Pantomime blog tour: A Tour Through Ellada and R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic by Laura Lam

Hi everyone

As part of the Pantomime blog tour, I'm thrilled to have Laura Lam, author of Pantomime stop by on my blog today. The moment I first heard about Pantomime, I was immediately intrigued. The synopsis of the book starts off like this:

"R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada."

Because I've read and loved Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, I've become very intrigued with the idea of the circus as a fantastical setting within a book.

To me, there's no limit to what fantasy, illusions and all sorts of magical things you can create within the canvas of a circus arena; which is exactly why I asked Laura to take us through a tour (complete with pics) of her book world.

Before I kick off with the post, here's a little more info on Pantomime:

About Pantomime:
R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada.

Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination.

It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there.
It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls.

Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

A Tour Through Ellada and R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic
So many writers are obsessed with sites like Pinterest lately, and I can see why.

One, it’s an excellent procrastination tool, so of course writers are all over it.

Second, many writers are quite visual, despite using only words to create worlds, and a striking scene or an image of a character can be brilliant when one is stuck on a novel.

At least, it’s helped in my case.

I didn’t start collecting images based on my world, the Archipelago, until after I finished the first book, PANTOMIME. But I still had very specific pictures in mind.

Over the past few months, I’ve been collecting both the images I had in my head then, images of scenes and characters I’m writing, and creating a bit of a visual encyclopaedia or the world I’ve created in my head.

Below is a tour through Ellada and R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. This is in one way an expansion of the information review I did of Pantomime on Goodreads, which you can find here.

Ellada is a world of Victoriana sensibilities. It’s the former head of an empire that spread through the Archipelago, and so the other islands of Byssia, Kymri, Linde, Northern and Southern Temne were all once under Ellada’s control.

Now, they’ve settled on a temporary truce. As a result, Ellada is not anywhere near as powerful as they had once been. While those in the noble families are still well-off and comfortable, the everyday citizen suffers.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, is a member of one of the less powerful houses in Ellada, but their family has risen in prestige over the past few years, almost suspiciously so.
This is how I imagine Gene, a girl not quite happy with her lot in life. She’d far rather jump off trees in the Emerald Bowl with her brother and his friend than sit practicing piano in such a pretty frock.

The rich often have estates in the Emerald Bowl, the only verdant part of the rather rocky and sparse land. In one of these estates is where we first meet Gene:
Gene is being groomed for her debutante. She is less than thrilled with this, so let’s say she’s the irate looking one on the right (See image below).
When Micah Grey runs away to join the circus, he joins a new world that is completely unfamiliar to him. This is a world where he doesn’t know the rules and where he is the interloper than must prove himself.

This is a lot how I imagine Micah, but he’d be in far scruffier clothing.

This is smaller than I imagine the ring of R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, but it gives a good feel for the ambience.

Micah Grey trains to be an aerialist.
Gene/Micah discover that there’s more to their world than initially assumed. While they only begin to delve into the mysteries of Ellada in the first book, what they find proves disconcerting.

This is highly pressurised ice from a glacier in Iceland that has almost no air bubbles. In my world, mysterious domes of an unbreakable blue glass-like substance pepper all islands of the Archipelago, and cities have sprung up around the largest of them.

They were created by a long-vanished civilisation called the Alder. They’re hollow, but no one knows what’s inside…

The Alder supposedly created mythological creatures called Chimaera, some of which are worshipped as gods in other colonies. In Ellada, they are legends to be feared and admired. Mermaids, centaurs, minotaurs, naga, and all of the others. They’re also long-gone.

Or are they?

When the Alder and Chimaera left, lots of their technology or magic remained. The current inhabitants of the Archipelago call it “Vestige.” Vestige ranges from highly dangerous weapons to something small and innocuous, like this. When it breaks, no one knows how to fix it.

In Pantomime, every character in some way is performing a balancing act. One wrong move…

(Tammy says: And we'll leave you to find out what happens next, shall we?)

Thank you for taking a peek into the world of Ellada, the circus, Gene, and Micah. I hope you’ll pick up Pantomime to find out more.

A huge, huge, huge thank you to Laura for taking the time to put this post together. I'm currently reading Pantomime and can tell you that these pictures only bring the story more vividly to life than before. Special thanks also goes out to Strange Chemistry Publishers for allowing me to be part of the Pantomime blog tour.

For more information on Laura and Pantomime, you can  click on the following links below:

Website: (Bio under the “about” section)
Twitter: @LR_Lam

For the rest of the blog tour schedule, you can click on the blog button below:


Rachel said…
This book looks like just my kind of thing. Can't wait to read it now.
@Rachel: It's a fantastic book so far. The world is really something unique - and the twist regarding the characters - oh just you wait and see. :)
Wendy Darling said…
As you know, I'm reading this right now--and I love the visuals that the author gave us with these images! So fun.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden