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


10 thoughts on “Magic Under Glass

  1. Maggie Stiefvater Maggie Stiefvater says:

    The audience didn t understand a word we sang They came to see our legs As the posters said TROUSER GIRLS FROM THE LAND OF TASSIM We were billed just underneath the acrobats and the trained dogs.So begins Magic Under Glass, a debut novel by Jaclyn Dola Bloomsbury, Dec 09 It follows Nimira, a music hall girl, a dark skinned oddity in light skinned Lorinar, as she leaves the security of the music hall for employment with the mysterious and dashing Hollins Parry Mr Parry wishes to reta The audience didn t understand a word we sang They came to see our legs As the posters said TROUSER GIRLS FROM THE LAND OF TASSIM We were billed just underneath the acrobats and the trained dogs.So begins Magic Under Glass, a debut novel by Jaclyn Dola Bloomsbury, Dec 09 It follows Nimira, a music hall girl, a dark skinned oddity in light skinned Lorinar, as she leaves the security of the music hall for employment with the mysterious and dashing Hollins Parry Mr Parry wishes to retain her services to sing with a handsome automaton a man shaped clockwork machine that plays the piano when wound sexy, right Apparently Mr Parry has had some problems with retaining girls in the past as they insist the automaton is haunted They claim it mumbles to them, which is admittedly terrifying, and then they run away.Nimira, however, is no wimp So when the clockwork man does his mumbling thing for her, she doesn t go running to Mr Parry Instead, in a completely refreshing sequence where she doesn t spend pages agonizing over what she really saw a pet peeve of mine in fantasy , she gets over her shock and disbelief and settles down to business finding out whator whothe automaton is And what he is a angst puppy trapped in cogs and springs In other words, my brand of fun.The result is a whimsical, smart novel that is sort of like a cross between Howl s Moving Castle and Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell The details are lovely, the voice consistent, the characters complex And Nimira is refreshingly clever throughout The ending is a bit muddled and weirdly paced, but it wasn t enough to put me off my game My biggest complaint was how short the book was I could ve been happily entertained for twice as long.My verdict I really enjoyed this novel now, but I have to tell you that, as a teen, I would ve married this thing and had little clockwork babies Highly recommended


  2. Jaclyn Jaclyn says:

    Since this book has been out a while now and some frequently asked questions pop up in reviews, I thought I d edit my review to answer a few here There will be a sequel It s called Magic Under Stone and it should be released in 2012 As far as I know, that book will complete the story A companion book same world, different characters and locale called Between the Sea and Sky will be released in 2011 The title Magic Under Glass refers to the fairies kept under glass which are also sort Since this book has been out a while now and some frequently asked questions pop up in reviews, I thought I d edit my review to answer a few here There will be a sequel It s called Magic Under Stone and it should be released in 2012 As far as I know, that book will complete the story A companion book same world, different characters and locale called Between the Sea and Sky will be released in 2011 The title Magic Under Glass refers to the fairies kept under glass which are also sort of a metaphor for the trapped situation of the characters, especially Erris Originally there was actually a bigger plot involving this magical machine made of glass, but that was cut in edits The series is not really called Magic Under , that s just some arbitrary thing Goodreads assigned to it Nimira s home country was drawn from many other countries, with China and India being the largest, but far from the only, influences In my original draft it really soundslike China, but over various evolutions it came out soundinglike India Still, it wasn t meant to be any one place in particular I think of this as taking place on an alternate Earth where migration and trade was altered, sometimes slightly and sometimes vastly, by the presence of magic, winged folk, mermaids, etc., so cultures developed in different ways.P S Yes I gave it 4 stars Well, I like some of my other books better P


