World of Wonders (1975) is the third in the Deptford Trilogy by Canadian writer Robertson Davies (1913-1995), the first being Fifth Business and The Manticore the second.

Of Davies’ three trilogies, this is my favorite — “a glittering, fantastical, cunningly contrived series of novels, around which a mysterious death is woven.”

Ramsay reprises the role of narrator that he played in the first novel, Fifth Business, but in this case it is only to add context and continuity as conjuror/magician Magnus Eisengrim (also known by at least four other names throughout the trilogy) tells the story of his life to a group of film makers making a biographical film about the great magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.

As Eisengrim tells his story, Ramsay’s role in his own life, and that of his friends and family, is more clearly understood, the riddle is at least partially solved.

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