The daughter of a famous Las Vegas magician wants an illusionist career of her own more than she wants to go to college.
Moira's stage magician dad is adamant that his 18-year-old daughter will never be on the stage, so she runs away to join the circus. At the Cirque American (which also hosted the companion novel Girl on a Wire, 2015), Moira begins as a lowly midway performer. Her escape artistry, practiced in secret and never tested before an audience, must be stellar before she'll be invited to perform in the big top. Luckily for Moira, her tricks are astounding—with the added spice of a newly discovered talent for magic. From tarot-reading Nan, Moira learns of the Praestigae: the semimagical traveling con artists whence Moira herself must have originated, presumably through her long-lost mother. Lo and behold, a pale-skinned redhead who looks much like Moira herself arrives on cue at the Cirque American, issuing dire warnings for Moira to abandon her magic. But without magic, can Moira continue to add difficulty to her escalating hair-raising escapes? Can she save the requisite tanned and pretty bad boy, with his eyes that "flash like pennies tossed into the air," from his own demons?
The characters are mere flat sketches, but with a magical circus girl who escapes from chains while dangling from a burning rope off a Ferris wheel, does it matter? (Fantasy. 13-16)