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Magic Under Glass (Magic Under #1)

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  3,133 ratings  ·  633 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published December 22nd 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jaclyn
Sep 01, 2010 Jaclyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Maggie Stiefvater
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 Dolamore (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...more
Ceilidh
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...more
Wendy Darling
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 the more unusual aspects of the infamous love triangle, particularly the fact that Hollins isn't...more
Cara
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...more
Angie
Nov 02, 2010 Angie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
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...more
Faye
Magic Under Glass is magical and well, just AWESOME!
I loved this book!

I really enjoyed the characters, the relationship between Nimira and Erris, their friendship (soon love) was easy to see, and a joy to read. Erris...he's an interesting character, I found him to be kind of tortured, I mean he was trapped in a life like “doll” or automaton, cut off from the world. Going through all that, he ended being sweet and honest. I could see why Nimira falls for him. Nimira is not your ordinary “trouser...more
The_Book_Queen
I don't usually throw the words "Spell-binding", "Luscious", or "Amazing!" around lightly-- so when you see all three of them, plus many more similar ones, in my review, you know you're in for one heck of a book!

First off, Magic Under Glass is a wonderful example of fantasy and fairy tale combined-- it reminds me of the (early) Disney movies, not because it's "childish" (far from it) but because of Jackie's ability to weave the story around the reader, completely emerging us into Nimira's world...more
Kay
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...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Grochowski
Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel is a quick and engaging read that left me me wanting more. Not only did the slim volume end much to quickly, Dolamore's unique plot line and characters stayed with me even after I finished the last line.

First off, I'm still a bit in awe of the cover art. I thought it was gorgeous when I first saw it on Jackie's website and when I saw the arc, but it was nothing compared to the bound version when I saw it in the bookstore. It definitely is eye catching!

I was intrigue...more
Elena
I first heard about this book in the context of the huge rigamarole over the cover. (The main character is from an India-inspired fantasy nation, and her ethnicity is a huge part of the plot, yet this was the first cover, until the internet kicked up a fuss and the publisher fixed it.) It's sort of a steam/clockpunk world, which interested me. The main character, Nimira, is a singer who is hired to perform with a clockwork automaton pianist who (minor spoiler for the first bit?) turns out to be...more
Michelle
One of the hardest parts of becoming a parent, in my opinion, is having to crystallize in words what it is that we believe, to articulate with precision that which we have only vaguely felt to be true before. To have to look into the eyes of a child who trusts us and answer a question like, "Why do we have war?" One thing that has become clear for me in the past few years is that I do not believe in "Good Guys" or "Bad Guys." We each of us make a thousand decisions every day that slowly shape us...more
Misty

Nimira is a "trouser girl" singing and dancing for her living in Lorimar when she is approached by powerful sorceror Hollin Parry. Hollin wants to hire her to sing with the accompaniment of a life-sized, piano playing automaton he owns. His offer promises to change Nimira's life drastically for the better -- but there is a catch. Every other woman he has hired has run away, terrified of the automaton, which they insist is alive. Nimira takes the job, refusing to be afraid of an automaton, but wh...more
Kristen "Kirby"
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...more
Allison
An automaton that plays the piano, fairies, sorcerers and necromancers, and a 'trouser girl' who sings on the stage. Add a Jane Eyre style mysterious madwoman haunting the third floor of the manor, and you have a vaguely gothic steampunk historical fantasy with a dash of sweet romance. Quite an interesting combination.

Some aspects were less developed than I would have liked, leaving me feeling detached from it all. The world-building, the characters, and how their relationships developed were a...more
snowplum
Love the premise. But that only makes the book more disappointing. This is no Night Circus (a la Morgenstern) with loving crafted moments you want to (and get to) dwell in with characters whose hearts you get to know blissfully well. This is pseudo-streampunk lite (+faries) that seems as though it's trying to appeal to an emotionally older audience but is paced like it's for short attention span juvenile readers.
Friendships are cemented in a two minute interaction and True Love takes about 150...more
The Winter Rose
Sometimes a book just comes along which is just the right thing you needed to read at that moment in your life, and for me - "Magic Under Glass" was the perfect book at the exact right time.

Set in an original fantasy world (which is very reminiscient of Victorian England... but if fairies, unicorns and magic existed), "Magic Under Glass" tells the tale about a young foreign girl named Nimira who works in a vaudevillian act, singing and dancing as a "trouser girl". A young magician hires her to...more
Christie
Magic Under Glass is an enjoyable story of a girl with big dreams, and the challenges she faces because of the color of her skin. As the mom of biracial children, I’m thrilled to see a novel with a main character of color. I loved the author’s writing style, and felt the characters were well developed for such a short novel. I connected with Nimira instantly, and quickly grew attached. If I could change anything about this book it would be the length. Even just 50 more pages would have made for...more
Lori (Pure Imagination)
Nimira left her home country to make her fortune. She ended up dancing for pennies in a nightly show. When a young sorcerer asks her to come to work for him, she will learn things she never thought she would. Lies, deceit, treachery, and love.

