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Peek Inside Illusions

Sav has one goal: Get close. Learn the trick. Get out. But when he discovers Thomas’s real magic is responsible for his master’s “illusions,” and Sav falls for Thomas, their forbidden romance could destroy their lives.


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Dear Thomas,

I know you're angry. It's true, I was sent to expose your mentor as a fraud illusionist, and instead I have put your secret in jeopardy. I fear I have even put your life in jeopardy. For that I can only beg your forgiveness. I've fallen for you. You know I have. And I never wanted to create a rift between us, but if it means protecting you from those who wish you dead—I'll do it. I'll do anything to keep you safe, whatever the sacrifice. Please forgive me for all I've done and what I'm about to do next. I promise, it's one magic trick no one will ever see coming.



“I LOVED THIS BOOK, THIS STORY WAS BREATHTAKING (I mean that quite literally, as a few scenes had me crying and therefore I had no breath). This book sunk into my soul and made me feel everything I was meant to.” – Nicole Jacobs, NetGalley

“I highly recommend for older teen readers and adults who like historical romance- this is definitely a worthwhile read!” – Olivia Farr, Goodreads

“I enjoyed this mysterious, magical, and romantic novel, and would recommend it to anyone looking for an enchanting LGBT read.”—Rachael NetGalley

"…an amazing story of love, and magic, and what happens when the two come together. This book would be great for fan of The Night Circus, or even a Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I highly recommend you look out for it when it hits shelves in November!” –Grace Bowling, NetGalley

“A truly wonderful and emotional LGBT romance that will keep enthralled until the very end. This book ruined me in the best way possible and I would definitely recommend reading it.” –Ashley, NetGalley

“this book definitely more than satisfied me and left me with an overall good feeling (despite almost making me cry.)” –Abbi Fricke, Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640635647
Release Date: Nov 6, 2018
Page Count: 384
Imprint: teen
Genre: fantasy, historical victorian, young adult
Tropes: coming of age/family/social issues, forbidden love/off limits, overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

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By Luupi December 01, 2018

Recently in October I had to watch "The Ilusionist" for school and this book reminded me of it so much but better since it has a more deep and moving love story.

"And though I may still have to hide from those who would intend me harm, I can at least stop hiding from one person in particular... My ...more

By Stella December 02, 2018

"All's fair in love and magic."

In a weird way, this book reminds me of The Abyss Surrounds Us. The two books are very different plot-wise, but they're alike in that, although they both have interesting premises, solid worlds, and exciting plots, we all know we're only here for the Gay.

So. Let's ...more

By Shannon November 21, 2018

Thank you to netgalley for giving me an e-ARC for an honest review.

"O, the things I tolerate to portray the ultimate illusion: love."

Thomas is a gentle soul who wants nothing more than to write poetry, but he is stuck as a magician apprentice to Neville Whiton the Great because he hides a secret: he ...more

By Nicole September 10, 2018

I LOVED THIS BOOK, THIS STORY WAS BREATHTAKING ( I mean that quite literally, as a few scenes had me crying and therefore I had no breath)

This book sunk into my soul and made me feel everything I was meant to.

Illusions Is about two magicians apprentices, one that is trying to steal a secret of the ...more

By Amelia November 12, 2018

I really enjoyed this book! It was a wonderful mixture of magic, romance, and really excellent writing. I loved how distinct the voices of the two boys were, and how genuine their connection felt. My two thumbs, they are both up. ...more

By Brooke November 23, 2018

I received this book for free from YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Welcome back lovelies! You're going to love today's feature Illusions by Madeline J. Reynolds. It's a historical m/m romance with a touch of lit ...more

By Alexandra November 11, 2018

I came to this book expecting an exciting story about the lives of magicians entertaining people in the late 1800s. As someone who loves stories about old show business, I just KNEW that I was going to love this one. What I got was so much more than what I could have ever dreamed of. 

When I started ...more

By Karyl Ahn November 10, 2018

Illusions by Madeline J Reynolds

“And here I was thinking I wouldn’t have any fun in London”

My favorite line from the ARC.

