eBook - 2014
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Micah must help Maske the magician escape those who pursue him, see where his feelings for Drystan will go, and find out how he and Cyan are tied into the mysteries of ancient and modern Ellada.
Publisher: [New York] : Osprey Publ., 2014.
ISBN: 9781908844415
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 electronic text
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
Alternative Title: Shadow play


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PimaLib_ChristineR Aug 14, 2018

Shadowplay is a terrific piece of fiction. Beyond the interesting characters that reveal themselves slowly (we learn a lot more about Drystan's background), Lam has created a fabulous world with three distinct ages. While the story is set in this third age, Lam uses Micah's powers to take us back to prior times, explaining more about the Penglass, the Chimera and the Alders. It's intricate and well done. I would highly recommend this book for a YA audience, but because it is sometimes easier to point at what we don't like as opposed to what we do, I have a couple of bones to pick that dropped a star for me.

Let me say that there is a third book in this trilogy, Masquerade! It's not advertised well online, IMO. The copy of the book I had was published by Strange Chemistry, which shuttered not long after this was published. Unfortunately, I could tell that the greatest care was not taken with editing this book and I hope that Pan Macmillan corrected some of the issues here. Here's an example: Micah follows Cyan to find out more about her. There's a break that then says "A few days later I was up in the gridiron..." and in the following conversation between Cyan and Micah, Cyan says "I know you followed me yesterday." This was one of several examples of discontinuity that don't affect the overall story but are annoying enough as a reader that I marked it down a star. Here's my other concern, and one that Lam doesn't address here, but it's in the back of my mind. Lam has written Gene/Micah as a hermaphroditic character. I think a lot of people were drawn to this series because of the way she handles Micah. But as this book progressed, I got this feeling that Lam, in maybe an early draft, was going to make Micah's physical sexual attributes a part of their magic; then as it was revised she was warned that this wasn't something her audience would love and so there's a whole scene where Micah's unexplored powers, it is explained, have NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. That's exactly how it felt. Like we stepped out of the story and were given this frying-pan-over-the-head explication that despite being called a "Kedi" and the Kedi statue they have having the same attributes that they do, Micah's power has nothing to do with this. While I think that move was necessary to move forward, Lam doesn't seem to have thought it through until the last moment.

Despite these hiccups, I found the premise fascinating and I love the characters. I like Micah's gullibility combined with fearlessness and self-acceptance. I loved the suspenseful chases and nosing in other people's business. I love that these characters, who I root for, sometimes have to deal with the horrible consequences of their choices. And all of those things make this story bigger than the sum of its parts.

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