Leisl is bored. Sure, she can throw lightning from her fingertips, but her teachers make her copy old tomes and scrub floors rather than practice magic. Somehow this is supposed to help her learn a second element, but Leisl can’t see the connection. Her only relief is sneaking out of the cathedral, but even that lacks excitement; no one cares when she goes missing.
When The Dreamer’s Carnival rolls into town, she senses an opportunity for some fun. Careful to hide the amber embedded in her arms—the source of her magical power—she sneaks out for an adventure. Her dreams of performances and games are trumped when the charismatic ringmaster personally invites her to join the troupe, on one condition: she must decide immediately.
As the first rays of morning sun bathe the Rusajian fields, Leisl is already farther from the cathedral than she’s ever been before. Any lingering doubts about her decision vanish when she meets her new coworkers: from the bearded woman to the fire-breathing goose, she feels a sense of comradery and kinship she didn’t realize was missing.
Even the reclusive proprietor goes out of his way to greet her, though his wizened, blind monkey doesn’t share his welcome.
Leisl embraces her new life, but discovers she’s not the only one who’s keeping a secret. There is dark, terrible magic at work, and neither she nor her new friends are safe.
Follow a young woman’s escape into the bizarre world of traveling carnies, milky-eyed monkeys, and bearded old crones.
A witty and suspenseful ride into a creepy steampunk carnival with a naive heroin who has some secrets of her own.
Filled with imagination, this novella holds the reader's attention to the point it's impossible to stop turning pages.