counter create hit The Glass Magician - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Glass Magician

Availability: Ready to download

A gilded menagerie rules a Gilded Age: Bears and Bulls are not only real, but dominate humanity in The Glass Magician, an amazing historical fantasy by Caroline Stevermer What if you could turn into the animal of your heart anytime you want?With such power, you’d enter the cream of New York society, guaranteed a rich life among the Vanderbilts and Astors, movers and sha A gilded menagerie rules a Gilded Age: Bears and Bulls are not only real, but dominate humanity in The Glass Magician, an amazing historical fantasy by Caroline Stevermer What if you could turn into the animal of your heart anytime you want?With such power, you’d enter the cream of New York society, guaranteed a rich life among the Vanderbilts and Astors, movers and shakers who all have the magical talent and own the nation on the cusp of a new century. You could. If you were a Trader.Pity you’re not.Thalia is a Solitaire, one of the masses who don’t have the animalistic magic. But that is not to say that she doesn’t have talent of another kind—she is a rising stage magician who uses her very human skills to dazzle audiences with amazing feats of prestidigitation. Until one night when a trick goes horribly awry…and Thalia makes a discovery that changes her entire world. And sets her on a path that could bring her riches. Or kill her.


Compare
Ads Banner

A gilded menagerie rules a Gilded Age: Bears and Bulls are not only real, but dominate humanity in The Glass Magician, an amazing historical fantasy by Caroline Stevermer What if you could turn into the animal of your heart anytime you want?With such power, you’d enter the cream of New York society, guaranteed a rich life among the Vanderbilts and Astors, movers and sha A gilded menagerie rules a Gilded Age: Bears and Bulls are not only real, but dominate humanity in The Glass Magician, an amazing historical fantasy by Caroline Stevermer What if you could turn into the animal of your heart anytime you want?With such power, you’d enter the cream of New York society, guaranteed a rich life among the Vanderbilts and Astors, movers and shakers who all have the magical talent and own the nation on the cusp of a new century. You could. If you were a Trader.Pity you’re not.Thalia is a Solitaire, one of the masses who don’t have the animalistic magic. But that is not to say that she doesn’t have talent of another kind—she is a rising stage magician who uses her very human skills to dazzle audiences with amazing feats of prestidigitation. Until one night when a trick goes horribly awry…and Thalia makes a discovery that changes her entire world. And sets her on a path that could bring her riches. Or kill her.

