Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?
Magic in the Jazz Age? Why, yes please! It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the flapper era, with all its danger and decadence, but what I love even more than straight historical is a historical story with a twist. With its focus on stage magicians, Born of Illusion promises just that.
The cover is...interesting, to say the least, but I have to say that if I were browsing shelves, I think I'd be intrigued more by the title. First of all, the lettering is quite lovely, fancy enough without being illegible. But, more importantly, the book is called Born of Illusion. Just the sound of those three words makes me want to read this book!
Releases June 11, 2013 from Balzer + Bray.