Title: The Snake Charm (Vestigial Tales #1)
Author: Laura Lam
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Synopsis: 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 Snake Charm
“To most, Drystan was just another buffoon in the collective of clowns. But behind the inane grin, he saw everything, keeping the secrets he discovered close, like precious gems to barter.”
Mutiny is brewing in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. When Linden, the leader of the clowns steals one of the ringmaster’s most prized possessions, Drystan, the white clown, finds himself caught in the middle. Tasked with retrieving the Lethe, he’s forced to betray Linden or risk his troubled past coming to light. But the Vestige artifact has its own history and its own power. Drystan will learn what it can really do, and who it can hurt.
Vestigial Tales are stories set in the world of the award-nominated Micah Grey series. Step behind the circus ring from Pantomime, the theatre of Shadowplay, and more…
Review: I love Pantomime and Shadowplay, and I was so excited to learn that Laura was writing a series of short stories to tell the background stories of some of the other characters! Especially since the first one, The Snake Charm, is about Drystan. He's my favorite character in the series so far, and I loved learning more about him!
The Snake Charm takes place before Micah joins the circus, so it introduces a couple of characters that weren't in the circus when Pantomime starts. It was fun to learn about them even if they don't make it to the books, and to see how the circus ends up the way it does. There are also parts of Drystan's past that are discussed that are not mentioned in the other books, and it totally makes sense why when you read this story.
I think my favorite part of this story was learning more about the Vestige though. They're kind of talked about in the books, but it's always very mysterious and there's never very much detail about any of the Vestige. I mean, there are a couple that play a huge part in the books. But the Lethe is by far the most interesting one so far! It's dangerous and aptly named, and I love that it looks like a snake charm since many of the people in the circus possess serpent-like qualities.
If you've read Pantomime and Shadowplay, I would definitely recommend this story to you. It expands the world of Ellada and the characters a little bit more and is short enough that you can read it fairly quickly. I'm looking forward to more Vestigial Tales to hold me over until the next book, and especially to learning more about the Vestige artifacts and some of the minor characters! Laura Lam's writing is absolutely gorgeous, and The Snake Charm is another example of her brilliant work. A 5/5!