by Jaclyn Dolamore
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 mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
Magic Under Glass was a quick-read. It had all the elements of fantasy, characterization, and plot that I love in a novel. Between the action, the slight romance, and the plot, I simply devoured this book in two days. I like the idea that Nimira is from another country, with darker skin, but not looked down upon by everyone. If anything, she is more insulted in terms of her being a woman than the color of her skin. Nimira is happy to find a new life with Parry, but she doesn't love him. When she starts to spend more time with the enchanted automaton and finds the truth behind what he really is, it's no surprise that she finds herself less interested in Parry.
When things start going awry, Nimira must choose between saving herself or the automaton. I love the strength of her character in this book. She is multi-faceted and is not just the stubborn woman, but a woman who has her own hopes and dreams. Also, Nimira knows when to be cautious, she's a realistic character in that sense. Too often you find characters that just charge into a plot and for some reason that works for them. I think the book was a bit of a quick read and I can't wait for the next book - the ending makes me assume there will be a next book.. hopefully.