | My rating: 5/5

Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell…

The Snake Charm

“To most, Drystan was just another buffoon in the collective of clowns. But behind the inane grin, he saw everything, keeping the secrets he discovered close, like precious gems to barter.”

Mutiny is brewing in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. When Linden, the leader of the clowns steals one of the ringmaster’s most prized possessions, Drystan, the white clown, finds himself caught in the middle. Tasked with retrieving the Lethe, he’s forced to betray Linden or risk his troubled past coming to light. But the Vestige artifact has its own history and its own power. Drystan will learn what it can really do, and who it can hurt.

Laura Lam can write about a clown and make me not throw my Kindle away in fear. That, my friends, is a skill and a half.

Not only that, but with The Snake Charm (and indeed, with the first two full-length books in her Pantomime series, ifyouhaven’treadthemdoitnow) she’s given me that most lovely joy of joys – a character I love. Drystan Hornbeam won me over pretty much at once, and over the course of two books I’ve swooned, cheered and declared my grabby-hands desire for more of him. So, naturally, I grabbed this short story at the earliest opportunity and devoured it likewise.

Now I’ve got the bookish equivalent of a happy belly.

Everything I love about the Pantomime books, with the exception of their protagonist – this is a prequel story – is here. The circus setting, caught in some intriguing place between romantic and enthralling, and grimly realistic, swept me up just like it did the first time out. The Alder magic, in the form of a Vestige artifact called a Lethe – and if you know your magical lore, you can guess at what its power involves – is as wonderfully mysterious as ever. And then there’s the assortment of shady characters, most of them sympathetic in some way, but still managing to be the types you don’t want to meet in a dark alley or with a lot of money in your wallet. It’s a short story, but there’s so very much contained here, and Laura pulls it all together into a tasty reading treat that left me happy with what I’d feasted my eyes on, yet wanting more badly enough that I can’t wait for the next story!

And if there’s ever other purchasable merchandise made available, I dare say I will be all over that. *Raises hand* I am a fangirl.


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