As always, Kristy Cambron delivers an enthralling tale of popular historical figures in a fictional story – this time of Harry Houdini and his young apprentice, Jenny “Wren” Lockhart, in the 1920s. The Illusionist’s Apprentice focuses on Wren, but there is plenty of Houdini to delight fans of his illusionism!
(Isn’t that cover gorgeous? I can’t stop looking at it.)
The book opens several months after Houdini’s death and shows us Wren’s family, her history, her career in illusionism and vaudeville, even her heart. It’s the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, right after WWI when the world was focused on life and everything lively.
Amidst Kristy’s amazing descriptions of Wren’s 1920s world, there’s a deeper theme of love, pain, and hidden truths. Wren lives a lonely life, despite her fantastic vaudevillian lifestyle. When FBI Agent Elliott Matthews knocks on her door and asks for help infiltrating the private inner world of vaudeville to solve a murder, she tries to shut him out. But Elliott persists, and Wren finally agrees. As long as her secrets can stay secrets.
Before long, Wren and Elliott find themselves embroiled in a bigger mystery than they could’ve imagined – one that stretches all the way from Wren’s painful childhood to her present. Vaudeville plays a prominent role in The Illusionist’s Apprentice, and Wren’s illusions onstage and off will delight you and make you ask, “How did she do that?” You’ll also fall in love right along with Elliott and Wren!
I loved this story! It is full of fabulous historical detail, it has a swoon-worthy romance, and the characters just pull you into the action with them. Go ahead and pick up The Illusionist’s Apprentice today! You’ll gasp, you’ll sigh, you’ll wonder – just as if you were in the theatre watching one of Wren’s shows.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Recommended for: fans of Kristy Cambron’s historical inspirational fiction; readers who enjoy seeing real historical figures in their fiction choices; those who favor tales of vaudeville, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age; historical fiction readers
Note: I received a copy of this novel via NetGalley.