“Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to the Circus Phantasm.
College freshman Emma has a problem. She can hear people’s thoughts and what she hears she wishes she couldn’t. She especially doesn’t like to hear her parent’s anger and the rage her brother feels toward their father. Then one day a strange girl confronts her in a park and tells Emma that she knows Emma has a power, also called a Blessing, which was given to some humans by elves.
Younger brother Nemo has a problem. He hates it when he can feel his sister in his mind. Also, neither of his parents trust him or his sister, Emma. When he tells someone what to do, especially while singing, they do what he compels whether they want to or not. On the same day Emma is confronted by some strangers at a park, other strangers come to a rehearsal of Nermo’s and one of them nearly freezes Nemo before they leave. What do these strangers want?
Their parents are often angry and almost as often, the anger is directed to their children. Nemo is angry back and often provokes his dad. This makes life even more miserable for Emma as angry thoughts buzz around her like bees.
This makes life even more miserable for Emma as angry thoughts buzz around her like bees.
And now, two different sets of strangers are wanting them … for what?
Nemo persuades Emma to go with him to a showing at Circus Phantasm. He believes they will learn to control their powers at the circus. What follows then are some of the most beautiful and wonderful scenes I have ever read. This circus is imbued with magic.
The magic is something like a superpower a person has and can be trained to do better with training. There is no chanting nor calling upon occult powers. There are, however, unicorns, elves, and mermaids. There are people who refuse to talk about what happened to them before they joined the circus. Oh, and there is a massive dragon who everyone calls My Lord, which puzzles the kids until they learn he is thousands of years old. He shapeshifts into the cook for the crew of the circus. There is an amusing fruitbat that follows Nemo everywhere.
There is no chanting nor calling upon occult powers.
The two join the circus after the circus obtains relieved permission for them to leave home. They are assigned mentors and acting parts. Bit by bit they improve their powers and learn of the existence of a group called the Company that kidnaps people with Powers as well as magical creatures. If the circus had not taken in Emma and Nemo, they would have been kidnapped by the Company. The relationship between the Company and Circus Phantasm is a mystery that leaves the reader grasping for clues along with the siblings.
Some people might take issue with a solution to family tension being to run away to the circus. However, the circus master did get signed permission from the parents after he presented the circus as a career and promised they would continue their schooling.
I loved everything about the book, from the beautiful scenes to the magical creatures and the people using magic and having magic used on them. There was honestly nothing in the book that bothered me. All the light romance was sweet. The mystery and intriguing people draw you in until the satisfying conclusion of this urban fantasy. Thirteen-year-olds on up to adults can enjoy this book. Younger readers might find the plot a little confusing.
Heat: There’s not a lot. There is some light romance and some gentle teasing of people that are assumed to be sleeping together, but they are not.
Violence: There is some fighting and mental torture, but there is no blood or permanent damage.
Profanity: I don’t remember any.
Available on Amazon
Lelia Rose Foreman homeschooled her three boys for a total of fourteen years. They survived. She writes Christian science fiction. Under the name of Rose Foreman, she also writes general market science fantasy with her oldest son, Josh. The first of these is The Scarred King: Exile.