  3. Ceilidh Ceilidh says:

    I, like many people I imagine, first heard about Magic Under Glass after the less than publicity friendly but justifiable outrage over the whitewashing of the heroine on the first cover of the book Luckily, the publishers listened to the complaints and gave the book a lovely new cover with the appropriate cover model so remember good readers, public pressure does sometimes work But that unfortunate incident aside, this has been a book on my radar for a while after several excellent reviews a I, like many people I imagine, first heard about Magic Under Glass after the less than publicity friendly but justifiable outrage over the whitewashing of the heroine on the first cover of the book Luckily, the publishers listened to the complaints and gave the book a lovely new cover with the appropriate cover model so remember good readers, public pressure does sometimes work But that unfortunate incident aside, this has been a book on my radar for a while after several excellent reviews and the promise of a book with Steampunk elements that wouldn t make me want to fall asleep.Indeed, Magic Under Glass is a very sweet read, chock full of charm and imagination It s a book that can easily be read in one sitting, which I found to be both a good and bad thing good because it was well paced and highly readable, and bad because the slightness of the novel left me feeling a little unsatisfied The story and world Dola has created is so jam packed with potential and while the story occasionally lives up to it, I felt like there was definitely room forThe alternative Victorian esque universe of forbidden sorcery, fairy human political strife and clockwork creatures was fascinating but much of it is only hinted at I understand a sequel is in the works but as a stand alone novel, which Magic Under Glass works well as, there was much opportunity for these elements to be expanded upon Unfortunately, the ending as a result also feels a little rushed Larger events are hinted at, ones of political complexity and cultural hostilities, which I was eager to learnabout, but were never given much time to truly develop Dola writes wonderful, very readable prose, and clearly knows how to pace a story, so I firmly believe she could have easily added another 50 or so pages to this novel for such elements, as well as some extra character development, without any change to the structure of the novel.The novel s strengths lie mainly in the heroine Nimira, a strong, independent if occasionally stubborn and entitled young woman who has come from a life of privilege and adoration to one of decidedly less importance, where she is looked down upon both for her occupation and ethnicity I enjoyed Nimira s voice immensely, especially in the way she fights to be recognised asthan a trouser girl Her interactions with most of the other characters seem a little one sided, which is mostly down to the supporting cast being much less developed than she is The villain is far too one dimensional and predictable to ever be truly convincing and the potential her early discussions with Erris, the fairy prince trapped inside the automaton, have potential and a tentative charm, it quickly turns to romance with no real depth, which was a great disappointment, especially since Nimira s interactions with Hollin, a muchcomplex and developed character, are muchbelievable as the beginnings of a possible relationship I never truly believed the evolution of Nimira and Erris relationship.While I thoroughly enjoyed Magic Under Glass , I do feel that it could have benefited from further character and plot development, as the potential offered in this book is truly great The beginnings of wonderfully imaginative and varied world building, as well as the hints of complex political intrigue, give Dol a great head start in creative what I hope to be a rich and enjoyable series This world would make a wonderful Studio Ghibli movie It s a quick, if very slight read but it leaves the reader wanting .3.5 5


  4. Wendy Darling Wendy Darling says:

    3.5 stars.In many ways, this is an exquisite little fairy tale I loved the vividly imaginative concept of a young singer being asked to perform with a clockwork piano player, who may or may not be an enchanted prince The descriptive passages that show us the city, the cruelty of fairies being caught under glass, and Nimira s mother s embroidered costume are all enjoyably detailed, and I appreciated theunusual aspects of the infamous love triangle, particularly the fact that Hollins isn t 3.5 stars.In many ways, this is an exquisite little fairy tale I loved the vividly imaginative concept of a young singer being asked to perform with a clockwork piano player, who may or may not be an enchanted prince The descriptive passages that show us the city, the cruelty of fairies being caught under glass, and Nimira s mother s embroidered costume are all enjoyably detailed, and I appreciated theunusual aspects of the infamous love triangle, particularly the fact that Hollins isn t made out to be a complete villain.For all its wonderful attention to detail as far as physical setting and objects are concerned, however, it s surprising how little description there is of the emotional aspects of the story What dismay or pity or love Nim feels seems rather distant, and you never really get the shock of emotion that you might be hoping for And none of the characters, Nim included, really have any sort of back story The notion of a man being trapped in clockwork for twenty years is wildly romantic and incredibly tragic, and I wish the author had chosen to explore the depths of this scenario a little bitpassionately Still, I really enjoyed reading the story enough to look for a copy for my own shelves, even , though it s much shorter than I expected and some of the machinations of the plot are a little slight, particularly at the end I m looking forward to the next book to see where the story goes, howeverand crossing my fingers that as the story develops, the characters emotional lives will, too


