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Friday, 19 February 2010

Review: Magic Under Glass

Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Release date: 1st February 2010 UK
Genre: Fantasy
Target audience: 12+

Review:
Summary from Bloomsbury.com:
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.

There is an elegant feel to Magic Under Glass as if it should be a delightful piece of art that should be cared for and admired. Nimira, a "trouser" girl, is employed by the debonair Hollins to perform with his automaton pianist. As I think of this now, I feel a little sad that this adventurous and brave young woman is employed to accompany a machine. She comes from a different land and in a way, she too is a curiosity like the automaton to be gawped at and not really admired for her musical ability. This novel takes us into a realm of mystery and magic, of cultural differences, prejudice, power and ultimately of love. The automaton is not a machine but an enchantment which imprisons Erris, a fairy.
 
Magic Under Glass drew me in with Nimira's strong voice. She commands the book and is at its very heart. A character who is not living in her native land and has lost so much, her family and her home, yet she is emotionally strong and it is that strength that is vital to this story. I'm sure if I had been one of the girls Hollins employed to sing with the automaton, I would have been out of the door before his mechanical eyes even blinked. I am accursed with the power of an overactive imagination. Luckily, it is Nimira who narrates this story and not me and so as I read with her, I found myself falling for the mystery that was Erris. Nimira really is a character to aspire to be like.
 
The plot of this novel is fairly simple but it is the way that it is conveyed that makes this book so gloriously beautiful. The description is wonderful. The only part of the writing which I found a little stiff was the argument scene between Nimira and Hollins. The dialogue felt unnatural and pained but only in this small part of the book.
 
Overall, Magic Under Glass is an elegant magical tale which takes us on a journey of love and teaches us to stand up for what we believe in. A beautiful debut novel that will be enjoyed by fans of fantasy, historical fantasy and love stories. Highly recommended!
 
NB: Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me the book to review.

23 comments:

Sasha said...

I loved this book too! Great review :)

The Book Bug said...

Indeed. Awesome review. :) It has a areally prety cover doesnt it?

Luisa at Chicklish said...

I'm fascinated by this premise. Thank you for the great review - I really think I should read the book!

Cat Clarke said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book. Thanks for the fab review!

Nina said...

Trousergirl, the word reminded me of the book Nation (Terry Pratchett)..but the story is not the same as that one. :) Great review, you really want me to read the book and learn about their love.

Book Crazy Jenn said...

This book looks really amazing - and I loved your review, I need to pick it up sometime soon!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Excellent review! I continue to hear marvelous things about this one. I love this cover.

Jo said...

Awesome review, Becky! I really loved Magic Under Glass! Such a beautiful story! Cheers!

Cleverly Inked said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Beautiful review

Shy said...

I've heard a lot about this book but your review signify how beautifully this book was written. Thank you for pointing this part of the book to all of us. Will surely add this to my wishlist =)

brizmus said...

This is up next on my list of books to read, and now I am super psyched! What a great review! I think I'm really going to like Namira, along with the style of the book! :-)

I Want To Read That said...

ooh sounds really good! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the review:)

LovesSam said...

I have this one too, and I seem to be a bit reluctant to pick it up, it sounds like such a good story though, thanks for the review!

Christina/Book Addict said...

Great review. I have been meaning to read this one. It sounds like something I'd like! I finally bought Need--thanks to your recommendation. I hope to start reading it soon!

Shantal said...

Wonderful review !! It sounds totally awesome! :)

I just gave you an award at my blog:

http://booknerds-are-pretty-too.blogspot.com/2010/02/awards.html

Have a good weekend.

Sarah said...

Great review!! I really want to read this one :o)

Book Monster said...

I'm currently reading this and enjoying it!! Glad to know you liked it!!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Ooh, I really must get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the review!

Lauren said...

Awesome review Becky. This book sounds pretty fascinating and incredibly unusual. I can't wait to read it!

Christina/Book Addict said...

I forgot to tell you that I gave your blog an award. Check it out here: http://bookaddictchris.blogspot.com/2010/02/bliss-award.html

The Book Owl said...

Great review! I cannot wait to read this. It sounds wonderful!

Lea said...

Awesome review! MUG sounds like a great book,

Yunaleska said...

I'm so glad you loved this! It's a brilliant read.