This was a book I won in a Library Thing Members Giveaway in return for a review.
The Fading Dusk by Melissa Giorgio is a novel of magic. Irina is a magician’s assistant to Bantheir and she feels very unappreciated. It seems all she does is support and clean-up functions; Bantheir doesn’t really include her in anything. She has picked up some of the magic tricks which, as she tells colleagues, are not really magic; they are illusions. Sometimes Bantheir strikes up friendships with some admiring audience members. When an attractive couple invited him to meet them for dinner, Bantheir did not invite her to accompany him. Instead, he instructed her to return home and to invite no one in with her. She didn’t really invite the two men who broke into the house and almost killed her. She didn’t invite the soldiers who fortuitously arrived to save her. And she hadn’t planned to be taken to prison where she was threatened with charges of being an accomplice to almost six murders, all committed by Bantheir.
Irina resisted the charges and could not believe Bantheir would do such a thing. He had rescued her from the Slums, the poorest section of Dusk when she was very young. He had set her up in a house with him in Way, the middle-class section of Dusk and given her training as a magician’s assistant. He had always been very kind to her and she emphasized this over and over to Leonid, a soldier captain and her jailer, who also happened to be very handsome. Although Leonid was under pressure from a city councilman to solve the murders, he wasn’t completely sure Bantheir was guilty. The only way to find out for sure about Bantheir was to enlist the aid of Irina, who Leonid insisted on calling Lark.
Irina (Lark), Leonid and trusted friend Vernen begin an investigation of all the crime scenes. Leonid hopes that Lark’s viewing of the scenes will produce a new perspective and new clues as to who is actually guilty. What was the motivation behind the killing? This is revealed, it is not a surprise. The prize is immortality. In this novel, immortality’s name is The Essence. It is not only one character that pursues The Essence. The reader soon finds out that magic is real and it is possessed by several characters, some good, some bad.
This novel is about magic. It could almost be a fairytale. Like a fairytale, it has a happy ending … almost. There is an interesting twist at the end that leaves a thinly disguised reason for why the story should go on in a sequel. That is OK because the writing in this book is that of a pleasingly told tale. YA genre, but the story can be enjoyed by all ages.