Cruel Illusions Readalong: Day 5!

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Hey fairy friends!

It’s the final section, are you ready to find out how Cruel Illusions ends? I am SO scared!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 30 to the end of the book.

Grab a snack, get comfy and let’s read!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston, from chapter 30 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you’ve finished Cruel Illusions!


Amongst the vines, Ava sees Willow. She rounds on Roman telling him this is his fault. Willow isn’t all they find either. Roman’s sister is here. That’s why he won’t leave.

The only way to fix this is to win, and kill Lucius. 

Xander spills everything, about Sarah, about why they made the decision to lie to Ava so much. They knew all along who Lucius was to her.

The next trial begins and after Nadine bows out because it’s getting too real, it’s Ava and Ethan head to head. They both manage to make it out.

When it’s time for the last trial, Roman tells Ava she’ll have to kill Ethan. It’s the only way to win. Even after all Ethan has done, Ava doesn’t want that on her hands. But there’s no other choice.

In the very last moment before she heads to the trial, Roman pulls her to him and she lets him. She kisses him and tells him her father won’t let her die. I’m not confident that that’s true though…

Just as Ethan is about to win… ROMAN steps in. Not Lucius, but Roman. He says he failed to do this once before. YESSSS!

Lucius says Roman will be punished and interfering carries a death sentence… and he wants Ava to carry it out.

More epiphanies follow, including Ava getting a confession from Lucius. He was responsible for her mother’s death. 

Even when he’s locked up waiting for his execution, Roman is telling Ava to run. She urges him to drink her blood, he needs her power. 

Ava’s next mission is to let her troupe know how much they hurt her, but that she needs to know if they’re on her side. Once she tells them it’s ot just about saving Roman, but saving everyone. They agree.

The battle ensues, vamps and magicians, Numerius and Lucius. It’s a riot. But the worst happens when Numerius dies. Blood drips from Roman’s mouth and his neck, leaking from the open wound in his neck. When Lucius killed Numerius, it undid the curse that traced back to him. 

The only good to come of this is that Roman’s death gives Ava the motivation she needs to do what needs to be done. She kills Lucius, and wears his crown.

She has magic and power. So much of it. The vines around the apprentices begin to shift and when she returns to Roman to mourn… he blinks! He’s not dead, not only that… he’s human again. 

After all of this, Ava wants to go home. Her real home. Willow is safe, Roman’s sister is too. She decided to leave with Xander and the troupe. Roman, though, is staying with Ava. Together they travel back to Debs, and she welcomes them in with open arms. When Ava goes up to her room, it’s empty. Not because Deb didn’t want her back, but because when she did come back, Ava wanted her to be able to make it her own. Ava asks if they can paint the front door. They spend the evening together, watching films and eating pizza.

Did Cruel Illusions end the way you expected?
What would you rate it?
Who was your favourite character?

That, was the most perfect ending. ? Pizza and films!!! I love it.

Thank you all so much, as always, for joining us for another FairyLoot readalong, and we’ll see you soon for the next one!


15 thoughts on “Cruel Illusions Readalong: Day 5!

  1. Well that was a blood bath… or blood pond. It was definitely a dramatic (and bloody) final few chapters. I’m honestly really surprised that Roman survived. I was 99% sure he was going to die. I am pleased that Ava got a happy ending. Was expecting it to be a bit more of a bitter sweet ending. Now I want to go watch The Neverending story for the nostalgia and to cringe over the terrible special effects.

  2. I was expecting the vampires to be ‘cured’ or some such, but it sounds like many of them died instead unless they were hit with Ava’s healing. I’m slightly sad that the “found family” were secondary to her foster-whatever and her brother.
    I gave it 4 stars – enjoyable YA but very tropey!
    I really liked Willow and her bubbliness as a character. To be honest I think Ava was probably my most disliked character, haha!

  3. I love the happy ending I liked the book I give it 4 stars.

    Thid were quite a turbulant few chapters but I am glad that Ava decided to let the magic free nobody should have that much power especialy the power that need killing others to stay strong

    It was a bit sad how she didnt chose her troupe but I get it I couldnt leave my family either no metter how ateched I got to the troupe I mean shes got Roman and if she needs the trupe I am sure she will find them hehe but what meters most she found her family in the end happy for her

    honestly I didnt have a one spacific peron that I hated mist of them irritated me like Xander and Ethan but I get why they acted like that

    all in all the book was good another grwat fairyloot pick keep em coming

  4. I’ve breezed through the last chapters, I wanted to know what happens!

    Yep, I knew Ava will win the competition, and she’s the strongest ever. The last stages of the game were so intense! I’m so happy Willow and Nadine are not dead!

