Come See the Fair: Where Adventure and Magic Await

Come See The Fair introduces a mysterious magical alternate reality that has a sinister plot waiting to burst into flames. Get enraptured by Gavriel Savit’s latest debut.

Author's Corner Diverse Voices Fantasy Fiction Recommendations Young Readers

Gavriel Savit is the author of The Way Back, a National Book Award finalist, and Anna and the Swallow Man, which the New York Times called “a splendid debut.” Come See The Fair is a fantasy novel that combines history with magic during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair; it is the perfect concoction of adventure and suspense. 

The Plot of Come See The Fair

Eva Root is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Miss Augusta Grandage’s Home for Unwanted and Destitute Girls. When chosen by Jenny Blodgett, Eva travels the country pretending to be a séance professional. Doing these scams seems to give Eva a purpose in her life. Her audiences have claimed to have spoken to their loved ones from the grave, even though it’s impossible.

But one day, Eva experiences another impossibility: she hears a voice in her head telling her to come to the World’s Fair in Chicago. Along the way, she meets Henry, whose artistic gifts have led him to meet Eva and go to the Fair which is held at The World’s Columbian Exposition. There, she meets a mysterious magician, Mr. Magister who introduces her to a fantastic world in the Pavillion of Magic, a gate that calls to magic wielders and allows the worthy inside. Mr. Magister takes an interest in Eva; he needs her help to bring magic to life. But as their work progresses, Eva begins to suspect that Mr. Magister isn’t as noble as he seems. His true name is a mystery, past apprentices cannot be found, and his presence only comes and goes in this magical Pavillion. When tragedy strikes, Eva will have to utilize her newfound power to thwart Mr. Magister’s plans.


My Thoughts After Reading Come See The Fair

This middle-grade novel is perfect for those who enjoy magic, spiritualism, and whimsy. Eva Root is a character who craves a sense of belonging. She discovers her inner magic, a voice within her mind, as she travels to Chicago. Creating and executing fake seances was her reality, a fictitious magical world that accepted her. 

Henry is Eva’s friend and ally during this journey. He is our skeptic, suspicious of the magic Mr. Magister introduces them to. Henry’s talent is seeing future predictions through drawings. He is an artist, and I found it helpful to see some of the charcoal creations along with the text of the story. 


Considering the sheer size of the Fair, the description of its locations and events was overwhelming. It felt a bit rushed unless the author was going for an overwhelming bustling effect with so many sights. The execution of introducing the Pavillion of Magic was a bit confusing, but it added a mysterious element. I feel the suspicion was difficult to piece together as you read, which could be a strength or confusion for the reader. Overall, it’s an intriguing well developed alternate reality with excellent world-building that kept me wanting to read more.

Come See The Fair will be released on April 11, 2023. If you want to read more of Gavriel Savit’s work try reading The Way Back and Anna and the Swallow Man. Preorder Come See The Fair on Penguin Random House.

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