The Illusioneer

By Carlos Vaquera
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4.9 | 8 reviews
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The Illusioneer

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Book or download by Carlos Vaquera (Book $40.00 or download for $30.00)

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The Illusioneer - magic
The Illusioneer The Illusioneer The Illusioneer The Illusioneer The Illusioneer The Illusioneer

The Illusioneer was a critically-acclaimed smash success in its original French language, and we at Vanishing Inc. are proud to be the publishers of the English-language edition of this important work. Carlos Vaquera is a seminal force of European magic, and this is his opus. With more than thirty card effects, six coin pieces, and several essays on the practical theory of magic, The Illusioneer will inspire you to push harder with your magic.

Belgium's Carlos Vaquera has an unrivaled fluidity and elegance when he performs. He chooses plots that are clear and streamlined, and his versions are extremely direct; there is little repetition and almost always a punch at the end. His close-up style is visual and effortless, and in this book he takes you through his life's work in concise, step-by-step instructions.

Carlos was heavily inspired by his teacher, Arturo de Ascanio, and included in this collection are important essays on naturalness, music, and the performance of magic. He also includes the secret method he uses to organize his work, and to fight off performance nerves.

With nearly 300 pages of instruction and beautiful illustrations, this book is a rare glimpse into the mind of one of Europe's real masters.

"Absolutely fascinating. Chock-a-block full of card and coin tricks. I loved it." Shawn Farquhar

"An amazing book. A masterclass in card and coin handling." Paul Gertner

"A fantastic book." Liam Montier

"Delightful [and] amazing. If you want to learn elegant card and coin magic, this is the book for you." Jim Krenz

"Carlos [offers] the perfect combination of elegance, technique and storytelling. If you like well-thought out close-up magic, you will greatly enjoy The Illusioneer." Boris Wild

Hardbound. 298 pages.

Contents of The Illusioneer


  • The Queens’ Shadows
  • A Fine New Trick
  • Franco
  • Les PensĂ©es
  • Every Which Way
  • Running Pack
  • Black Jack
  • A Hell of a Poker Game
  • Clones
  • Traveling Signatures
  • Weighted Cards
  • Cards to Pocket
  • Damask
  • The Queens’ Return
  • Indifferent–Aces–Queens Transposition
  • Countdown
  • Traveling Aces — Invisible Palming
  • Leading Ladies
  • Day and Night
  • Les Rouges et les Noires
  • Colloc-Ace-tion
  • Catch Collectors
  • Speedy Sandwich
  • Sandwich Ă  Trois
  • Delayed Sandwich
  • The Takeover Card
  • Topsy-Turvy
  • Escorial
  • A Melody for Two Playing Cards
  • All Backs
  • The New Phoenix Has Arrived!
  • Jacks of All Trades


  • The Traveling Coin
  • Chiromancy
  • Coins through Table
  • Matrix — Premier
  • Matrix — Deuxième
  • Matrix — Troisième


  • On the Craftsman
  • On Naturalness
  • On Music
  • On the Expert Teacher
  • On Eight Tenets of Magic
  • On Stage Fright
  • On Creativity
  • On Practice


  • My Fan Control
  • The All-Square Control
  • My Side Steal
  • The Amilkar Side Steal
  • My Add-On Moves
  • Matrix — Quatrième

Hardcover. 298 pages.

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Customer reviews for The Illusioneer



This is a truly stunning book with loads of effects. Mostly cards with some really good coin effects too. Iove reading the essays they are very insightful. Some of the tricks are based on classic plots with some interesting refinements. Sometimes the convincers are a bit over baked but that's a minor criticism. I loved reading this book, it's really well written. There was one trick that confused me but the rest are killer!



In typical Vanishing Inc fashion, this book is absolutely stunningly produced. It's a mix of everything like card tricks, coin tricks, moves and even some essays as well. The book is well structured and very easy to read and learn. At $40, this book is an absolute steal.



There is nothing more magical than a book of any genre. A great book on magic by a master, for many in our community, is even more special.
The Illusioneer is such a book.
Don’t hesitate. Just do it.



Here is my in-depth written review of The Illusioneer by Carlos Vaquera.

In order to give you the most thorough and informative review, I went through all items in this book with cards and coins in my hands. By actually doing all the routines myself, I hope I can give you the better idea of how the tricks feel like.

