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(Micah Grey #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Old magics are waking. But will the world survive their return?

Micah Grey almost died when he fled the circus with Drystan – now he and the ex-clown seek to outrun disaster. Drystan persuades his old friend Jasper Maske, a once-renowned magician, to take them in. But when he agrees to teach them his trade, Maske is challenged to the ultimate high-stakes duel by his embitte
Paperback, 396 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Strange Chemistry
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Laura Lam
As SHADOWPLAY is available on Netgalley, I have created a pictoral taste of the sequel to PANTOMIME:

Don't quite remember all the events of the first book and want a refresher? I wrote a "Previously, on Pantomime" summary on my blog (contains spoilers, obv):

This is the image that most closely mirrors the overall tone I hope the novel will have:

Rather than taking place in a circus, it takes place in the Kymri Theatre, which is based slightly on the Egyptian
1st Read - January 2014
2nd Read - March 2017

Original Review

I loved Pantomime when I read it last year, it had the most wonderfully diverse characters that I completely fell in love with and I couldn't wait to catch up with them in Shadowplay. The story picks up immediately where we left off with Micha and Drystan on the run and desperately needing a place to hide out after what happened to them. Drystan takes them to the run down Kymri Theatre and his old friend Jasper Maske agrees to let them s
☙ nemo ❧
the first book was good but this is an ENTIRE NEW GODDAMN LEVEL
In this middle volume of the Pantomime trilogy, the setting/action moves from the circus to a magic (prestidigitation) show.

I really enjoyed learning more about the lands where the story is set, and more about Kedis, Chimaeras, and other mystical/magical beings. I loved the budding romance between Micah and Drystan, and Micah's shyness and tentativeness as he tries to adjust to and reconcile his dual-gender nature and how that affects his relationships with other people.

I was less fond of the
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
You know those times when you read a book that leaves you wishing so sincerely that you'd been able to read it when you were a kid, or in your teens? That feeling might be a little bittersweet, but let's focus on the sweet, because honestly - I wish I'd had this (and Pantomime) to read fifteen years ago.

As was established in Pantomime, Micah Grey was born Iphigenia Laurus. His parents wanted a girl; Micah identifies as a boy. In truth, Micah is both. Pantomime dealt with how he found his feet wi
shady boots
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought the pace could have been a bit faster, and I'm really intrigued to find out more about Micah's past and this whole storyline with the Chimaera and Anisa. The cliffhanger was not as cruel as the one in the first book, so I suppose the wait for Masquerade won't be TOO painful for me.
Leontiy Cristea
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Jet Black Ink:

This review will barely do justice to the book and its sheer excellence, because I am having to reign in my inner fanboy and go easy on the complete author love, here. There’s a lot of fanboy to contain, trust me. Shadowplay is the second of the Micah Grey books (and hell, I fear a revolt if there are not more!) and it not only continues on beautifully from where its predecessor Pantomime left off in taking us on a magical journey through a Victorian-esq
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019

The pros: Shadowplay is a book filled with magic and a world that's being built more and more with very interesting lore and mythological inspiration. This was a really great continuation of this trilogy! I enjoyed following Micah's journey from the circus to the magic show, and I really loved the new characters of Maske and Cyan. The world is so fascinating, I love the chimaera elements which are quite Daughter of Smoke and Bone-esque, which is one of my all time favourite series, so tha
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
So many things going on, so much to figure out, so(too) much going on in poor Gene Micah Sam's head. Shadows after Gene, mysterious clients of the aforementioned shadows, policiers after Micah and Drystan, political unrest, supernaturally cosmic changes, flashbacks of creatures that exist no more, the paranormal aspect of the now, learning the art of stage-magic to pass the time and compete against a rival... I'm sure I must have missed out on one thing or the other.

Shadowplay starts literally i
Fantasy Review barn

Pantomime was a great book. Shadowplay is a continuation of it, and provides more of the same. This is in no way a bad thing, but it does make it harder to talk about than I thought was possible.

You see when I first reviewed Pantomime I was enthralled. To begin it was a perfectly enjoyable fantasy novel with all the fixins; young character on the run joins a slightly magical circus in a slightly magical land. Not really heavy in the fantasy elements, though it of course had th
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thanks goes to Strange Chemistry*
*May contain spoilers for Pantomime*

Ahhhhh I loved this book! Having read and really enjoyed Pantomime I was so eager to get my hands on Shadowplay. I don't think I've quite calmed myself down enough to be writing this review yet. It felt like such a different book from Pantomime yet so similar. I really enjoyed Laura's first book but this one blasted it straight out of the water. It's in this b
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PANTOMIME was one of my favorite books last year. I even nominated it for the Cybils, where it is now a finalist. SHADOWPLAY picks up right where PANTOMIME leaves off, with Micah and Drystan on the run and looking for a place to stay. It had been awhile since I'd read PANTOMIME, so I was a bit lost at sea until I read further and things started coming back to me.

Laura Lam really ramps up the worldbuilding in SHADOWPLAY. Much more is explained about the Phantom Damselfly and her history as well a
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Pantomime blew my mind with it's uniqueness. It was one of those young adult fantasy novels that you can recommend only to real fantasy connoisseurs looking for something different.

Still great:
+ Beautiful descriptions
+ Unique characters
+ Intriguing setting. Especially those penglass domes no one can open. I keep wondering what secrets they hide within'.
+ After circus now we get behind the scenes of magic shows. I always like to hear how magic tricks are really performed.

