Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (review copy) - Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril. From Amazon UK
There are no words for just how amazing this story is! Oh, how I wish it was longer, so I could read some more! I was hooked right from the get go! I started reading a few chapters yesterday, and have spent most of today completing it. Such a sweet, lovely, unique story! I absolutely loved it!
I can’t tell you how beautiful this story is; the writing style is just beyond anything I can describe. I can’t say if I was more in love with the plot or the writing. It’s almost poetic. It was so easy to get lost in the sound and rhythm of the words, I would have to read passages over so I could actually take in what was happening. I just adored the writing! I may be going on a bit, but writing style isn’t something I’m all that bothered about – sorry for the sacrilege – but with Magic Under Glass, I was completely moved by it. And the descriptions! I would love to have gone to the places described in this book, they sound so beautiful!
Reading this book was almost like “coming home” in book terms for me; High fantasy is what first opened my eyes to reading, and although the world in Magic Under Glass seems resemble our own very closely, it is high fantasy with its sorcerers, fairies, and strange lands. It was just magical – pardon the pun. I loved the structure of this world, seeming like regency England, but with the politics of the sorcerers, and the possibility of war with the fairies.
The characters are also amazing! Nimirais such a strong character. Used to such a different way of life where she comes from, Nim is looked down on in Lorinar, she deals with such disgusting attitudes from some of the higher classes, but she keeps going, trying to better herself for the sake of her family at home. The along comes Hollin, a rich, handsome sorcerer who takes her into his home and treats her like a lady in return for her learning the songs and singing with the automaton. He is a nice guy generally speaking, but he is very weak, and so frustrating! Smollings Ambassador of Magic for the Sorcerer’s Council is possibly one of the most disgusting men I have come across in YA, in his attitude towards Nim and in his character as a whole, even if Nim were a high class Lorinar woman. And then there is Erris, the fairy trapped inside an automaton; a wind up, human shaped clockwork machine. Think Dick Van Dick in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when he sings Truly Scrumptious – instead Erris doesn’t sing and dance, he plays the piano. Erris is such a great character, and you can’t help adoring him, and sympathising for the terrible life he leads.
I just love how this book ended, it was fantastic! We have our magical bit of action, we have our politics, and we have a great cliff-hanger! Not the type where you’re left hanging right at an important bit, but the type where you know where things will lead, in a round about way, from there. Magic Under Glass is a quick and beautiful read, and I know I’ve already said, but I so wish it was longer! It’s just fantastic! I can’t recommend it enough!
Thank you to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for sending me a review copy.
Published: 1st February 2010 in the UK, 22nd December 2009 in the US
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Jaclyn Dolamore’s Website
My Favourite Book
The Sweet Bonjour