As with many items on other books, sometimes some effects sound better on book or look greater in performance. Thus, I will try best to look at the items from different perspectives and give you the more accurate if not the whole pictures of the effects.

The content of my video and written reviews are slightly different, so you may want to check out both for more information.

Transparent information is important in any review. Therefore, when I review a product, I will give you the most honest opinion on every details of it.
If the product is good, I say it out loud. At the same time, if there is bad about the product, I don’t hesitate to say it.
My aim is to make a trust-worthy review which you can depend on.
Helping my readers is my biggest goal with this review.

You get a 298-page 7”x 9.6" hardbound book with 321 clear illustrations (I literarily counted each one).
The hardbound is not the traditional hardcover you may have. It has a cushion-type cover which is usually found in some kid books.
I think it is my first magic book with this type of cover. It feels great in-hands and I really love it.

The book has a very nice format and lots of beautiful illustration to guide you through the tricks.
The writing style is similar to Stephen Minch’s, which means explanation is down to details and very clear.
Credit and full reference of moves are given (you even get the reference for Braue Add-On!).
The book is divided in 3 main sessions: 1. Cards, 2. Coins, 3. Appendices (Move), with 8 theory articles distributed among them.
The book is printed in acid-free paper. Book quality is top-notch in terms of material and design.
One minor issue I found is, the first coin effect is put under the Card session in Table of Contents. Not a big issue but quite obvious.

Number of ITEMS: 52
Number of Effects: 39
Number of Card tricks: 31
Number of Coin Tricks: 8
Number of Card Moves: 5
Number of Articles: 8
Number of Tricks Need Table: 25
Number of Tricks Done in Hands: 14

I found that numbers are questionable on some dealer sites and reviews. They rely too much on table of contents. But if you look carefully enough, you will see the discrepancy. The numbers above should reflect the truth in a better way.

The book includes a lot of classic plots, like The Collectors, Ace Assembly, Invisible Palm, Triumph.
Some tricks are multi-phase while some are single-effect trick. For some plots like Triumph and Sandwich, there are more than 1 effect.
For multi-phase effect, some are constructed in a way that it is almost perfect from start to finish.
For some other effects, you will find phases linked in a less coherent ways. In this situation, you may want to take up the part that interest you.

The construction of effects are economical in many cases, though I found some effects consists of too many display, convincers or sequence.
Many effects comes with elegant handling which needs practice to make it smooth. But the good thing is, you can adapt the tricks with your own handlings.
All of the effects do not come with presentation or script, that means you have to think about how to perform them effectively.

In addition to the 5 moves explained in the Appendices session, there are about 22 moves (I counted, so the number may be different) explained within the tricks. They are gems! You will be highly rewarded if you put effort in practising those moves/subtleties.

Many of the effects need working surface, and some space to perform. It may not be too ideal for table hopping.

How fooling are the tricks? It really depends on the sleight execution. The tricky thing about the effects is, if you could not perform it smoothly, it hardly fool the lay audience. There are many sleights which requite attention to details. This part maybe a big love-or-hate factor about this book.

I usually rate a trick based on several factors:
1. Practical of Effect
2. Effectiveness (how magical the effect is)
3. Creativity

Sometimes, even I rate a trick (5/10), that doesn’t mean it is a bad trick. Maybe I just think the method is not particularly new or interesting. The effect may still be ok.
And even if an effect was very magical and creative in execution, I wouldn’t give high rating if it involves a lot of procedures or easy to mess up. This book comes with a few.
As a general guideline, a trick rated 7 or above is good. A rating of 9-10 guarantees a great trick (even if you don’t do it, it contains a lot of new things you can learn).
I will try to give a reason if I rate an effect low score. I hope this will give you a better idea of my reasoning.

