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Friday, 12 March 2010

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

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.

I read a lot of reviews about this book before getting it myself so my expectations were rather high. I adore the cover but find it slightly misleading after reading the book.

The story begins with lots of background information on the main character, Namira, within a short space and I was unsure as to where the story was leading.

It is set in what can only be described as a Victorian period, which is brought to life by the wonderful descriptions given. However, I did feel that I could not relate to any of the characters within the story which was a great disappointment to me.

There is one lovely quote by Namira that I relate to as I work on my own:
If one spends too many hours in solitude, one starts to emote for one's own benefit
There is lots of tense drama within the story countered by some tender, touching moments between Namira and Erris (the automaton). The imagery had thoughts of the King & I popping into my imagination. I did giggle at one point where a statue which is described comparably to the image of the Statue of Liberty as the 'goddess of wisdom'.

Cliff-hanger ending has paved the way for a sequel or sequels. I am curious to see where the story goes and how the characters develop.

On  the whole, unfortunately, this was not the book for me. Which just goes to prove that you have to read something for yourself and not just take other people opinions.


  1. I'm intrigued that you're not as crazy about this book as most reviewers seem to be. I have this but I let my mum read it first, and she enjoyed it but wasn't crazy about it either. I've still been looking forward to reading it, but I'm wondering if I'll relate to the characters now. Thanks for the honest review. :)

  2. Hi Lauren, thanks for following the blog. As I said I think that this is one book that you are either going to love or be indifferent to but you definately have to read it for yourself :)

  3. I think the cover of this is lovely. I'm not sure if it's the book for me either though, as I'm not a huge fan of historical or fairy fiction :)

    It is rather disappointing when a book doesn't live up to expectations.


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