Book Review - The Illusionists

SET in London in 1885, the story begins with the ­charismatic showman and ­illusionist Devil Wix recruiting dwarf performer Carlo ­Boldoni as part of his magic show.

Thanks to some Victorian era special effects provided by ­mechanical genius Heinrich Bayer, they soon became the headliners of Palmyra Theatre.

One day after a skirmish, they meet Eliza, an unconventional and free-spirited woman who doesn’t want to be stifled in the humdrum life of a wife like her sister. Instead, she prefers posing nude for artists.

When she meets the ­charismatic Devil, she accepts his offer to join his troupe, setting off a chain reaction that will affect the entire world.

Things get naturally ­complicated when romance (Eliza has more than one suitor chasing ­after her), some ­elements of ­danger, and ­devious scheming gets thrown into the mix.

The story starts off well but, unfortunately, loses its pace towards the end.

Still, as a whole, it is a pretty good ­effort, even though some parts of the plot are pretty unbelievable.