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The Card Sharp

(Vestigial Tales #4)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  18 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 Card Sharp

“He always mourned that moment, when the high began to fade. It was like he mo
ebook, 53 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Penglass Publishing
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, 2014-book-books
This was a very enjoyable addition to an excellent series. If you've read Shadowplay, you'll already know the general idea of the story, but that doesn't detract at all from the reading experience. As in the other Vestigial Tales, it was interesting to learn more about the characters and the world of Micah Grey. ...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
I've absolutely loved reading these Vestigial Takes and immersing myself again in the amazing world of Laura Lam's. The Card Sharp has definitely been a favourite as it features more back story for one if my favourite characters, Drystan Hornbeam. In this we see him living as a Lerium addict/Lerium dealer and how meeting another card player changed his life for the better. Absolutely beautiful writing as always and I lapped up every little detail. ...more
The Card Sharp is the fourth of Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales set in the world of her Micha Grey series. Its technically a prequel as it shows events from before Pantomime but because it features a character not introduced to the series until Shadowplay I think you're better off reading it after that book when it will have more meaning to you.

This is the second chance we've had to delve into Drystan's past but this takes us back to events before The Snake Charm and before Drystan ever became the w
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This last story in Laura Lam’s ‘Vestigial Tales’ collection was one I’d especially been looking forward to, and it didn’t disappoint me. Ever since picking up her first novel, Pantomime, I’ve been fascinated by the character of Drystan. With this story, along with ‘The Snake Charm’, I get what I’ve wanted from the get-go – more of his background. That said, now I want even more!

Taken on its own, this is a sharply paced novella, as lean and immediately intriguing as the rest. Set before the event
Nancy O'Toole
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Card Sharp is the fourth and final short story in Vestigial Tales, a series of tie-in shorts for the Pantomime series by Laura Lam. Much like the first short story in the series, The Snake Charm, The Card Sharp chooses to show a piece of Drystan's past. This piece is his time as a Lerium addict and dealer, a particularly low point in his life, and his efforts to climb up from that low point.

The Card Sharp was a really enjoyable read to me, especially having only read Shadowplay just a few mo
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I genuinely cannot get enough of Laura Lam's writing. The Card Sharp is yet another wonderfully written and insightful novella in the Vestigial Tales series and it's neck and neck favourite with The Tarot Reader. Drystan is another of my favourite characters from Laura's Pantomime series so I was really excited to delve back into the characters history and to learn even more about them. Drystan's a character that's fascinated me from the word go so to be given even more of a backstory to him was ...more
Dumpy Unicorn
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am very much in love with the Micah Grey series. I think the setting of Ellada is vividly realised and I'm really looking forward to the third instalment. I have been an avid reader of the Vestigal Tales because I wanted to know more history and background of the characters and I have been enchanted by them.

The Card Sharp is no less enchanting. It features Drystan who is My favourite character and it was lovely to see more of his history even if that story was painful at times.

I won't reveal
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020

The pros: This was another story about Drystan and his backstory, and is tied with The Tarot Reader as my favourite of these short stories set in the universe of the Micah Grey trilogy. This tells us so much more about his live as a Lerium addict which is regularly talked about in the books but since they're from Micah's perspective, we never dive that deep into it, so I really appreciate that it's done here.

The cons: I don't have much criticism for this one, it's very successful for what
Destiny A.
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Drystan, and his story

I adore the writing of Laura Lam, first and foremost. The characters are so Human, and the stories are so engaging, that it's impossible not to be hooked.
I love that Drystan chose to change, and that there's a story on the insights of that change, the kindness and love that fostered it, and the growth of the characters that helps flesh them out that much more. I desperately (and selfishly) wish there was more of the Micah Grey Series, and these characters because I
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This quick read was a great addition to the Micah Grey series & the Vestigial Tales as it really helped flesh out Drystan's past and how he ended up at R. H. Ragona's Circus. We learn more about when Drystan was a drug addict & dealer, as well as his time as a frequent gambler & how a very special man managed to save him from that world. Fans of Drystan will absolutely love this short story! ...more
Emily Casella
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Crud, now I want to re-read all three novels again. Even though I've read Pantomime like four times. BUT this, I was not expecting a back story. But I got all emotional because Drystan life journey. I love this world too much. ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf

The fourth novella in the Vestigial Tales collection, a collection of short stories set within Laura Lam's Micah Grey trilogy, this follows Drystan before he became the White Clown at R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic. Here, he's a Lerium addict struggling on the streets of Imachara. But when a mysterious woman gives him a new life, Drystan jumps at it without a second thought. But when he did, he fell into the dark underbelly of the capital, Ellada, where he has to
Nicole Field
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In The Card Sharp, we are introduced to a much younger, reckless and ill considered Drystan, addicted to Lerium and playing cards on the side.

When he comes to realise fellow card player Jasper Maske is also a card sharp, it becomes his goal to learn how to make use of that craft. Maske is, understandably, not particularly willing to share the details of his craft, but through blackmail and manipulation, Drystan is able to convince him.

But first, Maske convinces Drystan to come off the drug tha
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014, shorts
Another story set around Drystan, this time, before he found the circus. This is in his dark past when he was addicted to a drug known in the story as Lerium. We see what else he was involved in - dark deals where he has to balance his loyalties on a very fine wire.

This is a sadder piece, where we get to see Drystan at his lowest but we also then get to appreciate how far he's come by the time the end of the second book, Shadowplay, lies finished in our laps.

Like all the short stories/novellas i
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another Vestigal Tale, this one a prequel to Pantomime following Drystan and how he ended up at R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. The runaway is a Lerium addict, dependent on those who supply the drugs and stuck in an unsavoury relationship. This is his story of how he cleaned up and got out as well as connecting the links to characters in the novels. These novellas and shorts are really making me more impatient for another full novel.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excited to read how Drystan and Maske met, but I had the strange feeling that this short didn't quite fit in with the story as told in the books. Wonder if the Spiders will make an appearance in the next book. Can't wait to read more. ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great background piece
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
loved it. I have found out more about two of my favourite characters and background on my favourite character in general. this has my juices flowing for the next book.
Morgan P
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Mar 30, 2015
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Jun 14, 2016
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Laura Lam
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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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

Vestigial Tales (5 books)
  • The Snake Charm
  • The Fisherman's Net
  • The Tarot Reader
  • The Mechanical Minotaur

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