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Magic Under Glass

Magic Under Glass

3.8 40
by Jaclyn Dolamore

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When a wealthy sorcerer hires Nimira to sing with a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. But at the sorcerer's estate, rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman, and fairies that are tortured for sport. When Nimira discovers-and falls for-the spirit of a fairy gentleman trapped in the automaton, she will also find


When a wealthy sorcerer hires Nimira to sing with a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. But at the sorcerer's estate, rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman, and fairies that are tortured for sport. When Nimira discovers-and falls for-the spirit of a fairy gentleman trapped in the automaton, she will also find the fate of the magical world in her hands.

Editorial Reviews

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
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)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Magic Under Glass Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.96(d)
HL680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JACLYN DOLAMORE is the author of Magic under Glass and Between the Sea and Sky. She spent her childhood reading as many books as she could lug home from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and two black tabbies.

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Magic under Glass 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Flamingnet More than 1 year ago
In the magical world of Lorinar, Nimira is an exotic and dark-skinned trouser-girl who sings and dances in music halls for money. She's away from her homeland of Tiansher and is extremely poor, so when wealthy Hollin Parry offers her a job singing with an automaton, she readily accepts. But rumors that the automaton is haunted cause Nimira to closely examine it and she discovers that a fairy is trapped in the mechanical body! As she talks to Erris, the fairy, he tells her how the current Ambassador of Magic killed the previous Ambassador and how fairies are being tortured by a council of sorcerers that Hollin is a part of. As Nimira tries to help Erris, she can't help falling in love with him, and is determined to find a way to save him. Ithought that Magic Under Glass was an okay book. The synopsis makes it sound like it will be an action-packed romantic fantasy, but I think it fell short of its expectations. I liked how the author created a new magical world, but it had parallels to history, like Lorinar resembling England and Tiansher, where Nimira was born, resembling India or Africa. I also liked the similarities to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I am currently reading. However, I didn't think the relationship between Nimira and Erris, the automaton, was believable. She was supposed to be in love with him, but there wasn't much development, character- and relationship-wise, between the two of them. Even though there were things I disliked about Magic Under Glass, I still enjoyed reading it, and I think fans of fantasy will find this book to their liking. Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer Flamingnet Book Reviews Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started out pretty good and it just got better and better and i couldn't put it down the last few pages but the ending was really abrupt and i felt i could have lasted longer
scarletmoon7 More than 1 year ago
The book overall was ok. I liked the beginning and loved how the plot was developing, but I felt that the ending didn't meet my expectations.
monsterofbooks More than 1 year ago
Magic Under Glass is a magical delight from debut author Jaclyn Dolamore. I've been excited for this one for a while, and happy to have finally read it. I was not really disappointed with it. It's a quick, easy read that was enjoyable. It was a bit predictable in areas, and I though Nimira's world could have been more laid out (example; a map would be nice). I also thought the love relationship between Erris and Nimira could of been more developed, it felt a bit to rush and unrealistic. Also the dialogue was a bit impractical, making the emotion lack in some areas. But even through all that, it was a amazing, interesting read. The story line was well put together and I was excited for every chapter. I loved all the characters, even the antagonist. I can't really choose a favorite, it's too hard. Maybe Nimira & Erris. I also thought it was pretty strong of how Nimira took the racism in a different country. She showed a lot of her culture in the book, by showing the difference of what is acceptable in one country and what is not in another. Which goes to show that what we take for granted, other cultures might not. I really noticed how much I take for granted in my country, when I went to Japan for two weeks. The ending hinted at a sequel, and I'm hoping there will be one because this book would feel uncompleted without it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is truly amazing the author hooks you from the first word on the first page. I finished this book in two hours flat. once you pick this book up you will not want to stop reading it. I was a little disapointed at the end though the author left room for a sequel I hope that this book becomes the first in a series. the author tells you about the war that went on between humans and faires 30 years ago but dosen't elaborate or explain in depth what it was about or who was involved and why. in order to make the book even better I think that the author should have included this information if she put the automaton as a long lost fairy prince. But overall it was truly excellent in my opinion you will not be disapointed if you pick this book up off a shelf in the store.
