The world of Olympia Knife is one that goes beyond genre definitions and expectations. It’s a deft historical fantasy romance that addresses issues of queerness and marginalization through the lens of a tight-knit traveling circus. Constantine’s writing is evocative; it reads like a tale being told over a crackling campfire. The storyline is a blend of romance and general fiction, capturing the histories of the entire circus and the mystery surrounding Olympia’s skills with invisibility. At times the prose can feel repetitious, but the overall effect shrouds the reader like a comfortable blanket. Olympia Knife is a gentle historical fantasy with a hint of magic, perfect for readers who love queer romances and books such as Tipping the Velvet or Water For Elephants.
Olympia Knife is the daughter of eccentric trapeze artists. She is part of a traveling circus, operating at the turn of the twentieth century. She also has the uncanny ability to become invisible without warning. The sudden disappearance of her parents in the middle of a performance and the appearance of the mysterious and attractive Diamond the Danger Eater create a veil of uncertainty around Olympia’s life. As she begins an unexpected romance, more and more of Olympia’s world seems to disappear in front of her, and she has no idea how to hold on to what remains. (INTERLUDE, Nov., 204 pp., $17.99)