  5. Angie Angie says:

    So I m awfully late getting around to this one But I could just never find a copy and then with all the cover issues it was in and out of stock everywhere for what seemed like ages It sounded like a book I wanted to read right off the bat, despite the issues with cover and availability Finally my family took pity on me and gave it to me for my birthday awhile back And now that it s been nominated for the Cybils, I decided it was high time to find out what all the fuss was about MAGIC UNDER So I m awfully late getting around to this one But I could just never find a copy and then with all the cover issues it was in and out of stock everywhere for what seemed like ages It sounded like a book I wanted to read right off the bat, despite the issues with cover and availability Finally my family took pity on me and gave it to me for my birthday awhile back And now that it s been nominated for the Cybils, I decided it was high time to find out what all the fuss was about MAGIC UNDER GLASS is Jaclyn Dola s debut novel and it resides somewhere in the realm of fantasy meets steampunk meets historical fiction For the record a realm I love very, very much I ve read quite a mixed batch of reviews on it around the blogosphere, but I was nevertheless fairly excited still to find out for myself what lay between the pages of this slim but intriguing book.Nimira is one of the so called trouser girl Young women who sing and dance in rather seedy dance halls across Lorinar for two cents an admission Fleeing her lush homeland of Tiansher after her family s ruin, Nim seeks out the fabled dance halls of foreign Lorinar, where the magic and success she imagines falls so very short of her dreams Trouser girls are out of favor and looked down upon And it is not until three years later that Nim spies her ticket out when a young gentleman by the name of Hollin Parry walks into the hall and makes her an offer she can t refuse Come sing along with his piano playing automaton and live a life of ease Never mind that the automaton might be haunted, or that there s quite a bit Hollin s not telling her, about both his history and his estate Nim jumps at the chance, determined not to be put off by a clockwork man like so many other girls Hollin hired were After all, he s just a contraption of wood and gears made to look like a man Stick the silver key in his back, wind him up, and sing along What could be simpler than that MAGIC UNDER GLASS is an easy, read in one sitting sort of book I enjoyed the world Ms Dola created, with its impending war between faeries and humans and I loved the descriptions of Erris the automaton and his shifting eyes, his skillful fingers, and his inability to move beyond a careful set of scripted motions There was frankly a wild amount of potential in this storyline And I do mean wild potential I loved the stolen practice sessions in which Nim sat next to Erris and decoded his stilted messages and longed for the ability to converse normally and at length I loved the idea of the faerie court in uproar and the mysterious hints at necromancy But unfortunately, none of it came to fruition for me What a disappointment it was, as the characters stayed firmly two dimensional, the villain painfully uninteresting, and the relationship between Nim and Erris set up so wonderfully but remaining completely undeveloped I finished the book merely out of a sense of obligation and one last lingering hope that it might pull out in the end But all I got was slapdash characterization and a bewilderingly hurried resolution, if you can call it that The whole thing felt like a synopsis, if you will, and not the final work I realize there is a sequel in the works, but this novel needed so muchdepth and breadth to it to keep me going


