starlady: Anna Maria from PoTC at the helm: "bring me that horizon" (bring me that horizon)
Dolamore, Jaclyn. Magic Under Stone. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012.

I very much enjoyed the first book in this two-book set, Magic Under Glass (subject, as some people may recall, to a successful campaign against its whitewashed cover), and I was sad that in some ways this book didn't live up to its predecessor. But despite its flaws there were some parts that I liked better than the first book, and if you liked the first one I would not dissuade you from reading the sequel.

Magic Under Stone finds Erris and Nimira seeking out a sorcerer whom they are told can help them in their predicament. It also finds a sensitive jinn being commanded by the current elf-king to do various unpleasant things to Erris and the only other surviving member of his family, the half-human, very spoiled and unpleasant Violet.

I liked that there were even more female characters in this book, in a variety of different roles and with different strengths, and I continued to really love Nimira and her perspective as a young brown woman in a predominantly white country, as well as the fact that she is incorrigibly proactive and, in her own way, pretty badass. I couldn't stand Violet, though I understood the reasons she was the way she was; I wanted about 200x more Annalie. I was annoyed that my suspicion about the two male sorcerers Karstor and Garven being in love was confirmed, but only after one of them was dead. I found it even harder not to read the elves as Native Americans this time around, except for how what we see of the Faerie country has taverns? What?

A good chunk of the book's problems can be laid at the feet of the fact that Dolamore was (I'm told) forced to put the developments of two books into one, with the unfortunate consequence that the Faerie part at the end is more or less totally shoehorned in. It more or less totally unbalances the narrative, and I was sorry to see publishing concerns so fundamentally alter, for the worse, what could have been a really excellent trilogy. As it is, I would still recommend this book, but it could have been so much better.
starlady: Anna Maria from PoTC at the helm: "bring me that horizon" (bring me that horizon)
As Samwise said, well, I'm back--before I head out again on Friday, to Berkeley, on the redeye. Is there anything really awesome in San Francisco that I shouldn't miss when I'm there on Saturday?

Dolamore, Jaclyn. Magic Under Glass. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010.

I read this book because [personal profile] dmp liked it. I liked it too. ETA: [personal profile] bookshop reviews the book here as well, with the new cover! /eta

Dolamore's novel (the original U.S. cover of which depicts the brown-skinned main character as white and was the rightful subject of controversy, and which was redone) focuses on Nimira, an immigrant from the cod-Asian land of Tiansher to the cod-European country of Lorinar--she came to make her fortune as a "trouser girl", dancing in the style her mother was renowned for at the Tiansher court, only to find that fashions in Lorinar had moved on. When a wealthy sorcerer named Hollin Parry hires her to sing duets with a piano-playing automaton he has recently purchased, Nimira thinks her future is assured, but she quickly finds that there's more to the automaton than clockwork, and herself involved in the politics and possible war between Lorinar and the fairy realms it borders along the Wall.

Mild spoilers )


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