Book Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam
“‘Nice try, love,’ she said, and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. “It won’t be so terrible, just you wait and see.”
I hoped she was right.
And so I bathed and brushed and shaved and scented myself. All the while, I tried to stifle the feeling that it was like a holy animal from the rural parts of Byssia being pampered and perfumed before slaughter to the Chimaera demi-gods. I may have been feeling a little melodramatic.
Lia had laid all of my clothing on the bed and helped me into my petticoats and undershirt and slid the corset around my torso.
Lia grunted slightly as she pulled the stays. My ribs constricted and I clutched the bedpost.
I felt caged in a corset. The device did give me a bit of an illusion of a waist, I thought, looking at my body in the mirror of my dressing table. Lia slipped the dress over my head and it fell about me in a wave of blue fabric so pale it was almost white. I twisted my hips and the fabric settled into place and Lia fastened the dozens of tiny buttons on the back. The dress was lovely, with simply lines, the only decoration pink satin ribbons about the waist and the high neckline and the hem of the skirt. Mother and I had disagreed on every other dress I had tried on, but as soon as I had come out of the dressing room in the shop on Jade Street, we had both agreed it a success.
Lia plaited my hair into a crown about my head with more ribbon and tiny sprays of baby’s breath. She left little curls about my face and another at the nape of my neck. I sat patiently as she powdered and painted my face in such a way that it did not look as though I was wearing cosmetics at all, which I did not see the point in. I stepped into heeled pink dancing slippers. A little strand of pearls about the neck and elbow-length gloves and a feather fan completed the look.
All dolled up to look like a girl and the illusion was fairly convincing.”
RH Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest of circus of Ellada- if they do say so themselves. Wonders beyond the imagination, where anything is possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the Chimeras and Alders still exist, and where people can make a new life for themselves. Iphigenia (Gene) comes from a noble family, but doesn’t fit into the formal world of corsets and crinoline. Enter Micah Gray, joining the circus as an aerialist apprentice and rising star. However, when a secret in their blood could unlock mysteries of Ellada and a civilization long forgotten, choices must be made and relationships hang in the balance.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Fantasy, GLBTQI, Laura Lam, Pantomime, Steampunk
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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