Shfmnx More than 1 year ago
I initially went to B&N to pick up 4 certain books - but this wasn't on the list. I just happened to glance at Magic Under Glass in the "New Releases" section and grabbed it to read the back. The story peaked my interest right away although I didn't think it was a "go home, curl up, and read it immediately" story-line. ("Don't judge a book by it's cover" clearly applies to this as the cover was alright but not particularly eye-catching.) However - that night I started reading the book and on the second chapter I was completely hooked. I read the entire book in about 4 hours - not stopping for anything. The story is very unusual, incredibly creative, and the characters are beautifully memorizing. The author does a fantastic job of making you want to be so much more involved with the book rather than just reading it. You most certainly want to be a part of it. Most definitely buy this book as it is one you will want to read over and over each year.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore, Nimira is a "trouser girl" who is used to singing and dancing for pennies. Until the day Hollin Parry watches her perform and decides that he wants her to sing with a piano-playing automaton. But the automaton is not just a machine - he is really Erris, a fairy gentleman trapped in a clockwork body. When Nim discovers this, she falls in love with him and vows to set him free. But first she must overcome several obstacles, including finding a way to get Erris an actual body and discovering a way past a scheming Ambassador of Magic who dislikes fairies. The premise of MAGIC UNDER GLASS immediately caught my attention. A girl who falls in love with an automaton who is really a fairy gentleman trapped in a clockwork body is right up my alley! I do have to say that I couldn't quite connect with Nimira. I'm not sure if it was because it was set in a different time/country or what, but I just didn't get as much from her as I would have liked. I did fall for Erris (the automaton), though. Right from the beginning, when he and Nim started their connection, I found him endearing and so badly wanted him to be set free. And I couldn't decide about Hollin - sometimes I found him to be a villain, but at other times I found him wanting so badly to be a hero and do the right thing. Did he? You'll just have to read the book to find out! The premise was a great story. I think it could have been longer and I would have continued to enjoy it. I think (and hope) the ending was set up for there to be a sequel and will definitely be looking to read it if there is one! This is a story about magic, and about fighting for the ones you love. Reviewed by: Andrea
auburn42 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from start to finish! I honestly found and wanted to buy this book in one minute, it was really an impulse buy! This book is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone:)
StoryBreather More than 1 year ago
Magic Under Glass pulled me in the moment I picked it up. It was magical. Beautifully written, with descriptions that unveiled to me the pictures Dolamore clearly wanted depicted. The story is original and captivating. I wanted more after turning the last page! I want to see more of the fairies and Erris' home. It did remind me a little of Jane Eyre, but quickly steered away, as this story holds its own secrets and intrigue. This book was truly enchanting, definitely one of my new favorites. Also, the cover is purley brilliant. It's beautiful. What first drew me to this book. Great job Jaclyn
AngieReed More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story and it was a quick read. The reason I am only giving it two stars is the ending. It seemed like it just ended all of a sudden. Like the story wasn't done. I wanted to read more, to see what was going to happen. Also, I'm not so sure why she chose the title she did. Yes, there is magic in the story, but how is it under glass? Don't get me wrong, I like the title, it is intriguing. Just given the story, I might have chosen something different. Which has nothing to do with the story itself, just an insight. I would read the second to see the rest of the story. I did enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was original but did seem to lack enough closure at the end. It leaves you wanting to see what else happens to the main characters, Nim and Erris, but somehow leaves it too open for a sequel. If that makes any sense? Good read but left wanting too much more at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in about two and a half hours. It was most definitely entertaining, and with a good plot. It may leave you with a cliff hanger, but I'm hoping that means there will be a book #2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookWorldBabe More than 1 year ago
Phenomenal! After reading Between The Sea And The Sky, also by Jaclyn Dolamore, I thought it couldn't get any better. Of course, it did. Magic Under Glass is an enchanting, intriguing, and romantic tale. The writing flows and is flawless, the characters and admirable yet relatable, and the overall idea is so wonderful and creative that I've never heard anything like it before! Everyone must read this novel; it's one of a kind and sure to blow you away!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PidginPea More than 1 year ago
