The First Bright Thing
If you knew how dark tomorrow would be, what would you do with today?
The First Bright Thing by J. R. Dawson is a spellbinding debut for fans of The Night Circus and The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue.
Welcome to the Circus of the Fantasticals.
Ringmaster – Rin, to those who know her best – can jump to different moments in time as easily as her wife, Odette, soars from bar to bar on the trapeze. With the scars of World War I feeling more distant as the years pass, Rin is focusing on the brighter things in life. Like the circus she’s built and the magical misfits and outcasts – known as Sparks – who’ve made it their home. Every night, Rin and the Fantasticals enchant a Big Top packed full with audiences who need to see the impossible.
But while the present is bright, threats come at Rin from the past and the future. The future holds an impending war that the Sparks can see barrelling toward their Big Top and everyone in it. And Rin's past creeps closer every day, a malevolent shadow Rin can’t fully escape. It takes the form of another Spark circus, with tents as black as midnight and a ringmaster who rules over his troupe with a dangerous power. Rin’s circus has something he wants, and he won't stop until it’s his.
Mesmerizing and magical, The First Bright Thing gives friendship, love and found family top billing, puts the audacity of optimism on center stage and delivers a voice with artistry and flair worthy of the Ringmaster herself
Rowenna Miller, author of Torn
If this circus were real, I’d be in the front row; it’s the found family so many of us crave. Richly imagined and vividly depicted, The First Bright Thing shows both the joys and costs of power
Sarah Pinsker, author of A Song for a New Day
This magical novel will invite you into an astounding circus and carry you along on its wild journey through time, struggling to survive in the shadow of world wars and the sinister threat of their greatest competitor. The cast of colorful, endearing characters will make you glad to know that, as the Ringmaster says, ’Circus people never say goodbye’
Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches