An fairly short enjoyable debut novel with elements of steampunk and "Jane Eyre".
I decided to do a re-read as I was preparing to read the sequel, Magic Under Stone and needed a re-fresher.
Nim is a trouser girl with little to call her own and when a mysterious gentleman offers to whisk her away to a better life and a well-paying job singing alongside a fairy-made automaton, she agrees. She arrives at Mr. Parry's estate and finds her new employer to be charming and just a really nice guy. He treats Nim wonderfully and acts like they might share a life in the future together. Till she realizes that he's married and keeps his
mad woman conversing-with-the-spirits-wife locked up in the attic. That kinda ruins the dream. But Nim didn't react as I expected her to react. She's fairly chill. Instead of asking:
and getting angry at Hollin for practically making her into Mrs. Parry, she just says something like:
"Well you're married, dude. And I don't love you. So thanks, but....
Meanwhile, Nim has been practicing with the automaton and, hey-o, it's alive! Turns out the automaton is a cursedenchanted fairyhuman prince who has been stuck in a mechanical body for years. His name is Erris and he needs Nim's help to be a real boy again.
Okay, it's sounds sillier than it is. And their friendship-turns-romance is really very cute and sweet.
The whole fairy-world-must-be-saved has a far bigger part on the back cover than it appears to in the book. Sad, really. But that's also what I'm assuming the sequel is about so I suppose it's all good.
The ending is VERY open to a sequel and truly needed one. I am very glad that we have received one.