Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan
Opening-night jitters are nothing new for seventeen-year-old Phil and her sister Fee, who come from a centuries-old line of stage illusionists. The girls love to dazzle London audiences, but in the aftermath of the Blitz they’re shipped off to the countryside, away from the bombs and Nazis. Phil, however, wants to fight for her country, and when she stumbles upon a hidden college of real magicians led by the devastatingly handsome Arden, all she wants to do is persuade them to help England win the war. She’ll risk anything to give her country a fighting chance, even if it means losing her heart …or her life.
Phil is a smart and brave young woman. The small town that Phil and Fee are sent to seems to be sheltered on all news of the war. Because she can’t fight in the war, Phil decides to start her own war effort through writing letters to politicians requesting supplies and training the locals in what little she knows, mostly about the Nazis and the art of escape. The town’s people need all the help they can get, as Phil soon discovers that magic has kept the town off the map (literally and figuratively). And when the hidden college of magicians comes under attack, Phil is the one to suggest and lead a defensive strategy.
The character development is the highlight of this story for me. Phil and her sister Fee are unique characters with a great relationship. And while Fee’s love interest is humorous, Phil’s is realistic and complex. The point of view was confusing at times as it jumped around quite a bit between characters. But the setting was fascinating and engaging. With humor to balance the darker subject matter, there was still plenty of suspense, intrigue, and magic to keep me spellbound. This young adult historical fantasy was a surprising and unforgettable read.