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By Gary Jennings

A picaresque novel concerning the adventures of a 19th-century circus, from the embittered post-Civil battle South to the glittering and decadent capitals and courts of Europe. From the bestselling writer of Aztec and The Journeyer.

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Correct after i ended my flip within the ring, Jules Rouleau stated he well known me for being ambiguous, while all I had performed was—" "Ah, well... Monsieur Roulette," stated Florian, and shrugged back. "It's every body and every thing. One minute it really is useful company, like discovering nutrition and fodder. And honest emotions, like yours approximately that couplet. And the subsequent minute we are dealing in natural fantasticality. From genuine to unreal. Oughtn't even a circus to be something or the opposite? " Florian contemplated for your time, and at last pointed and acknowledged, "Look there. " Clover Lee had washed out her latest-used dress and was once pinning it as much as dry. The solar used to be simply taking place, and its point amber beams struck multicolored sparks and splinters of sunshine from the léotard the woman used to be placing there. Florian acknowledged, "That garment is embellished with sewn-on sequins, brilliants, spangles, no matter what you want to name them. each one of these is a thing—an entity—it exists—it is a tiny, skinny flake of bright-tinted steel. within the circus ring, lower than sunbeam or limelight, it displays a pointy flicker of colour. And a circus viewers, no longer being very as regards to the performer donning it, sees purely these coruscations of purple and gold and eco-friendly and blue. Now inform me, Zachary, that is extra actual. The flake of inert steel or the colourful glint of colour? make a decision that, and you will have spoke back your individual questions. additionally, you may be good as a way to turning into a thinker of a few eminence. " Florian stood up, dusted the seat of his trousers and, earlier than he went away, stated back, "Which is extra genuine? The spangle or the flicker? " nine probably if the following morning were the type to remind a guy that the life like global is a jagged and granular position of harsh weathers, dreary tasks, wan hopes and inevitable disillusionments, side could have waked nonetheless in his temper of perplexity, and he may need deserted the circus then and there. however the day dawned so unrealistically spangled with mild and sweetness that the realm appeared a delightful position and brimful of promise. The dawn became the sky a rosy crimson, fluffed with little clouds as white as innocence, and their shadows placed dapples of emerald at the usual eco-friendly fields, dapples of sapphire at the traditional blue mountains. The balmy air could have been borrowed from may well, and the new-leaved bushes in every single place twinkled like tinsel. Even the cemetery subsequent to the fairground seemed festive, what with the tulips, hyacinths and jonquils the folks had piled at the graves days sooner than. And area felt on his face that previous primary breeze that blows regularly from the a long way areas and beckons: "come see what i've got obvious. " They have been hitting the line early this morning. the subsequent giant city to the north was once Staunton, a few thirty miles away, and Florian desired to make it in a single day's run. So the massive best have been torn down the evening sooner than, and the wagons choked with the heavier items. Now many of the males have been stowing the previous few goods and harnessing the horses, sometimes pausing to snatch one of many hotcakes and rashers of fried fatback the ladies cooked and passed out in relays.

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