Okay, so I finally managed to read an actual book this week: Magic Under Glass, by Jaclyn Dolamore.
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.
I was drawn to Nimira from the opening lines of the book–I felt immediately sympathetic for her and her situation, and wanted desperately to see her dreams come true. She comes from a life of privilege, yet she’s forced to dance in a troup that barely earns enough to keep her alive while she dreams of more. And Holln Parry seems like the answer to her prayers.
Then she meets Erris, a fairy prince enchanted in the body of an automaton, and everything changes for her. I loved how expressive Erris was, even trapped in a wooden body, and I immediately fell for him myself, and wanted to help him. The world had a very Victorian, Old England feel, and it was vividly done, down to the details of the society that looked down on the “trouser girls” like Nimira. I will say I was so quickly drawn into the world of this story that I finished the entire book in one day. I loved it, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out (whenever that is)!