As news of publishing house Strange Chemistry’s demise widens, its writers are left in a perplexing position, but Laura Lam has taken it all in her stride and decided to go the self-publication route through Kindle Direct Publishing, bringing out the prequel to Pantomime and Shadowplay, The Snake Charm: A Vestigial Tale.
Those familiar with the stories of Micah Grey and Drystan the White Clown will already know about their stories – or do they? Whilst we are with Micah from the beginning, the protagonist of Pantomime explains who Micah is and how he got to his position in the circus, and why in Shadowplay he performs as part of an illusionist group, but Drystan’s history is still unknown. What we do know is that he is bisexual, ran away from a powerful and influential family, and is therefore nimble with his mind as well as his body. He helped haze Micah when he first joined the circus, hiding Micah’s as they joined the illusionist circuit after the death of their former ringmaster. The Snake Charm explains the hatred that was going on prior to Pantomime and even gives an explanation as to why nothing happened.
The Snake Charm is a true prequel in every sense – it explains what happens with Drystan, reveals new information about his endeavours at the circus, and even goes into further detail about what Drystan is all about and the circus itself. The downside with this is the abuse of the Fantasy genre, which is to use things like technology, magic and superpowers to come up with a completing loop where anything can happen and no impacting circumstances are wrought because a memory wipe is used, or it was all a dream. But then prequels are designed for fans of a series, and are not expected to be points of entry for people not interested already. If Pantomime didn’t grab you and force you to love Micah, and Shadowplay didn’t bug you with how much there ISNT being told about the world he lives in, then The Snake Charm will hold little for you. If like us, you find the stories of characters forced to run away from their places in society stature due to not being able to fit in enthralling, this will grab your interest.
The plot of The Snake Charm is almost inconsequential as a result, as it informs the reader of more of the character history of a main, yet less known about, character, Drystan. Excellently told in Laura Lam’s imaginative style, it deals with why Drystan hated Bill, the circus owner and one of the antagonists of Pantomime, so much.
With such a small amount of literature at your hands (for a speedy reader this will only be an hours’ worth of material), it is good to hear that the author is intending on publishing more of the Vestigial Tales to wet the appetite of any Micah fans before self-publishing the final instalment of the trilogy. We look forward to seeing more unfold about our favourite fantasy characters, and desperately want a vivid sex scene with Drystan to be included (seriously, read the books, you will get it).
You can buy The Snake Charmer: A Vestigial Tale by Laura Lam on Amazon now