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Magic Under Glass

(Magic Under #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  4,674 ratings  ·  728 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
Paperback, 225 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Books (first published December 22nd 2009)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,674 ratings  ·  728 reviews

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Maggie Stiefvater
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  (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
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, fantasy
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
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
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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!
Kristen "Kirby"

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
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romantics at heart, no matter the age!
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
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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

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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I am almost feeling guilty about giving out so many 1 stars lately, but it says "did not like it" for a 1 star - and I did not like it! The best thing about this book is the description of it! You actually get more depth and excitement from the Goodreads description. So, just read that, and move along to something else.

I guess it's hard to do a lot in a couple of hundred pages, so the author decided to cram a bunch of ideas in, and skip the development of characters and relationships. These cha
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sara Grochowski
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book was quite promising, and Dolamore's writing was very good. However, I found myself deeply frustrated because the story lacked depth. Events moved too quickly--there was no building sense of dread, and I found myself unable to suspend my disbelief long enough to accept that the relationships among the characters developed as quickly as they did.

There are some similarities here to Jane Eyre, but I think Dolamore missed the long-building, slow burning, but incredibly intens
There is the outline of an interesting novel here, but it's so brief and compressed that characters constantly act with no comprehensible motivation. The Plot Must Go On, even if it requires characters to make snap judgements (always correct), abruptly change their minds, and fall in love at first note. To substitute for organic character development, the author inserts wild emotional outbursts, but despite fountains of tears I could never quite understand what all the crying was for.

I did like
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
TBR Reduce Challenge #11- 2011 (Alexa)

A truly touching romance, elegant writing and a remarkable cast of characters.
Magic Under Glass is magical, unique, intriguing and beautifully done.

I'm looking forward to the sequel, I want more of Nim and Erris!
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has got to be the best book I have read in a long time. I chose the book purely because of the beautiful cover, and was really not expecting much. As they say never judge a book by its cover. Not having heard of the author before, I was pleasantly impressed with the plot and writing style.

I never knew what a 'trouser girl' was, and this term had peeked my interest with the reference to it on the very first page. One particular trouser girl, named Nimira - was offered an opportunity to sing
Louise Frost
Dec 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read this in two sittings. Enjoyed it from chapter 1. Must now acquire the second book!
I expected to like this book more.
I was surprised that it took me several days to get into it and finish; usually I finish a book in one day.
However, I was not engrossed in this story.
It makes me sad because I think that the author's concept and writing has potential.
But I found the writing to be mostly bland as well as the plot and the "love story".
I found this book on goodreads, and was very excited to read it because the plot sounded unique.
The central character of an 'automaton' reminded me
Steph Su
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debs10
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
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Jaclyn Dolamore has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives in western Maryland with her partner and plot strategist, Dade, and three weird cats. To keep abreast of new releases, sales, and extras, please join her mailing list! ...more

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