THE ILLUSIONIST’S APPRENTICE

Kristy Cambron

Not all illusions happen on the stage.

Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.

But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation.

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Not all illusions happen on the stage.

Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.

But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation. All the while Houdini’s words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it’s what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface—and shatter her carefully controlled world.

Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician’s Lie, Caraval, and The Night Circus!

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  • Thomas Nelson
  • Paperback
  • March 2017
  • 368 Pages
  • 9780718041502

Buy the Book

$15.99

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About Kristy Cambron

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons.

Author Website

Praise

“Prepare to be amazed by The Illusionist’s Apprentice. Wren Lockhart, the talented magician at the heart of Kristy Cambron’s spellbinding tale of Jazz Age Boston, is the fierce, brilliant, guarded headliner you’ve been waiting for. This novel will have your pulse pounding and your mind racing to keep up with reversals, betrayals and surprises from the first page to the last. Like her characters, Cambron works magic so compelling and persuasive, she deserves a standing ovation.”—Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise.

“Cambron takes readers on an amazing journey into the world of vaudeville illusionists during the Roaring Twenties. This novel includes an intriguing mystery that adds adventure and suspense to the intricately detailed historical drama . . . The romance is wonderfully portrayed as well, rounding out the story with tenderness.”RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 starred review, TOP PICK!

“Cambron’s lithe prose pulls together past and present and her attention to historical detail grounds the narrative to the last breathtaking moments.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

Discussion Questions

1. Though the world sees Wren Lockhart as an illusionist on a stage, Jenny Charles is the real woman who lives behind the scenes. How are the personas of these two women different, and how does Elliot manage to see the authenticity behind both? In what ways do Wren and Elliot finally unmask who they truly are?

2. Harry Houdini lived a life of adventure from the stage. In this story, however, we imagine him as a wise mentor offstage, helping to shape Wren into the skilled entertainer she would one day become. As Houdini began to ask deeper questions about faith and spirituality in his final years, how did the debunking of false mediums affect Wren’s view of their shared vaudeville world? Though the story opens months after Houdini’s death, how was he ever-present in Wren’s journey?

3. Wren and Charlotte experienced tragedy in their young lives at the hands of their father. Though she was able to overcome the pain of her past, how did Wren eventually learn to trust again? Did Olivia’s sacrifice for her daughters impact Wren’s ability to reopen her heart to others?

4. The atmosphere of Boston in the late 1920s was flavored by the sights, sounds, and settings of vaudeville, from the experiences of many secondary characters: Connor, Amberley, Irina, Josiah, Al, Olivia, and Franklin. Which characters were living a life of illusion themselves, and why?