From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie…
When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus big-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.
But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, griffins and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.
Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale
An alternate world where cryptids (protohuman hybrids) are second-class citizens provides the perfect context for this deftly told dark fantasy, which reflects on what makes humans human. During the horrifying "reaping," human parents slaughtered a million cryptid children, but some who appeared human were saved. Twenty years later, Oklahoman Delilah Marlow, who was raised as a human, shows a cryptid side that she never knew she had. She's stripped of her rights and forced to perform as a sideshow attraction in a traveling carnival whose human handlers often act more bestial than their charges. Though Delilah resists her enslavement, she learns from Gallagher, her gruffly sympathetic handler, that she has a major role to play in cryptid culture. As depicted by Vincent, Delilah is magnificent in her defiance of injustice, and the well-wrought background for her world sets the stage for her future adventures in this captivating new fantasy series.