Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

This book will be available in the US on December 22, 2009 and in the UK on January 1, 2010.

Grade: A+


Nimira is a music-hall girl used to dancing for pennies. So when wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing accompaniment to a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. In Parry's world, long-buried secrets are about to stir. Unsettling rumors begin to swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry’s involvement in a group of corrupt sorcerers for whom the rules of the living and dead are meant to be broken for greater power. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman is trapped within the automaton, she is determined to break the curse. But even as the two fall into a love that seems hopeless, breaking the curse becomes a perilous race against time. Because it's not just the future of these star-crossed lovers that's at stake, but the fate of the entire magical world.


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Setting: 10/10
Total Score: 67/70

Obtained: Free ARC provided by publisher (BLOOMSBURY)

Age Appropriate?

Cussing: Some, but very little.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Some references to drunkenness, but very little.
Sexual Content: None.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Not much... Nothing that sticks out in my mind, anyway.


Magic Under Glass defies all of my expectations! It is an enormous reminder of all the things that make literature awesome -- magic and intrigue and adventure and true love and culture and war and sorcerers, oh my! As I read this book, I was brought back to the earlier years of fairy tales and princesses. But Magic Under Glass isn't a book for wishful middle grade readers. It is a fairy tale with bite!

Set in a world that makes me step back and say "whoa" with my mouth hanging open, this novel follows many of the same paths as Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, but it also resembles steam-punk literature and fantasy. It is a strange mixture, to be sure, but Dolamore certainly pulled it off beautifully. Her detailed world is at once easy to imagine and impossible to comprehend, yet I was never confused or bored by her narrative. Her writing is thoughtful, intelligent, and graceful. I was hooked from the start.

For all that it is a "fairy tale" (of sorts), Magic Under Glass was utterly cheese-less. Nothing was cliche, nothing had me rolling my eyes or sighing. The whole thing was as original as it gets. Forget Prince Charming! Instead have a cursed automaton! Away with damsels in distress! Here's a foreign dancer trapped in the dregs of society! Think fairies are cute and twinkly? No! They're just magical people who may or may not be completely evil!

Prepare to be blown away.


Jaclyn Dolamore
Dade W. Bell (to whom the book is published and creator of the trailer below--might be interesting)
Jane Eyre review


  1. Lovely review. You've inspired me to consider this book.

  2. That's it. I must read this book. Off to Barnes and Noble straightaway!

  3. Nice review :) I'm reading this right now and really enjoying it!

  4. This one sounds amazing, thank you for the review! :)


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