Harlequin’s Riddle

Harlequin’s Riddle

Woven from shining threads of history, myth and the Commedia dell’Arte, Harlequin’s Riddle memorably explores the magic of creativity and the power of story against the background of an intriguing and vividly-realised world.

Sophie Masson, Author of international bestseller Forest of Dreams

When Mina joins a troupe of travelling actors, her aim is to find her missing brother, but her search unlocks a series of secrets that will change the world she knows forever. Tarya, the mystical realm spoken of in tales, is real, and her gift for story telling opens a way to it. But Tarya has a shadow side, and someone in the troupe of actors is using it to harm people. Mina soon realises she may be the only one with the power to stop them. Torn between saving her brother or exposing the truth about the Players, could her gifts as a storyteller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?

Harlequin’s Riddle is the first book in a Young Adult fantasy trilogy about the gift of creativity and where it can take you.

Featuring the beloved characters of the Commedia dell’Arte, Harlequin, Pierrot and Columbine, this is the first book in an original new fantasy series by Rachel Nightingale. If you loved The Night Circus you will love Harlequin’s Riddle. Published by Odyssey Books.

A figure ran by her, creating a breeze that spun the air. He wore a tight-fitting suit of coloured diamonds and a dark, long-nosed mask. He was singing as he ran, in some strange language Mina thought she might understand if she listened hard enough. A few stragglers followed, lured by his song. When they saw the Player wagon they stopped and quieted and waited. The man ran up the three steps at the front of the wagon to stand before the curtains. He waited, fingers to his lips, breathing in the energy of the crowd.

He seemed to grow larger. Then he spoke.

“I am Harlequin,” he cried. “I may be who I am not, but I may be who I am. Who is to say? Listen to my riddles and you may hear the truth. If there is truth to be found. Some say there is not. But let me not bore you with my mystery. Shall I show you a tale?”

Eager, the crowd called out, voices overlapping each other.

“Yes, a tale. Show us your best tale.”

Harlequin spun, pulling a cloak from nowhere and swirling it around his body. He came down one step and put his finger to his lips.

“A tale of joy, or a tale of woe? What is it to be?”

~ Harlequin’s Riddle