I really enjoyed this book though it was a bit surprising. It was almost as if you’d climes I to your grandparent’s attic and finding a collection of diaries, letters, news clippi ...more

By Eva November 07, 2018

take two magician's apprentices, in victorian london, and have one performing in a magic show with an inexplicable illusion and the other out to figure out how it's done, and you have the barebones of this story. illusions is told from the perspective of the two apprentices, thomas and saverio, thro ...more

By Sam March 19, 2019

I barely have enough words to express what I feel!!! This is one of the most incredible works I've ever read!!! And the ending, I thought for sure it was going to be another bury-your-gays trope, and I can describe how utterly delighted I am to find out aboit Thomas's trick!!! I really can't recomme ...more

By Ayah December 18, 2018

What a uniquely written, piece of heaven!


Illusions is written in the form of journal entries, posters, letters, newspaper snippets, and I absolutely loved that. There were lots of original poems spread throughout the story, and God they were absolutely marvelous.

A sea of people, one face I see,

A wor ...more

By Olivia September 28, 2018

"Illusions" was an enthralling historical romance with supernatural elements. The premise set up at the beginning of the book is that we are reading the historical documents held by the London Metropolitan Archives- diary entries of Thomas Pendleton and Saverio Moretti (translated), magician's appre ...more

By Ana on the Shelves October 21, 2018

If you are pondering about reading this book as a nice quick read, do it. But be aware and it’s also packed with a strong “punch of feels in the gut” and should be approached carefully.

This is the story of two magician apprentices: Thomas Pendelton and Saverio Moretti.

Thomas has a secret. He can do ...more

By Emetis January 25, 2020

“Manchester Square. What a cruel irony, that the very first place I laid eyes on my love is where I would also watch him die!”

I took my time reading this book and I am glad for it. The hard part is writing THIS, putting my feelings into words; for this book it broke my heart, put it back together an ...more

By Ashley September 18, 2018

At first, I was not sure that I would enjoy this book since it is written completely in journal format and I typically cannot get into this writing style. This was not the case when it came to Illusions! I was absolutely entranced within the first few chapters.

It is such a beautiful story set in 18 ...more

By Briana September 10, 2018

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was very hopeful and excited for this book and I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it immensely. The synopsis intrigued me, as I thought it had a similar premise to The Night Circus by Erin Morge ...more

By Lenore November 05, 2018

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

4 stars — Guess who has a crying headache now? Oh, that would be me!!! I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this one, as it’s a bit out of my wheelhouse in a couple ...more

By Carmensbookjournal January 06, 2019

What the book is about:

Illusions is about Thomas Pendleton, who works as an apprentice for the magician Neville Wighton the Great, and Saverio Moretti who works as an apprentice for Paolo Il Magnifico.

Neville and Paolo are rivals, so when Neville starts to perform a new show in London, he sends out ...more

By Aly October 16, 2018

I'm a bit conflicted on how to rate this, but for now I'll say it's 3.75/5 stars.

To start off, I'd like to say that this book is written in a journal entry format interchanging between the characters. If you aren't used to this format, it could be something you need to get used to, but it shouldn't ...more

By Rachael September 18, 2018

First and foremost, I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC of Illusions by Madeline J. Reynolds. I voluntarily read and reviewed this advanced copy; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book was not what I expected. I had heard that if you like ...more

By Ilona October 07, 2018

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC of Illusions by Madeline J. Reynolds. I voluntarily read and reviewed this advanced copy; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Illusions is a story about two magician apprentices whose lives come together in the most mag ...more

By Kat November 12, 2018

Since I read this through an eBook version, it will be interesting to see if this is another alternate formatted book. Illusions is told through two perspectives, each through written letters, pictures, and other forms to convey their stories. I think a physical copy of this book would be highly ben ...more

By C.C. January 20, 2019

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

Rival Illusionists, one more talented than the other, two apprentices eager to learn from the best but willing to do what it takes to be better than the rest - makes you wonder who will ...more

By Zanereads September 30, 2018

Thomas and Saverio are apprentices for two competing magicians. Saverio is tasked with figuring out how the competition preforms their greatest trick. To do this he gets close to Thomas, and you can probably guess that he ends up falling in love with him, and things don’t go as planned when Thomas f ...more

By Kirstian December 18, 2018

3.5 Stars

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Illusions was not the story I was expecting when I first received it. The writing consists entirely of letters and diary entries. Yeah, I did not see that coming and this is my first book written in such a style. That being sa ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.66 avg rating
Madeline J. Reynolds

About the author

Madeline J. Reynolds

Madeline J. Reynolds is a YA fantasy author living in Chicago. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a background in journalism and has always loved storytelling in its various forms. When not writing, she can be found exploring the city, eating Thai food, or lost in an epic Lord of the Rings marathon.

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