Magic Under Glass

Magic Under Glass

3.8 40
by Jaclyn Dolamore

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A romantic adventure set against the perils of a society under threatSee more details below


A romantic adventure set against the perils of a society under threat

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Back home, 17-year-old Nimira was the daughter of an honored artist, but in Lorinar she’s just an exotic singer in a music hall, hating the smoky, cutthroat city. When the sorcerer Hollin Parry offers her a luxurious life in return for singing with his piano-playing automaton, she accepts immediately. Hollin’s country estate is splendid but unwelcoming, and Hollin, though attractive, is a man with secrets. Having heard rumors, Nimira is not entirely surprised when the automaton begins to stare at her and make noises that have nothing to do with the piano. She learns that the automaton is actually Erris, a lost fairy prince, and Nimira faces both personal and political challenges as she attempts to release Erris from his clockwork enchantment. Debut author Dolamore draws heavily on Jane Eyre and its themes of sexual and class prejudice for her plot, reshaping the source material with skill. Nimira is not as high-minded as Jane, and her apotheosis is not as sweet, but hints of a sequel indicate that readers may learn more about Nimira in the future. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle meets Sally Gardner's The Red Necklace (2008), with a hint of Jane Eyre thrown in for good measure, in this vivid and rousing debut. Set in Victorian-like Lorinar, a country at war with the fairies for several generations, this speculative-fiction romance features Nimira, a performing "trouser girl," who left home to seek her fortune elsewhere after her mother died and her father squandered the family fortune. When Hollin Parry, a wealthy sorcerer, asks the young singer to accompany his piano-playing automaton, she thinks she has been rescued from her seedy life and is out of danger until she discovers that a fairy prince is trapped inside the mechanical man. Nimira reveals her cleverness and fortitude as she takes on a sorcerer assassin, battles the powers of dark magic and attempts to break the prince's curse. Unlike similar and heftier tomes, this tale is kept under tight control with brisk pacing. But alas, sequels are all the rage, so readers must wait to find out the fate of the prince and his human love. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Children's Literature - Patricia Williamson
The perfect fantasy book...mixes science fiction with fairytale and weaves a deliciously beautiful story of Nimira, a girl who has to learn through trial the purpose of her life. Her willingness to persevere despite the expected outcome weaves a wonderful, hopeful story. As the story unfolds, you discover that fantasy and reality are woven together. Nothing is what you think it should be, and the magical intrigue pulls you forward thoughout. Nimira (Nim) is hired by a sorcerer to perform with an automaton named Erris. As she practices, she realizes there is more to this supposed machine than meets the eye. She slowly beings to care very deeply for Erris and is torn when she discovers that in bringing him to life she endangers everyone she knows. It is a great combination of a love story, mystery, and fairytale all woven into one with an ending that is a cliff-hanger. Reviewer: Patricia Williamson
VOYA - Caitlin Henkel
I dislike most YA fantasy, but I didn't want to put down this novel. The writing flows well and seems mature, intelligent, and not condescending. The fantasy elements aren't silly like fantasy is sometimes, and some aspects—like the automaton—are unusual and intriguing. Nimira is easy to relate to, is emotionally realistic, and her world is believable. There were moments so striking that I shut the book in shock. A wide range of readers would enjoy it. Reviewer: Caitlin Henkel, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Angie Hammond
Sorcerers, fairies, ghosts, music, mystery, intrigue—what more could one ask for in a gothic-style fantasy romance? When Nimira's family suffers a loss of favor in the court, she feels that she must seek out another life. Leaving her country and all she has known, she stoops to work as a trouser girl in a seedy show. Disillusioned even further by her current circumstances, she does not hesitate to escape dancing when a gentleman sorcerer offers her a position singing with his newly acquired automaton. Life seems to be taking a turn for the better for innocent young Nimira until she uncovers the dark reality of life at Parry Manor. First the automaton begins to play out messages begging for her help on his piano. Then she finds that her boss has a supposedly dead wife hidden away, used only for the purposes of black magic by the Ambassador of Magic. Learning that the automaton is actually the fairy prince who is the rightful heir of the magical kingdom, Nimira risks everything to have his spirit released from its mechanical form. This well-written, engaging work will hold readers from beginning to end. No time period is stated, but the old-world feel will appeal to teens who like historical fiction as well as those who are taken by romance flavored with a bit of sorcery and magic. Reviewer: Angie Hammond
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—While working in a run-down music hall, Nimira, 17, is hired to sing accompaniment to an automaton that plays the piano. The "clockwork man," in the possession of wealthy, handsome Hollin Parry, a powerful sorcerer, is more than it seems. A fairy prince, Erris has been trapped in the automaton, and Nimira's struggle to free him, and their growing love for one another, is only part of the story. Mixed into this stunning debut novel are enough plot points to keep readers interested. With touches of steampunk, romance, fantasy, and mystery, there is a little something for everyone. The only downside, if there is one, is that the ending is inconclusive, leaving readers with the feeling that a second book will follow.—Valerie Davis, Campbell County Public Library, Newport, KY

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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