Who would of thought that you could fall in love with a automaton? I didn't. I seem to be falling in love with all kinds of strange characters lately. Polar bears, now automatons. The fact that I was able to fall for a machine that does not even speak throu...more
Ashlea
Well, I have to say that the plot and characters themselves were pretty good. I liked the idea of a fairy prince, Erris, being imprisoned as an automan and the romance between himself and the main character, former trouser girl-Nimira. Yes, most of the characters were interesting...and all the authors ideas were good ones,..though they seemed incomplete.
And before I get carried away, I have to give Jaclyn props, it is a good plot. But..
The whole story seemed to be missing many details, everythin...more
Larissa
May 16, 2010 Larissa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Nimira is a long way from home having travelled over seas to make her fortune. However a fortune never came and nether did the acclamations that she had hoped to receive. Nimira was a singer and a dancer and had been promised to perform for the height of society, but instead she had ended up at the already full world of music-hall performers.

As a trouser-girl Nimira's talents were wasted on leering drunks with only mere pennies for her trouble. Although she would never admit it, she long dreams...more
Rachel
First note... The cover on the book I picked up is not the same as the one on goodreads and I much prefer the one I had. Neither of them reflect the ethnicity (Thai?) of the heroine though and that bugs me.

MUG is the story of a alternate world based on our world in the Edwardian time period with a touch of steampunk. The heroine is an asianish girl (never really stated, but her clothing, dancing, history are clearly of asian origin) who was wealthy in her home country, but now works as a singing...more
Leanne Bell
I seem to have come across mixed reviews on this book, but personally, i found it a charming and original fairy tale. Admittedly, i found the beginning a little slow, but then the story really took off and i loved every second.Namira is brilliant as the young girl wanting to make something of her life, and i really admired her strength in making choices because not many people would take a chance with a person they don't know in hopes of a better job or future.

Erris, the Automaton, was a wonderf...more
Aurora  Fitzrovia
Ich gestehe, bevor ich mir "Magic under Glass" gekauft und nun gelesen hatte, hatte ich keine wirkliche Ahnung, worum es hier geht. Klar, ein Mädchen und ein Junge, der in einen Automat gefangen ist (was mich übrigens ständig an "Der Sandmann" von E. T. A. Hoffmann erinnert hatte o_o), aber ansonsten? Umso überraschter war ich, als ich beim Lesen entdeckt hatte, dass sich die Geschichte in einer ganz eigenen Welt, Land, abspielt. Es gibt Feen, Zauberer und andere verschiedene Völker. Allerdings...more
Steph Su
With a premise like this one, one can have only high expectations for Jaclyn Dolamore’s debut novel, MAGIC UNDER GLASS, and indeed, most of them are met in this sensuously written historical fantasy set in a magical and dangerous world.

The writing in this book is exquisite. Jaclyn Dolamore effortlessly captures readers’ attention with her unassuming descriptions of this fantastically different world. Nimira’s voice is appealingly innocent in this politically corrupt sphere, and yet we can also f...more
Julie
Jan 18, 2010 Julie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers, young adults
I loved the book. I liked the romance, I liked how the good characters were genuinely good and the bad characters were bad. I liked how it ended and I loved Hollin and Erris. Beyond that, I can't think of what makes me love this story.

The ending seemed like a total cliffhanger, yet at the same time it seems like it could just end there (oh I hope not). The characters all had their flaws and didn't act all high and mighty (except for one, but he's not important to this point). I loved the author'...more
Kate
I finished this book so recently, I can still hear the ticking of the clockwork automaton in my brain. It's a story that will stay with me for a long time, set in a world that was pure delight to visit.

The world author Jaclyn Dolamore created here is one firmly grounded in social classes and politics, yet it still swirls with spirits and fairies that are completely believable. Her main character, Nimira, is a dance-hall girl who finds herself transported to the home of a wealthy sorcerer, where...more
Astraea
Jan 22, 2010 Astraea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like faeries and romantic fantasy
A quick read with a charming romance.

Nimira the dancing girl dreams of a better life away from the dancing shows, is offered the chance to escape that life, by aiding a sorcerers' request to sing with a musical automaton.
Erris has been enchanted/cursed to become a clockwork automaton that plays piano. Through rehearsal Nim learns that the automaton is alive and literally her fairy prince. In their search for a way to cure prince Erris of his predicament they fall in love.

It was nice to see a st...more
Lisa
Debut author Jaclyn Dolamore shows bright promise with this swift-paced, highly imaginative tale. Though the book is only 240 pages long, the characters are well drawn and interesting. They exist in a fully realized world--one into which the reader catches glimpses rather than being saddled with cumbersome and inelegant exposition. Those glimpses certainly whet the reader's appetite for further exploration in subsequent volumes. Additionally, the premise of a fairy gentleman trapped in the stric...more
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Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift s...more
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“Sometimes, before you make any plans or resolutions, before you declare your heroic intent to persevere, you just have to cry.” 30 likes
“I furrowed my eyebrows."Are you looking at my bosom, sir?"

The eyes snapped back up. "At such a serious moment? What do you take me for?"

"A rogue, I believe." I tried not to smile.”
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