Click here to read the book synopsis on Goodreads.

This book has been recommended to me SO many times by so many people. Even though I am not typically a historical fiction or fantasy fan, I took the plunge and tried it out because of the number of recommendations I had for it.

I see why some people love this book. The writing is so flowery, descriptive, and truly makes you feel like you are at the scene, in the moment with the characters. I could smell all the smells at the circus, I could feel the rain in London, I could see the performances in the tents. All of that imagery was gorgeous and all encompassing and captivating.

However, I found the writing to be distracting. The imagery was too much at times, but the real issue was that the multiple point of views…and the nonlinear timeline gave me some serious whiplash. Not to mention the 20+ characters. There were so many names. so many back stories, and so much going on. I had to keep a list of characters and what they did, who they were related to, etc. to keep it straight in my mind, and I was still confused.

I found the storyline to be somewhat weak and underwhelming. I don’t know what I expected from it, but I think I was mostly upset by the ending. It felt super unresolved and rushed. After all of the buildup with the rest of the storyline, I really thought there would be something more exciting for the ending. I think I wanted something more explosive.

Overall, I didn’t hate my life while reading it, but I don’t think I would recommend it to many people, so ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars from me!

Published by jennastopreading

I read a lot of books. Find me on Instagram @jennastopreading.


  1. Ahhh, thanks for the honest review! I’ve also had this book recommended to me by so many people. I read the first couple chapters a few years ago and enjoyed them but then had to return the book to the library and could never find it again. I have a copy on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to pick up forever, but I probably won’t prioritise it after your review!


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