A review by Maria.
I would like to give author Melissa Giorgio a big thank you for letting me read and review her new novel, The Fading Dusk.
It’s been awhile since the last time I found a novel which I couldn’t stand to put down. This book became one I couldn’t bear to stop reading because I had needed so badly to see how it finished. It was captivating, refreshing, mystical, romantic, mysterious, and had me alternating between laughing and sobbing many times!
The Fading Dusk starts with seventeen-year-old orphan Irina working as an assistant to her provider, the street magician, Bantheir. An aggressive man confronts her after one of their shows saying Bantheir has stolen something from him. When that man follows her home and breaks in, Irina’s world turns upside down. Surly, mysterious Captain Leonid saves her life, then arrests her, imprisons her and demands to know Bantheir’s whereabouts. He accuses Bantheir of being a mass murderer. Irina stubbornly clings to her faith in the street magician; the man who had saved her from the streets at a young age, fed her, provided a roof over her head, and made her his assistant. Both Irina and Leonid seek to prove Bantheir’s innocence or guilt before more people are killed.
Irina proved to be a capable and interesting main character. She was orphaned and left to fend for herself at a young age. She’s able to be smart and fight both times she was attacked in the book. She has street smarts and will do anything to protect herself and the people she loves. I enjoyed her compassion, brains, and genuine reactions to so many things changing in her life at once.
Leonid was a mystery. A young man who rose quickly through the prison’s ranks to Captain. He has a mysterious benefactor and keeps many secrets. He is gruff, abrupt, but also is kind and smart. He treats Irina well as a prisoner and saves Irina both from his commander’s malice and when she’s attacked in the prison. He’s attractive and a man on a mission. The officer’s under his command respect him. His best friend sings his praises. He’s compassionate and withholds judgment. The more Irina gets to know him, the more she likes him. He grew into one of my favorite leading male characters.
I have few complaints about this novel. The pacing and length made it go by quickly. The writing was excellent and made me feel fully inside the story. I could feel the poverty, dirt, and hunger of the streets and the dankness of the prison. This novel was addicting and kept the surprises and twists coming. However, I didn’t like how the majority of the book was spent in the prison. I would have liked to see more of Irina’s world outside the prison.
This novel is appropriate for teens and adults alike. I am eager to read future books in this series.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
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(Smoke and Mirrors, #1)
Publication date: July 19th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
In the gritty city of Dusk, seventeen-year-old Irina makes her living as the street magician Bantheir’s assistant. The job isn’t glamorous, but she loves the crowds, the shows, and most of all, the illusion of magic. But Irina’s world is shattered the night she is arrested and charged as Bantheir’s accomplice to murder—murder by magic.
Real magic, the kind that’s been forbidden since the old wars.
Irina finds the idea of flashy showman Bantheir using actual magic to kill someone laughable, but she’s the only one who sees how ridiculous the claim is. But how can she convince everyone Bantheir is innocent when they’ve already made up their minds? Desperate, Irina must decide who she can trust to help her win her freedom. Is the surly, handsome Captain Leonid telling the truth when he says he believes Irina is innocent, or is he just using her to get to Bantheir? What about Aden, the sweet soldier and longtime fan of Irina’s who claims he’s on her side?
Irina said she wanted to know the truth, but when she stumbles across a dark secret that changes everything, will she be strong enough to survive?