03 March 2017

Historical & Suspenseful | The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron


Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them...or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.


With the art of illusion at its center, The Illusionist’s Apprentice delivers a richly historical and suspenseful read. From the first page to the last, it transports readers into the Jazz Age’s vaudeville scene with excellent detail and imagination and shares an attention-grabbing story full of intriguing secrets.

As the former apprentice of the renowned Harry Houdini, Wren Lockhart skillfully manages the art of illusion, both on stage and in her life. When she must become involved in an illusion-gone-wrong investigation with FBI agent Elliot Matthews, she proves to be a wonderfully complex and purposefully guarded character—the more I discovered about her, the more I enjoyed her as a character (and in her relationship with Elliot).

And not to be forgotten is, of course, the well-incorporated spiritual element. Through all the drama and character development, author Kristy Cambron weaves an underlying theme addressing truth and illusion, light versus dark. Plus, she expresses faith in a way I very much appreciated through her characters and their circumstances.

So, fascinating history, thoughtful characters, gripping suspense, encouraging faith… The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a wholly and superbly interesting novel, and fans of historical fiction should definitely read it. It’s been one of my highly anticipated novels this year, and I’m so glad Kristy Cambron hasn’t yet failed to wow me with her novels. I loved The Illusionist’s Apprentice and highly recommend it.


Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, I received a complimentary copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. This one looks and sounds SO good. Looking forward to reading it this summer post INSPYs. Glad it earned a five-star review from you, Hallie - thanks for the great review. :)

    1. Aw, thanks for stopping by, Rissi! I hope you enjoy this lovely book when you get the time to read it.