When a threat so brutal it has the force to rip the magic right out of the world takes over Vagabond Circus, everyone seeks refuge away from the big top. Finley knows he has to protect the circus he’s grown to love, and its people. But to do that he’ll have to further scar his soul. Jack is relentless to take back what was stolen from him, but in the process he becomes someone he never expected. And this acrobat, who once stole the hearts of millions, accidentally steals a heart he didn’t expect. But it is Titus who is most changed by the events at Vagabond Circus. He’s always been the fearful coward, but with a new threat bearing down on his best friend’s circus he knows he has to invent the courage to become a new man. Zuma watches from the sidelines as the people she loves grow in an effort to save one of the most important ventures in the world.
In this final installment to the Vagabond Circus series, deals will be made, futures tampered with, and everyone’s hearts broken. But the question that will keep the troupe of this circus going is precisely the same one that will plague readers. Can Dr. Dave Raydon’s circus be saved? And if it can’t, then is everything around it doomed?
***I received the ARC ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review***
You’d think I would grow used to seeing ‘The End’ in Noffke’s books (you might even think I wouldn’t get overly emotional and have it introduce a book hangover), it’s possible you’d also think that with Released being her 10th published work she’d go easy on her readers (by not being so trigger happy for example). And if so, you’d think wrong. Which is why I love this book.
After Paralyzed, the Vagabond Circus may be back in town but its way of making people believe has been replaced with instilling fear. The tone has changed to something sinister and the events were downright cruel, both on and off stage. Characters are struggling to stay alive, never mind tend to wounds and broken hearts. Together they have to find the strength to save their family.
The story has always been about more than just Zuma and Finley and it’s never been more evident than when everyone is at risk. I loved seeing into the minds of other characters, where their personalities came through the writing clear as day. In a way it welcomed me to the family as well. Of course not everyone is pleasant… I can think of someone in particular that freaked me out *cough*Sebastian*cough* and another that is sure to be one of the best villains I’ve ever read about *cough*Knight*cough*.
That said, Zuma and Finley’s relationship still has my heart. Every tortured glance hurt like nothing else and every moment of triumph brought with it a feeling of elation that didn’t end (until another tortured glance obviously because as we’ve established Noffke loves to make fangirl hearts suffer!). Just like everything else it was one hell of a rollercoaster and I’m going to miss experiencing it. Encore!
After everything that happened in the 3 books, I’m so damn happy that not only was the ending satisfying for me as a reader by tying everything up beautifully but for me as someone who has come to care deeply for the characters by giving them the opportunities for long lives filled with love. Many were lost along the way (and boy did that hurt) but the magic of the Vagabond Circus lives on.
“You don’t hide when there’s a threat. You fight. You stand up to the bully. You bring them down with your pure unyielding spirit. And you never allow them to hold you down.”
“When a thought doesn’t have any power it can no longer control a person. And that’s mostly what an ailment is. A thought.”
“Love is really the most beautiful show. It can’t rehearsed. It can’t be planned. It is the product of magic. It is what Vagabond Circus is all about.”