Nimira is a dancer who is taken in by Hollin Parry, a magician, to sing with his piano-playing automaton. Nimira hears stories that the automaton may be haunted, which is why Parry has lost so many singers in the past, but Nimira decides to stay no matter what. She soon learns the truth - that the automaton is actually Erris, a fairy prince - which launches her into an adventure among sorcerers and spirits to free Erris and fight for what is right. I am absolutely in love with the world Jaclyn Dolamore has created for this series. Her descriptions of the lands within it bring to mind locations in our own world, but she has transformed them into beautiful, mystical places that you want to run away to. The world of the fairies is spoken of also, seeming so close by and yet so separate. I hope we get to see more of that world in the sequel, Magic Under Stone. Nimira is a fantastic heroine. She is proud of herself and her heritage, she is confident in herself and her abilities, and she doesn't stand for being looked down upon. There is a scene where she is expected to show up to a party with her native costume on, but she refuses. She will not be objectified as a "trouser girl;" she will wear a gown like everyone else, thank you very much. This book wrapped up with a nice implication that an even bigger adventure awaits Nimira and Erris in the next book, Magic Under Stone, and you can bet that I will be reading all about it as soon as it is released. { Full review originally posted on my blog, Pidgin Pea's Book Nook. }
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book alot. It did take me more than once to read it and understand it completely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ikind of liked this book until the end. It didn't meet my expectations there though. The book was also too dark, and I really hated the prince(i don't know why)
Zlabya More than 1 year ago
A romantic-fantasy tale with some new twists to the old tropes. The "clockwork person" element is not merely catering to the steampunk craze but is essential to the plot , and is described with both loving and well-researched detail. The young narrator, Nim, is appealing--talented and courageous but with warmly human naivete and doubts. The author has created a rich fantasy world without resorting to purple prose or an endless stream of description. Not a perfect novel, but darn close, and well worth reading for both teen and adult fantasy and/or romance fans.
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Galleysmith More than 1 year ago
Fantasy has never been one of my genres of choice but I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It was a very quick read and loads of fun. The fairy world Dolamore created seemed to be just within the readers grasp yet still so far away in time. It most definitely had an Asian vibe for me, kinda Memoirs of a Geisha lite, which made it feel more exotic and mystical. A definite asset to the story for sure. Nimira and the automaton were both extremely compelling characters. In fact, for a virtually inanimate object the automaton was the most animated of them all. He seemed to be so much more alive and outspoken than Mr. Parry and in many cases Nim herself. His personality shone despite the rigid circumstances of his body, making him a really complex and dynamic character. Dolamore also did a spectacular job relationship building. Nim was the center of everything. In particular, I liked the way Nim's relationships with both Mr. Parry and the automaton developed and how Dolamore kept the reader guessing about where her loyalties ultimately lied. I'll add in here that I have to admit I was worried about how the relationship between she and the automaton would develop and expand but was pleasantly surprised by their interactions and the ultimate outcome. It's difficult to really speak to some of what happened in the book as I am not a fan of spoiling twists and turns. I will say that there were some interesting aspects to the story - some I anticipated and others that caught me off guard. A fun and interesting ride with lots of great twists and turns I would advise people to definitely pick this one up. It's an excellent book to dip your toe into the realm of fantasy.
acornucopiaoflove More than 1 year ago
At the start of the story, Nim is working for next to nothing in a run-down theater that's frequented by unsavory men. After she's invited to sing for the wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry, her life drastically changes. She's given nice clothes, good food, and even a maid, Linza, to wait on her. I really like Nim as a character. She was courageous, and she was determined to find out the truth behind the automaton, and how Hollin came to own him. I really enjoyed the book, particularly Hollin's story. While the book was obviously focused on Nim, I was suspicious of Hollin at the start. Without giving too much away about his character, I wasn't sure what his true intentions were until I learned more about his history, and how magic hadn't always helped him. I do wish that the story had been longer. Once I got to the last 50 pages, I was wondering how the story was going to wrap itself up so quickly. While I think that Dolamore did a good job tying up most of the loose ends, I did wish that the story had been a little longer. On the other hand, it did leave room open for a sequel.