Overcoming The Darkness
The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron is a wonderful Christian historical novel. It is set in the early part of the twentieth century moving from Boston to London and back again. Kristy Cambron weaves a fabulous story that had me hooked from the start. Fact and fiction bump into each other within the book’s pages.
The novel is told over several different time periods as the action bounces backwards and forwards. The reader is teased bit by bit as more of Wren’s background is revealed.
Wren is an unconventional woman of her time. A modern thinker with a caring attitude who flourishes in a man’s world. Her blend was most appealing.
The novel deals with the theme of trust and risk. Within her job as an illusionist, Wren naturally faces risk and trust issues daily. Within her personal life, Wren must also learn to trust.
Faith and trust go hand in hand. Wren presents impossible feats to her audience who cannot believe their eyes. Wren knows she must trust the unseen and step out in faith. “My faith must always be stronger than what my eyes can see.”
Throughout there is the motif of darkness and light. Wren knows “we had a duty… to carry light everywhere we go.” As Christians we are to shine our lights in a dark world. “If there was no darkness, there would be no opportunity for light to overcome it.”
The novel has the difficult theme of domestic abuse, alcoholism and secrets. Secrets in the dark can contribute to a character’s downfall. The theme of forgiveness ties in to this. “It was her choice… whether she’d carry the burden of bitterness… or allow truth to soothe the gaping wounds.” Bitterness can lead to a spiritual death. This theme links with the power of the past to wound and destroy present and future happiness if not dealt with. “Even now… the pain could still… pulse raw under the surface.” God needs to help us heal by dealing with our pain and our bitterness.
The wonderful bond of a mother for her daughters is shown. This bond is replicated in the unfailing and trusting love the sisters have for each other. It was beautiful to witness.
In contrast there is the theme of betrayal. Betrayal hurts especially when it seems to be ‘friendly fire.’
The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a cracking novel. Kristy Cambron always writes wonderful stories that draw her reader in from the start. I love her books and cannot recommend them highly enough.
A fabulous plotline, wonderful and warm characters – the elements combine to produce a wonderful book.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.