Pages: 225, paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date Released: February 1st, 2010
Genre: YA / fantasy / light steampunk / romance / faeries
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.Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon
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.
(Taken from Goodreads)
I had been so excited to read this book, and it wasn't what I had expected. In a good way.
The most important aspect about this book is the magical elements and the world building. It was done in such a way that, not only does it feel believable, it feels natural. From the Victorian-esque universe to the prejudice that Nimira has to face for her skin colour and background, and the slight hints of steampunk, it created this nice blend.
I really liked Erris and the way that he interacts with Nim when they're first getting to know each other. Though the book is short--too short for my liking; I wish it had gone on for several hundred more pages--their relationship grows into something sweet. That said, I didn't feel too much character growth on Nim's part, which I feel was partly due to the shortness of the novel. Nim started off as a well-rounded character: strong, independent, dealing with the pressure of coming from a well-off background to being looked down upon because of her ethnicity and occupation.
The political intrigue in this book was the bast part, I thought. It was all explained in such a way that didn't make it seem dull, or like a history text-book, which I found most surprising. I haven't come across too many YA books that deal with that sort of thing and come off natural like this book does.
Now for the magical aspect: the fey, the alchemy, how Erris works, it was so wonderful to read about, and I loved it. Everything was very well-thought out. This is a world that I would love to immerse myself in over and over again.
I can't wait to read the sequel, Magic Under Stone. I have high expectations of it.
Also, the US paperback to this book came out on the 24th of May, and you can find info here.
Cover Art: 4
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5 stars