Bacchanal by Veronica Henry is an Adult Historical Fantasy story of a carnival, magic, and demons.
Evil lives in a traveling carnival roaming the Depression-era South. But the carnival’s newest act, a peculiar young woman with latent magical powers, may hold the key to defeating it. Her time has come.
Abandoned by her family, alone on the wrong side of the color line with little to call her own, Eliza Meeks is coming to terms with what she does have. It’s a gift for communicating with animals. To some, she’s a magical tender. To others, a she-devil. To a talent prospector, she’s a crowd-drawing oddity. And the Bacchanal Carnival is Eliza’s ticket out of the swamp trap of Baton Rouge.
Among fortune-tellers, carnies, barkers, and folks even stranger than herself, Eliza finds a new home. But the Bacchanal is no ordinary carnival. An ancient demon has a home there too. She hides behind an iridescent disguise. She feeds on innocent souls. And she’s met her match in Eliza, who’s only beginning to understand the purpose of her own burgeoning powers.
Only then can Eliza save her friends, find her family, and fight the sway of a primordial demon preying upon the human world. Rolling across a consuming dust bowl landscape, Eliza may have found her destiny.
I absolutely love carnival and circus stories, which made this one an auto-add to my TBR. Added to the fact that it is a fantasy background was even more exciting!
Set during 1930s (American Great Depression era) in the Deep South, we follow the a young Black woman who is just trying to find a place she fits in and discover just what her secret magic is all about (she can communicate with animals). But when circumstances become dicey and she joins a traveling carnival with an unknown darkness, her world miraculously turns even more upside down venturing through her magic and powerful demons.
In the end, this was a somewhat jumbled story to review. While I LOVED the plot, magic system, lies and deceit, the writing itself wasn’t my favorite. It had that choppy, staggered feeling that sometimes was hard to follow. But the content it presented was still fun to explore.
There are also moments that were harder to read pertaining to the treatment she receives by some of the characters: gore, violence.
I gave this one a 3 out of 5 stars.
More Book Info
Published: 1 June 2021
Genre: Adult Historical, Fantasy
How I Read It: Hardcover from Wunderkind PR
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
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