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Magic Flutes

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  7,006 Ratings  ·  537 Reviews
Spring, 1922 - Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess - who's given up her duties to follow her heart, working for nothing backstage at the Viennese opera. No one there knows who she really is, or that a fairytale castle is missing its princess, and Tessa is determined to keep it that way. But secret lives can be complicated. When a wealthy, handsome Englishman dis ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1982)
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Katie Hutchison Irion
Alright, I really like this author but enough is enough. I think I have read too many of her books in too short of time. Heck, I think I could write one of these books. Hmm, here goes. Impoverished adorable female heroine who, despite very bleak odds, is still the happiest, calmest, sweetest girl on the block. It doesn't matter that her parents hate her of she has no money, her beauty shines through the mess her life is in. Rich, tall, dashingly attractive man comes on the scene. Has all the mon ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Update: I finished... actually, I skipped a lot of the book. I just couldn't get into it. And it wasn't even the random big words (see earlier rant below). I just didn't really care about these characters. And there was so much in this book that didn't seem to fit quite right or that just felt like filler. I really doubt I'll ever read anything by Eva Ibbotson again.

Just a quick note... I'm only 40 pages in and I'm a bit annoyed with the author. "Vituperative" and "salubrious"? Really? She could
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maninee by: Avisikta
Shelves: romance
When I flipped through the book at the library the cover told me this was the story of beautiful dark eyed princess who has shrugged off her royal duties and taken up the life of theatre and how she meets and falls in love with a handsome and rich English businessman. For me atleast the story isn't so much about romance really. Atleast, not one of those heady romances where every other page is filled with detailed descriptions of the heroine's face. No, this was less of romance and more of, well ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is EXACTLY the kind of book I would want to write. It's a ridiculous confection, but not a wispy meringue or an overdone croquembouche. It's like...a Sachertorte! Layer upon layer of substantial deliciousness that is almost but not quite too much, and best enjoyed with a strong cup of coffee. (Or like I did, in a hot tub...can you eat Sachertorte in a hot tub? I volunteer to find out.)
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, ya, historical
I was so excited to find another Eva Ibbotson book! Awhile back I blew through A Song for Summer, A Countess Below Stairs, A Company of Swans, and The Morning Gift. When I surfaced again, I found myself really hoping the magic spell wouldn't end there. Happily there was one more sweet historical in store for me. THE RELUCTANT HEIRESS is a (retitled) re-issue of Ibbotson's Magic Flutes, which was originally published in 1982. It is set in the 1920s and revolves around the outrageously funny and t ...more
Eh... I love Eva Ibbotson's world.

I have only one problem with her books, there are not enough. Practically, there are only six (plus short stories) for adults. And now I have read the fifth.

The book was simply compilation of: the love for music (classic music), the love for nature, the longing for the old world of great Vienna (the world before IWW) and a charming love story like from a fairy tale.

‘Breathe?’ said Tessa, shocked. ‘I don't need to breathe when I’m with you'

Ibbotson was an amazing
Oct 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I am in a Bad Book Rut, I need a good book asap to restore my faith in writers everywhere!!

Author Eva Ibbostson is 1-1. Her book "A countess below stairs" was wonderful, I thouroughly enjoyed reading it. This book, "The Reluctant Heiress' was a flop.
It took me about 200 pages of reading this one (or scanning it) to become half-way interested. The wording in this one is just too much. I know she was trying to write fitting to the time period, but I just really didn't like it. The char
Anne Osterlund
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another joyous romp through Eva Ibbotson's world of love in the face of early 20th century post-war Europe, great art, and truly disarming heroines. Tessa (who just happens to be an Italian princess) has dedicated herself as a maid of all work in the service of opera. Guy (tycoon/former foster child & chaos creater) buys up her old palace in honor of his fiance. Said fiance turns out to be in love with herself. Which is actually a good thing because you know sooner or later Tessa & Guy a ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I reviewed A Countless Below Stairs last week, I felt as though I couldn't single out one of Eva Ibbotson's books for a 5-star rating because I love them all and don't have a favorite. Since then, a couple of friends have read my review and expressed interest, and I found myself backtracking from Countess and recommending The Reluctant Heiress (in some editions alternatively titled Magic Flutes) because they would probably like it even more. Apparently I have a favorite.

It will be difficult
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
If I had read this book before I read A Countess Below Stairs it would have been one of my favorite books. A beautiful story with such a great leading lady, and the opera...Debussy, Mozart, Puccini--love love love. I like the sacrifice of everything toward the greater good of music, and that Beethoven's button business-genius.
However, this is strikingly similar to A Countess Below Stairs and that book has a slightly more appealing hero, bigger climax moment with that great line that goes somethi
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
More about Eva Ibbotson...
“I must go-- the aunts will be worried. Guy, I don't know if we will meet again, but--" Her voice broke and she tried again. "Sometimes, when you're alone and you look up at--" Once more, she had to stop. Then she managed, "If I cannot be anything else... could I be your Star Sister? Could I at least be that?"

Guy dug his nails into his palms. Everything in him rose in protest at the fey, romantic conceit. He did not want her in the heavens, linked to him by some celestial whimsy, but here and now in the flesh and after the death of the flesh, her hand in his as they rose from graves like these when the last trump sounded.

"Yes," he managed to say. "You can be my Star Sister. You can at least be that.”
“She took a deep breath, inhaling the night air scented with hay, honeysuckle and the rich waters of the lake, listened to the music and laughter coming from the theatre, tilted her head to the the stars. She had never seen them so brilliant and clear. Cassiopeia, Orion, the great girdle of the Milky Way-and her own birth sign, Gemini. With such staggering beauty in the world, how could anyone not rejoice?

It seemed however, that 'anyone' could. For at once came the age-old cry of lovers since time began. 'What are the stars if i am not gazing at them with him? What is beauty except something we share?”
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