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The Snake Charm

(Vestigial Tales #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell…

The Snake Charm

“To most, Drystan was just another buffoon in the collective of clowns. But b
ebook, 37 pages
Published June 2014 by Penglass Publishing
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  137 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Laura Lam
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This story is now PERMAFREE on Kindle! Please give it a download if you fancy reading about a Circus of Magic.

This is the first in my series of short stories and novellas set in the same world as the Micah Grey novels. As with my other "reviews" on Goodreads, here's some pictorial hints...

It stars Drystan, the white clown from Pantomime & Shadowplay, but can be read even if you haven't picked those up.

It's set in R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic before Micah Grey joined

It features a Vestig
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
You can currently download this for free from Smashwords here or read it online via Wattpad here

I'm a huge fan of Laura Lam's Micha Grey series, she created such an interesting world where magic is no longer a constant thing but instead lives on in rare artefacts known as Vestige. These artefacts often have dangerous powers but you never know what will happen until you actually try to use one. Laura has created this spin off series to tell the stories of some of these Vestige items, some of the
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Another review of this said that you can read it without having read Pantomime and Shadowplay, but I'm not sure of that; I think I might've preferred to start with those two, after all. Still, it gives a nice taster of the world and some of the things that're out there -- and, I gather, some of the characters. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Drystan, and exploring this world more.

I did feel like I was at a disadvantage, though, not knowing the world already. You can pick up on the key term
David Macarthur
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Can you imagine a dwarf knocking out a mammoth? That’s what The Snake Charm is; small but packs a punch. You get sucked in right away with character descriptions that make you feel like you know them but that you have more to find out and more importantly leaving you wanting to find out more.

I still need to read Pantomime (I know I’m a bit behind right?) but was told this would stand fine on its own and even as a bit of an introduction and it’s certainly done that, leaving me wanting to get back
Leontiy Cristea
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read a very early draft of this - and it is a wonderful story. I'm excited to buy it and read it in all its polished and shining glory. I'm eagerly anticipating more Vestigial stories from the very gorgeously-named "Penglass Publishing".

Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
When I first head about Laura Lam's decision to self-publish a collection of Vestigial Tales, I was incredibly excited. I love the world she created in Pantomime and Shadowplay. I loved the characters and Vestige and I couldn't wait to read more and find out every bit of new information about this world that I could...

And The Snake Charm did not disappoint. This story focuses on Drystan, the White Clown, before Micah Grey shows up at RH Ragona's Circus of Magic. It tells this story of unrest amo
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
*throws ALL THE STARS at it*

THE SNAKE CHARM IS SO GOOD. It's like a smaller scale version of "Pantomime", a quick read (maybe 2 hours) but with the same twists, turns, atmosphere and fight scenes.

It's also completely standalone, and if you haven't read Laura's "Pantomime" I'd read this first -- it adds even more depth to the circus members.
J.B. Rockwell
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fans of 'Pantomime' and 'Shadowplay' will love this story and the chance to get some backstory and a standalone adventure involving one of the central characters of both books. And if you haven't read the books, you'll want to after you read this. Can't wait for the next 'Vestigial Tale' so I can gobble it up! ...more
Cordelia Cosier
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laura Lam returns to the world of the Micah Grey series for this short tale about Drystan. It’s set before the first book in the series, during his time as the white clown at R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. Lam created such a rich and vibrant world in Pantomime, so it was an absolute joy to go back and see all of these characters again (even if some appear for only the briefest of moments!) But don’t think this is just a nostalgia-fest - these characters are just as complex and nuanced as they we ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love it when authors write short stories or novellas to accompany their books but I always wish they were longer!! I was really getting into this story, & I was being reminded of how much I fancy Drystan, & then it finished so now I'm sad.

This was a fab little story though & really reinforced how I already felt about the characters! Sometimes I really wish I could escape to the world of this series because I love it so, so much.
Tom Loock
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
Clearly an event cut from Pantomime that was edited out for a reason. If it serves any purpose than it is a bit of background on Drystan, one of the main characters from the trilogy.
I have read and enjoyed the trilogy and had hoped the 'Vestigial Tales' would enrich the books, but this one was lukewarm and disappointing.
The other four volumes are apparently 20 - 78 pages long and I'm not tempted to spend (the current asking price of) £2 for them, sorry!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
You'll need to read Lam's Pantomime to appreciate the skilled characterization and interplay in this short novella. Both are worthwhile. ...more
Ashley Ferguson
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Pantomime and Shadowplay, and I was so excited to learn that Laura was writing a series of short stories to tell the background stories of some of the other characters! Especially since the first one, The Snake Charm, is about Drystan. He's my favorite character in the series so far, and I loved learning more about him!

The Snake Charm takes place before Micah joins the circus, so it introduces a couple of characters that weren't in the circus when Pantomime starts. It was fun to learn a
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Laura Lam can write about a clown and make me not throw my Kindle away in fear. That, my friends, is a skill and a half.

