As a kid, one of my favorite Wonderful World of Disney specials on Sunday night was Toby Tyler. He was a young boy who ran away from the circus. He was welcomed into the circus family, but didn't have a "place." Micah Tuttle is such a boy in this book. It is not the first book in the series, and perhaps I would give it 5 stars if I had read the first. It took me a long while to catch up to the backstory. To my credit (or my excuse) I was given a copy for review at DragonCon and was never told it was book two.
The opening seemed slow though even after I realized I wasn't in the first book and read a quick synopsis of book one. However, I loved the themes of family and overcoming darkness in the world.
I enjoyed the magic system and the coming-of-age element as Micah learns more and more how to use his magic.
Definitely check out book one before this one if you have not done so. That said, I would not hesitate to recommend both and will be picking up book one soon.
I was given an ARC copy at Dragoncon for review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.