'Richly evocative and glittering with atmosphere, this tale of ambition and identity had me gripped from start to finish' STACEY HALLS, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars
'Theatre of Marvels is a fascinating, empowering story of a young woman's search for identity and justice in Victorian London, a world which Lianne Dillsworth evokes so richly' JENNIFER SAINT, author of Ariadne
Behind the spectacle there are always secrets.
Unruly crowds descend on Crillick's Variety Theatre. A black, British actress, Zillah, is headlining tonight. An orphan from the slums of St Giles, her rise to stardom is her ticket out - to be gawped and gazed at is a price she's willing to pay.
Rising up the echelons of society is everything Zillah has ever dreamed of. But when a new stage act disappears, Zillah is haunted by a feeling that something is amiss. Is the woman in danger?
Her pursuit of the truth takes her into the underbelly of the city - from gas-lit streets to the sumptuous parlours of Mayfair - as she seeks the help of notorious criminals from her past and finds herself torn between two powerful admirers.
Caught in a labyrinth of dangerous truths, will Zillah face ruin - or will she be the maker of her fate?
A deliciously immersive tale, Theatre of Marvels whisks you on an unforgettable journey across Victorian London in this bold exploration of race, class and gothic spectacle.
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'Zillah is a memorable heroine' Sunday Times
'Exploitation and empowerment, race and class are all explored in this gripping historical novel. Dillsworth is a class act' Woman & Home
'A thought-provoking, atmospheric debut' Daily Express
'Very much enjoyed Theatre of Marvels. Zillah is a brilliant character who leads us through a Victorian London little spoken of, making for an illuminating, page-turning tale of self-actualisation. Loved it' KATE SAWYER
'A tale steeped in Victorian London, I fell in love with Zillah and her theatre world. I was gripped from the opening pages - highly recommended for anyone who loves mystery, drama and Victorian London' LOUISE HARE, author of This Lovely City
'A startling, original and utterly compelling novel which subtly navigates the core issues of race, gender and class' MARY CHAMBERLAIN, author of The Dressmaker of Dachau
'Thrilling, eye-opening and absorbing' LIZZIE POOK, author of Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter
'Fresh, original and full of atmosphere - a compelling story with a heroine I'll remember for a long time' FRANCES QUINN, author of The Smallest Man
'A story that shines a spotlight into the shadows of the 19th century, while also exploring very relevant themes of identity. So fantastic to read a novel that centres POC in the Victorian era. Loved it!' SAARA EL-ARIFI, author of The Final Strife
'Loved Lianne Dillsworth's Theatre of Marvels. A gripping story about identity and belonging with a strong sense of place. Can't wait for everybody to meet Zillah who is such strong and