Not only that, but with The Snake Charm (and indeed, with the first two full-length books in her Pantomime series, ifyouhaven’treadthemdoitnow) she’s given me that most lovely joy of joys – a character I love. Drystan Hornbeam won me over pretty much at once, and over the course of two books I’ve swooned, cheered and declared my grabby-hands desire for more of him. So, naturall
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Review Taken From The Pewter Wolf

In a prequel (of sorts) of Pantomime (if you haven't read it, Read it! It's SO GOOD!), we discover the events at R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic that happened before Micah Grey joined. The white clown, Drystan, acts like an idiot, but it watches. Behind the smile, is a man who knows and hides secrets. So when the leader of the clowns, Linden, steals something precious from the cruel ringmaster, Drystan finds himself caught in the middle and he must face a choice: b
Nicole Field
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Drystan is a man who is sure of himself, sure of his place within the circus and incredibly observant. He makes no enemies and he is trusted by other clowns in the circus, most especially Lindon and Jive.

When Lindon shares with them a plan to overthrow the current ringmaster, Drystan is intrigued until said ringmaster threatens him with his own past and his family. To escape that, Drystan goes to steal back the piece of Vestige from Lindon, except it doesn't go as he planned.

I went into this s
Nancy O'Toole
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Snake Charm is the first in a series of short stories/novellas that tie into Laura Lam's Pantomime series. This story focuses on the character of Drystan before we meet him in Pantomime. One thing I really enjoyed about The Snake Charm was getting back into the circus setting. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the magic show aspect of Shadowplay just as much, but I still missed the circus. It was also nice to get to see Drystan pre-Micah, and to get into his head for a little while. Having alrea ...more
Samina The Story Devourer
It is no secret that I adore Laura Lam’s Pantomime Series. The Snake Charm is a novella set in the same world and revolves around a incident involving Drystan before Micah join R. H Ragona’s Circus.

This novella may be short but it packs a punch. It gives an insight in Drystan world before Micah appears in the scene. The original series is told in Micah’s view point but this novella is tell what Drystan is thinking and what kind of person he is.

I’ll have to hand it to Laura Lam that she has an un
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales are novellas that I've been meaning to read for the longest time. I'm a huge fan of Laura's novels so I was really looking forward to immersing myself further in her world. The Snake Charm is the first novella and it gives you more of an insight into Drystan, the White Clown and his life prior to Micah's joining of R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic. This was a quick and easy read but oh so captivating at the same time. I was instantly transported back into Lam's world and ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend reading “The Snake Charm"! Once again, Lam has transported me to the magical world of Ellada and the mysteries and intrigues of a circus set in this world. The short story can be read before or after reading the novel Pantomime. Either way, “The Snake Charm” gives an in-depth look at two characters, Bil, the greedy and unethical ringmaster, and Drystan, the white clown, who is one of my favorite characters in the Micah Grey series. “The Snake Charm” describes how Dyrstan becom ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014, shorts
At 42 pages, this is a short story that takes place in the circus (R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic) that we see in the first book of the series, but set before Micah joins. This revolves around Drystan (a fan favourite to be sure) and the awful and unethical ringmaster Bil, but also introduces the reader to a couple of characters that are long gone before Micah's path meets that of the circus.

Reading about circuses is always infectious and this does an excellent job of spellbinding the reader - it
Diana Sousa
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was delightful to go back to the world of Pantomime and Shadowplay, specially at Drystan's side. It was good to know more about him before Micah showed up, to have a glimpse at what he went through when he got to the Circus. To read his thoughts, his worries.

But there's also a darker streak in this short story. The way a Vestige is used gives us more depth to the backstory of certain characters, and as evil as this revelation was, I really liked how it was done, how it explains certain detail
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019

The pros: I really enjoyed this story. Drystan is one of the characters who has the most interesting backstory from the trilogy, so it was great to get a story about something that happened to him previously. It added more information about the vestige artefacts and about the magic and the world in general, behind the main story.

The cons: The only criticism I'll really have about any of these stories is that they're just too short to be fully invested in, but that's just my preference!

Emily Casella
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-books
It was great getting a glimpse back into the beautiful setting. It was also nice seeing Drystan again. I liked the little hints of the old cast. I missed the circus so it was lovely to hear about again. Lam has a knack at writing that is just addicting and consumes you. Also the beach with Frit. Almost heartbreaking.
Dumpy Unicorn
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Snake Charm is a short story set in Laura Lam's Ellada world prior to the events of Pantomime and Shadowplay.

Without giving too much away this is the story of how Drystan got to be the leader of the clowns in the circus of magic.

It is a compact story with a lot to add to the characters of Bil, Frit and the clowns.

I am really looking forward to the other Vestigal tales.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
We get to return to the circus in the first of Laura Lam's short stories set in the same world as Pantomime. This one follows Drystan the white clown, in the days before he met Micah. It doesn't contain any spoilers for the novels but I still think you'll get the most out of it after reading Pantomime. ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you've read Pantomime (Also by Laura Lam) then do yourself a favour and pick this up. I wasn't sure what to expect as I don't read a lot of short stories but this provided more context to Pantomime while also being a great side edition to the world Laura Lam has created. It also completely gutted me. I cannot wait to read the other short stories. ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book was nice and short and incredibly heartbreaking (especially when you consider everything drystan has probably been through already). it was great to learn a little more about people, meet some of the characters we had gotten the chance to in the first book, and it was nice to see how the dynamic of the circus works through drystan's who is definitely more observant than micah was. ...more
Sheila Averbuch
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing from a master of language, but sorry, clowns creep me out.
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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

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Vestigial Tales (5 books)
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