To celebrate its military-industrial complex and conquests, Ravalia hosts the Revel. For trapeze-flying, drag-performer Quinn, this world’s fair is his chance to earn the King’s favor and bring his wrongfully conscripted brother home from the front. Then he learns that Revel profits will fund Ravalia’s next war. Quinn must join ragtag performers and politicians in using art to subvert tyranny—or be party to a massacre.
GREATEST SHOWMAN x WWI x magic
While illusion was the circus’s mainstay, three truths tethered Quinn to reality: corsets were torture, cosmetics hid a person’s face but not his guilt, and Jaq would reject the Menagerie’s invitation. Yet tenuous hope had him trying all three anyway.
By the time he found his tentmate—swigging from a flask by a hoop dangling from a tree—the words filled his chest, his mouth, gritty like gunpowder and burning.
“I’m moving forward with my Queenie performance,” he announced, and sighed. The gunpowder turned back to butterflies. Swirling.
A match snicked.
Jaq expelled the accelerant. Fire whooshed.
He closed his eyes against the heat and coughed.
“And the world will see you as you truly are: visionary.” Framed by the blazing hoop, Jaq’s eyes caught the firelight—feverish, like she’d been birthed by flame.
And she thought he was melodramatic. “Yeah, and eyebrow-less, if you don’t watch it.”
“Also, the Menagerie’s having dinner tonight,” he said. “We’ve been invited.”
She spat out the residual. “You were invited. You should go. They like you.”
“Rina asked after you specifically.
“A kind gesture. The kind that doesn’t mean anything.” She crouched by the tree and searched through a bag.
Quinn sidled closer. “They were your friends not that long ago.”
“That’s not my problem.”
She shoved a newspaper at him. “Got that from the capital. It’s today’s.”