Could have been better:
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

So I’m reading Shadowplay by Laura Lam, sequel to the awesome LGBT-embracing genre-busting badasss as hell YA fantasy Pantomime which (if you didn’t already guess) I love to no end.

And I’m only a few chapters in and I’m already SO FULL OF FEELINGS about this Micah and Drystan.


EDIT: I finished it and now I still have ALL THE FEELS.
T.L. Costa
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laura Lam has deftly crafted another fast-paced, emotional novel.
Nooooo! A cliff hanger. So glad I have the next book to read.

This is a really imaginative series and I love this latest instalment. It feels fresh and adds something to this genre.

Full Review to come on
The Review:

"“An excellent read that continues the fine form set by Pantomime, Shadowplay gets 2014 off to a great start and makes Laura Lam an unmissable author with two excellent hits. I could not put this book down, and you won’t be able to as well.”" ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

"The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.

He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach
For some reason, while my local library has a pretty extensive collection, they seem oddly lacking in books from smaller publishers and books from Bay Area writers - of which the second Micah Grey novel qualifies as both. Thankfully, Berkeley Public Library had a copy which I could special order.

Micah and Drystan spend this book in the company of magicians - similar ilk to Pantomime's circus performers, so it's not too different from the first book. However, Lam keeps things interesting with our
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The much anticipated second installment from Laura Lam. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, and was longing to read this one. I had this on order from amazon, but was too impatient to read it so I picked up a second copy from the bookstore. I do not feel that this is money wasted as I devoured the book within hours of getting a spare moment to read it. The character development in this volume showed much growth from the author as a builder. Not one aspect of the book was flat or grossly underde ...more
Vee S
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-ya, trans-ya

literally all I have to say right now.
usagi ☆ミ
I was lucky enough to do a beta read for this MS. Guys, it's going to be amazing. I loved it, and I'm so happy to have been able to be apart of it. Definitely be on the lookout for it next year!

Full review to come when things get to the ARC stage of things. :D
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four Stars: A smart, complex and intriguing series.

Micah and Drystan are in hiding after the devastating events that transpired their last night at the circus. The pair are wanted for the murder of the ringmaster. Drystan seeks shelter with an old friend Jasper Maske. Maske is a washed up magician, unable to perform magic, living in a dilapidated old theatre. Maske agrees to hide Micah and Drystan for three months. During that time, Maske will teach Drystan and Micah magic. Immediately, Micah be
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
NB Shadowplay is the sequel to Pantomime, so this review contains spoilers for that book. It is possible to read Shadowplay without having read Pantomime as the key information about events is reviewed as it is touched upon, but - even though this is better - I would recommend reading Pantomime first.

Also, this book was provided to me for no monies by the kind peoples at Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry, facilitated in this act of goodness/marketing by the mighty NetGalley.

The short non-spoilery
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, queer
Really, I don’t know why I took so long to get around to reading this trilogy. As with every other book by Lam I’ve read, the pace is great and tempts me to just sit down and read it in one go… which is more or less what I did with Shadowplay, once I picked it up. I greatly enjoyed the development of Micah and Drystan’s characters in this book, and now I’m fully on board the ship, ready to go down with all hands if necessary. The new characters introduced are fun too, and so is the fact that now ...more
Jess Jackson
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fantasy-ya
I might love this one even more than I did the second! Micha and Drystans budding romance?! swoons

We enter a different world from the first, gone is the circus and enter magic shows!
Maske is a magician who having lost a bet a number of years ago is no longer allowed to practise magic. Drystan and Maske go way back and Maske agrees to shelter them in his crumbling theatre and teach them magic, they become his students.
This leads to Maskes former enemy asking for a rematch between the two m
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so good!
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, arc, for-review
Originally posted at City of Books

I absolutely adored Laura Lam's debut novel, Pantomime, and I didn't think its sequel could top it. But man, was I wrong! Shadowplay is just as amazing, if not better. Even though the circus setting is gone, the magic is still there, and things get a whole lot more fantastical.

Laura's writing is impeccable, and that vivid magical element she had in Pantomime is still there in this one. Shadowplay picks up right where Pantomime left off, with Micah and Drystan on
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, e-book
This review originally appeared on my blog,


SHADOWPLAY picks up minutes after PANTOMIME (my book review of PANTOMIME) ends. On the run from policiers after killing the ringmaster of R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, Micah and Drystan take refuge with an old acquaintance of Drystan’s, the formerly great magician Jasper Maske.

In need of money so they can escape Ellada, Micah convinces Maske to teach them magic. Although Maske is forbidden from performing, the restriction doesn’t apply
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-not-on-shelf
Shadowplay is the sequel to Pantomime, a 2013 début that followed a run-away child who joined a circus. Although I enjoyed this book on many levels, I ultimately feel that it failed to engage me in the way that I wanted.

One of the things that contribute to this feeling is that a lot of the things I loved about the previous book simply aren't present. The dual stories of Gene and Micah were quite engaging, and this book is more concerned with the world that Micah lives in, rather than explaining
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Laura Lam's debut Pantomime so it was out of question whether I would read the sequel as soon as I could get my hands on it. And I think Shadowplay was even better than the first book. I was once again taken in quickly by the beautiful language and unique setting of Ellada.

Shadowplay picks up the story right after the showdown in the circus. Micah and Drystan are on the run from the authorities and have nowhere to go. But then Drystan remembers an old acquaintance, Jasper Maske
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Please contact me via the contact page on my website as opposed to GR mail.

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies.

After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with the partner she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted hi

Other books in the series

Micah Grey (3 books)
  • Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1)
  • Masquerade (Micah Grey, #3)

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