  6. Cara Cara says:

    I can t believe I seriously considered not finishing this book That doesn t happen to me often, but in this case I already started disliking the main character, Nimira She came off as a little too entitled, but thankfully that isn t harped on too much and we get this truly moving story Nimira has moved away from her homeland to find her fortune through her talent on stage Unfortunately she hasn t had much success, until one day Hollin Parry comes to see the show and offers her a job Mr.Parr I can t believe I seriously considered not finishing this book That doesn t happen to me often, but in this case I already started disliking the main character, Nimira She came off as a little too entitled, but thankfully that isn t harped on too much and we get this truly moving story Nimira has moved away from her homeland to find her fortune through her talent on stage Unfortunately she hasn t had much success, until one day Hollin Parry comes to see the show and offers her a job Mr.Parry has an automaton piano player and he wants someone to sing with it and apparently he thinks Nimira can do the job As it turns out though Hollin isn t only looking for a singer, and is hiding many secrets You ll see a lot of Hollin in the story and turns out to be one of the most complex characters in the book The automaton is rud to be haunted and Nim will learn soon enough how true that is The reader and Nimira found out that Erris the automaton s name is a fairy trapped into this contraption and forced to play piano Nimira will do her best to help him, and along the way find out things that she hadn t bargained for.Honestly I usually I m not fond of fairies in books There is always something that bothers me, but I appreciate how fairies are depicted in this one Not mean spirited and definitely not always tiny We actually don t actually encounter any fairies except for Erris, but he s enough to show that these are not the typical fairies we meet in other readings The author did an excellent job of having the character of Erris come through to you, even though he can t move or talk No easy task, and to say some of my favorite scenes are with Nimira and Erris talking to each other says something Towards the end the action kicks up a notch and with how the story ends it is just begging for a sequel Definitely will be reading the next one if there is one Later note Thank goodness there is a sequel Magic Under Stone


  7. Sesana Sesana says:

    Heavily inspired by Jane Eyre, Magic Under Glass features a strong cast of characters in a vaguely defined world There are fairies, sort of, and an enchanted automaton, and a less than convincing romance So it could be better.The best thing, by far, is Nimira herself, the main character She s bright, generally clear thinking, bold, and talented I liked her quite a lot Her narration made a book that otherwise has very little going on a quick read.But the world building is really too vague N Heavily inspired by Jane Eyre, Magic Under Glass features a strong cast of characters in a vaguely defined world There are fairies, sort of, and an enchanted automaton, and a less than convincing romance So it could be better.The best thing, by far, is Nimira herself, the main character She s bright, generally clear thinking, bold, and talented I liked her quite a lot Her narration made a book that otherwise has very little going on a quick read.But the world building is really too vague Nimira is a trouser girl , from a country that, based on context clues, is maybe supposed to be equivalent to Thailand Somewhere else in southeast Asia I m not sure We don t learn enough about Nimira s culture to get a clear picture of it The picture we get of the country the book actually takes place in is likewise vague It s England y, except when it s American ish You know, basic nondescript fantasyland If you re not going to go to any effort to characterize your fictional countries, why use fictional countries at all Why not just call the countries Thailand or whatever and America or whatever That s all aside from the total lack of development given to magic, fairies, and the fairy country that lies across the border Wait If this book is set in fantasy America, does that mean that the fairy country is in fantasy Canada Speaking of lack of development, the romance It isn t exactly instalove, and it does develop at what I think is a reasonable pace I can t be exactly sure, because I m not exactly sure how much time passes over the course of the book That s vague, too But no matter how much time has passed in story, if you don t show a couple falling in love, it doesn t feel as real If Nimira herself weren t so great, this book would have been a slog for me But she is actually quite wonderful, and I loved reading her I just wish the rest of the book was up to the same standard


  8. Kitkat Kitkat says:

    Yay this book was truly beautiful I loved every character and I cannot deal with emotions So much happened that made me love it and I wist past it I cannot wait to read the next book