H = In-hand, T = Need Table

The Queens’ Shadows 10? T
A Fine New Trick 9? T
Franco 8? T
Les Pensées 7? H
Every Which Way 8? H
Running Pack 9? T
Black Jack 8? T
A Hell of a Poker Game 10? T: A supreme Poker demonstration. Easy stacking.
Clones 10? T
Traveling Signatures 9? T
Weighted Cards 9? H
Cards to Pocket 6? T: The effect is very confusing.
Damask 6? T: The first phase is very nice, but the second phase has too many procedures.
The Queens’ Return 9? T
Indifferent–Aces–Queens Transposition 6? T
Countdown 7? T
Traveling Aces — Invisible Palming 8? T
Leading Ladies 8? T
Day and Night 7? T
Les Rouges et les Noires 9? T
Colloc-Ace-tion 5? T: The moves are not economical.
Catch Collectors 10? H
Speedy Sandwich 7? H
Sandwich Ă  Trois 9? H
Delayed Sandwich 8? H
The Takeover Card 8? T
Topsy-Turvy 7? H
Escorial 9? H
A Melody for Two Playing Cards 10? H
All Backs 7? H
The New Phoenix Has Arrived! 8? H

Jacks of All Trades 8? T
The Traveling Coin 8? H
Chiromancy 9? H
Coins through Table 7? T
Matrix — Premier 9? T
Matrix — Deuxième 9? T
Matrix — Troisième 9? T
Matrix — Quatrième 10? T

My Fan Control 10?
The All-Square Control 10?
My Side Steal 8?
The Amilkar Side Steal 10?
My Add-On Moves 10?

On the Craftsman 7?
On Naturalness 10?
On Music 7?
On the Expert Teacher 6?
On Eight Tenets of Magic 9?
On Stage Fright 10?
On Creativity 10?
On Practice 9?

1. It is well written. Very easy to read.
2. Most effects are solidly constructed.
3. Very clear credit of tricks/moves.
4. A lot of nice moves/handling/subtleties to learn.
5. Some articles are very inspiring.
6. Can open flat when reading.
7. Super high cost performance.

1. No presentational scripts at all.
2. Many effects need much time investment to make them work.
3. Not for beginners or even intermediates.

'The Illusioneer’ is very high quality book that you will come back again and again.
The materials are inspirational and will make the readers better performers.
Though there are no self-working or semi-automatic tricks you can adopt immediately, many effects are worth studying and they are not meant to be ’tricks’.

Readers should treat this book as a stepping stone to elevate their performance. The book will reward you when you invest your time to practise the material.
Nothing in the book is pip dream and everything can be smooth as silk if the students pay enough attention to the smallest details.
It should be on the shelf of every serious magicians.

At the price of $40, this has my highest recommendation.

Book Quality: 10/10
Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10
Practical: 8/10
Creativity: 8/10
Cost Performance: 11/10
Final Score: 10/10



Very good book. Didn't know that a new edition was out. Will probably order it.



I HAve the original!! Love it. I read it while studying French at college. Just ordered this English edition for my collection



I own the French edition of this book and love it. I cannot wait to read it in English! I think I will get even more out of it.



Excellent read but some effects are new methods for known/existing plots. Having said that l might even use one or two of them since they suit me better. Not revolutionary but worth it. Except for the essays... Very worth it!


Community questions about The Illusioneer

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Benjy asks: How hard is the material?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There is a mixture of intermediate and hard material.
  • Luis asks: How many tricks are in the book? Thanks

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There are 32 card tricks, 6 coin tricks, 6 moves and 8 essays!
  • Jake asks: Why is it so inexpensive? Magic books nowadays typically start at $60.

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Vanishing Inc. is a customer-focused publisher. We don't hike prices unnecessarily.
  • Tom asks: Will the book still be available in 2 months? I am still 2 books behind and trying to catch up!! You guys are killing me. I have had to become a speed reader and order new glasses as my eyes are worn out. Your books are too good. Please give us a break or I may go blind. ( Just kidding! Will order later) .

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: I'm afraid that it is not possible to answer your question without looking into the future. :) I'm unable to confirm whether the book will sell out within the next few months.
  • Nicolas asks: Guys, does this come with the videos that are included in the french version ? Nicolas

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: It does not.
  • Roberto asks: Hello! Is most of the card material in this book suited for working on a table or surface versus working "in-the-hands" without a table? Thanks!

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There is a mix!
  • Kim asks: How many copies are for sale please? Is it possible that it will be out of stock fast? Thanks

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: All of our books tend to sell out (first edition) very fast.
  • Michele asks: Do you foresee to publish the DVD in the future as in the french edition?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: No plans to at the moment, as translators would need to be done.
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