    1. Did I like the way it ended? Yes, they were able to defeat both Lucius and Numerius, put down the twisted Society, and save the failed apprentices.
    2. I would rate it 3.5 stars. It’s not perfect, Ava is annoying sometimes, and though I did not anticipate some of the twists, some are predictable and a bit cliche.
    3. My favourite character is Aristelle. She is not wowed by Ava’s power, and she may have kept secret from Ava, she is loyal to her troupe. Second is Willow, such a fun character, has her flaws, but a great friend!

  5. Yes! All of it. I couldn’t even stop to take notes of my feelings for everything because I was racing to the end, & I wasn’t disappointed.
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) Did Cruel Illusions end the way you expected?
    2.) What would you rate it?
    3.) Who was your favourite character?
    1.) Not exactly, & I was really worried for a bit, but yay!
    2.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    3.) Probably Roman. ?

  6. This is probably my new favorite book. This was a five star read.
    The ending was awesome. I did not expect it at all. I was crying tears of joy when she went back to Deb and Parker and Jacob.
    This last bit of the book was always so intense and bloody. I think that is the perfect way to describe this book. Bloody intense.
    Thank you for this awesome book and this fun readalong!

  7. I’d give it a solid 3/5. The falling action felt a bit rushed. A lot of authors, fearing they’ll ‘overstay’ their welcome or bore the readers tend to make it shorter than necessary. From Numerius’s death on, it was a bit of sprint. Lucius, who should have been the hardest obstacle, ended up being the easiest. I felt robbed of a bit of a payoff. And Numerius’s death didn’t feel satisfying because we barely interacted with him. We’d *heard* of him, but nothing else. So Lucius should have been the real threat in the end.
    Still, Ava had decent character development, wish the others had some more too. And I actually liked that she found a family in her foster mom and brother. It’s still a found family, and something she’d been struggling with for years and years. All in all, I’m glad she got her happy ending and that nobody I like is dead.

    1. I feel like the author should’ve spent a lot less time with exposition and a lot more working on the competition and the final battle.

      She also suffers from a lot of telling, instead of showing. They keep saying Ava is the most powerful magician, but she can only move coins and aim knives. Ava keeps saying the troupe is her real family, but we barely get to see them interacting and getting along.

      IDK, I feel like the ending solved a lot of issues I had with the book, but it still fell kinda flat.

  8. I know it’s about vampires, but book turned much bloodier than I expected. I figured Ava would always end up going home to Parker, but I didn’t anticipate everyone but Lucius (and Julia) surviving! I’m pretty surprised at how most of the primary cast made to through.

    I’d give it around 4 stars. I think the twists and bloodbaths were pretty fun, but characters seemed a little juvenile even for a YA book at times.

    I think Willow was definitely my favorite character. She was kinda one-dimensional at times, but she had a good heart and I appreciated her friendship and support for Ava.

  9. I’m an easy rater, when it comes to thrilling reads, so this is a 4.5⭐️ read for me. It kept me turning the pages!! I’m also a “sucker” for a happy ending ♥️ It’s a pretty solid standalone and what a ?bloody?thrilling read!

    My favorite character is Roman, then Willow, then Nataly, then Ava, then Deb.

  10. Did Cruel Illusions end the way you expected?
    What would you rate it?
    Who was your favourite character?

    1. Not really. I expected Roman and Ava to end up together but I did not expect the ending with Lucius.

    2. I am going to say a 2.5. I think the book was okay however there was too much goin on with troupes that it pulled away from the story. We had vampires, vampire hunters, carnival, magic, competitions, love triangle, betrayal. It felt like too many cooks in the kitchen.

    3. I think Roman was my favorite. He just wanted to fix things. He didn’t handle things right but he was able to do what he wanted.

  11. 1. I loved it! It was such a good story with some really unexpected turns haha. It was really hard to stop reading whenever I got to the end of the last chapter for the part we’d read that day.
    2. 5 stars!
    3. I really liked Roman and Ava!

  12. This book kept my attention the entire time and I loved how magic and vampires were combined. I loved all of the twists and betrayals – there were some predictable moments but plenty of surprises. It was actually pretty brutal and violent at times. The love triangle was done pretty well.

  13. Did Cruel Illusions end the way you expected?
    I fully expected Ava & Roman to bring everyone together about accepting vampires and rule together, but I’m glad she actually got to go home with her foster family and brother and it was much more normal.

    What would you rate it?
    3.5/5 i liked it but i found Ava pretty annoying, she was a bit of a ‘pick me’ girl and the pacing was a bit all over the place.

    Who was your favourite character?
    Roman & Willow (& Deb), let me be part of your troupe!! ?

    Also posted my copy on insta ?

  14. I absolutely loved this book it was definitely a 5 star read for me I love anything too do with vampires and circus it gave me caraval vibes with vampires I loved it

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