  9. Kristen "Kirby" Kristen "Kirby" says:

    Edited Magic Under Glass sounded excellent Nimira is a trouser girl that is, a girl who wears trousers while singing foreign tunes With women still engulfed in fabric from head to toe, and people blushing when the lace circling on a chair flips up to show a leg, you can understand why they were considered such a novelty Then comes Mr Hollin in all his flatness and top hat to stomp the story into the gravel until it could be considered bland, at best.Okay, so Nimira needs cash, right Sh Edited Magic Under Glass sounded excellent Nimira is a trouser girl that is, a girl who wears trousers while singing foreign tunes With women still engulfed in fabric from head to toe, and people blushing when the lace circling on a chair flips up to show a leg, you can understand why they were considered such a novelty Then comes Mr Hollin in all his flatness and top hat to stomp the story into the gravel until it could be considered bland, at best.Okay, so Nimira needs cash, right She doesn t want to be looked down upon for her career, so when Hollin offers her a job singing with an automation, she said yes without a second thought She goes home to his estate with him and lives there, eating bonbons and joyfully standing still for gown measurements. Yo Nimira Why didn t you ask how much you d get paid, the entire story And why d you live with a married, I mean, widowed man Where s you re governess We are in an early time period, right Dunce Just Take it or Leave it is the author s motto it seems In a tumble, she says, Hollin s a sorcerer afraid of the Sorcerer s Council This is an automation and that s it I m not setting up a world here I m just going to poke some magic in here for sport that doesn t jive with other aspects of the story Mmmhmm, I see that Noticed what ya did there from the very first few pages Good job My major beef just so happens to be a big spoiler try to keep up, kids WARNING May Ruin Story Is Mr Hollins a little, shall we say, loopy Lonely, perhaps He must be, for he and Mr Shullings keep his dearest wife locked up in the tower He neglects to inform Nimira of this little detail but obviously, she already knows this because of a little mishap earlier and some good ol spying when he requests they run away from mean Mr Shullings, head of the Sorcerer s Council and his long coming punishment for summoning the queen of the dead to help cure his once loved wife of some sickness clears throat Yeah, he loves Nimira So what if he only met her, what, two days ago They had a picnic for goodness sake Time to go adventuring.Nimira is conveniently in love with someone, or something, too That automation How do they converse Why, he points at a letter on an Alphabetical chart and she writes it down Conversations consist of I like nim., Get Kartus etc. She then acts similarly to Mr Hollins, misbehaving, summoning the Queen of the Dead to release his body from the machine, give him a new life, whatever, I don t know Well, it works, and once Mr Shullings gets an earful of this, he whisks the automation away and attempts to charge Mr Hollins for his crime But,Get this Mr Hollins did the exact same thing as Nimira did, summoning this illegal queen, to save his wife from a sickness.He gets a punishment, Nimira is later free to walk around with machine man..free of charge.There s no rhyme or reason for why anything happened The author clearly didn t sketch out skeletal bones on paper to ensure everything made sense and had a purpose.I gatta ask, why is there another book coming out This was CRAP Crap I finished, which qualified it for a 2 star rating And I didn t pay for it Library book Not too big of a loss


  10. Kay Kay says:

    I was really disappointed with Magic Under Glass It had been on my wishlist for so long, and when I got a copy I was really eager to dive in.There was just so much I wanted to love an interesting, fantastical world filled with magic, faeries and complex social divisions Unfortunately, there is nothing here that is all that special The universe is basically Regency England with faery foreigners and a bit of magic thrown in for the hell of it.And the characters Extremely one dimensional Lea I was really disappointed with Magic Under Glass It had been on my wishlist for so long, and when I got a copy I was really eager to dive in.There was just so much I wanted to love an interesting, fantastical world filled with magic, faeries and complex social divisions Unfortunately, there is nothing here that is all that special The universe is basically Regency England with faery foreigners and a bit of magic thrown in for the hell of it.And the characters Extremely one dimensional Leading lady Nimira feltlike a plot tool than an actual character moving from scene to scene for the sake of it Her love interest, Erris, was as mechanical as his automaton exterior and needless to say their tragic love felt forced and unrealistic.Magic Under Glass was supposed to be a lovely wholewheat brown bread guaranteed good read But it was the literary equivalent of white bread Very disappointing.Bottom line Magic Under Glass is an old school faery tale lots of plot, no character I didn t think it was a bad book, it was a bland book.http deadbookdarling.com 2010 05 re