30 review for The Glass Magician

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lori Lamothe

    Thalia Cutler is an up-and-coming stage magician known as The Lady of the Lake. Despite being an ordinary Solitaire (think Muggle), she's good at what she does and her stage manager David Nutall is always ready to protect her in a risky, fiercely competitive profession. When a dangerous trick goes wrong one night, however, Nutall can't save her—so she saves herself. Which is great, except for the fact that her escape forces her to question everything Nutall has told her about who she really is. Thalia Cutler is an up-and-coming stage magician known as The Lady of the Lake. Despite being an ordinary Solitaire (think Muggle), she's good at what she does and her stage manager David Nutall is always ready to protect her in a risky, fiercely competitive profession. When a dangerous trick goes wrong one night, however, Nutall can't save her—so she saves herself. Which is great, except for the fact that her escape forces her to question everything Nutall has told her about who she really is. Not long afterward, Thalia's number one rival doesn't fare as well when his act hits a snag. Even worse, Nutall soon becomes the prime suspect in his death. And Nutall's a Sylvestri, not a Solitaire, as he's told Thalia for as long as she can remember. Her entire life suddenly seems as false as the “magic” she fools audiences with every night. Lately I've been reading mostly mysteries and crime fiction, so a YA fantasy novel set in the Gilded Age seemed like it would be a nice change of pace. Oddly enough, the novel ended up being more of a mystery than a fantasy, which was fine with me. Stevermer's descriptions of the alternate New York City are vivid and well written, especially the scenes that focus on Thalia's magic act. The animal illustrations throughout the book are gorgeous and the characters intrigued me, for the most part. Last but not least, I liked the idea of the three different classes of beings: the underprivileged, hard-working Solitaires, the wealthy, shape-shifting Traders and the peaceful Sylvestri, who are closely attuned to nature. We don't get much background on the classes, but I expect Stevermer may flesh them out in future books if she continues with the series. What didn't work for me: first, the formatting. This won't affect future readers, but it was God Awful, to the point where I almost didn't finish the book. Though I liked the plot and thought Stevermer did a nice job of weaving separate storylines together, the ending felt a bit rushed, a bit anti-climactic – particularly the section about Thalia's “Ordeal.” That said, it was still a light-hearted, fun, quirky read. Much thanks to Tor/Forge and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    2.5 stars. This story was set in late 1800s to early 1900s, when women’s rights to vocational pursuits was very limited. A girl named Thallia Inherited her father’s magic show business. She was doing great until her supernatural powers manifested during one of her dangerous acts, she would have died had she not found her powers. The problem however is, until she has control over her powers she can be spotted and hunted by Manticores. On top of that her business rival, more powerful than she, sto 2.5 stars. This story was set in late 1800s to early 1900s, when women’s rights to vocational pursuits was very limited. A girl named Thallia Inherited her father’s magic show business. She was doing great until her supernatural powers manifested during one of her dangerous acts, she would have died had she not found her powers. The problem however is, until she has control over her powers she can be spotted and hunted by Manticores. On top of that her business rival, more powerful than she, stole some of her act, accused her of the theft. Authorities forced her to halt her work while they battle the issue with the law. As if that was not enough, her business rival died and Thallia’s business partner was one of the prime suspect. The rest of the story was focused on proving her partner’s innocence, finding whodunnit and getting her power under control, so she’s not manticore’s lunch. She accomplished her goals, the end. The storyline was lukewarm, I don’t hate it but I also don’t love it. So it is a firm 2.5 stars for me. Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics and A Scholar of Magics are my favorite magic school fantasies, bar none, so when I got a chance to read this ARC, I grabbed it. And as always, Stevermer did not disappoint. The Glass Magician is set in an alternate Gilded Age version of New York City, where Miss Thalia Cutler is a professional stage magician, aided by her lifelong family friend known only as Nutall. Humans come in four races: Sylvestri, the rarest and most magical, Traders, who are sha Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics and A Scholar of Magics are my favorite magic school fantasies, bar none, so when I got a chance to read this ARC, I grabbed it. And as always, Stevermer did not disappoint. The Glass Magician is set in an alternate Gilded Age version of New York City, where Miss Thalia Cutler is a professional stage magician, aided by her lifelong family friend known only as Nutall. Humans come in four races: Sylvestri, the rarest and most magical, Traders, who are shapeshifters and tend to be very wealthy, Solitaires, who are the most like ordinary humans and the most numerous, and Manticores, who unfortunately prey on Traders, sucking up their magic when they are most vulnerable, and killing them. But these sorts of problems seem far in the background to Thalia as she prepares for a performance. A minor setback prompts Thalia to substitute a trick, but it comes off flawlessly. Or so she thinks until a message comes that her contract has been rescinded, and she is not only forbidden that theater, but cannot practice at all. She and Nutall know who is behind this piece of treachery: a rival magician who is a bully, a liar, a cheat, and a con man. But scarcely have they set out to prove it when that mage turns up dead in the middle of a performance. Meanwhile, Thalia receives a request from a wealthy Trader family to train the debutante daughter in magic . . . and so an absorbing, atmospheric, marvelously inventive tale unwinds. I loved the worldbuilding, the characters, especially the female friendship that develops between the cautious Thalia and Nell, the mercurial Trader daughter who wants to become a magician in spite of her family’s (specifically her older brother’s) disapproval. Stevermer always writes with such attention to interesting detail, which is evident here. The tale comes to a very satisfactory close, with enough loose ends that I really hope she will be exploring this world further. Copy provided by publisher

  4. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Won off @torbooks Instagram giveaway:) ------- 2.5 to 2.75 stars Pros: Loved the characters and the setting. I wanted to sit down with Thalia and Nell and chat with them.. wanted to catch Thalia's stage show (also smack Faber but digressing). The writing was lovely. Beautiful cover. Cons/so-so's: The magic system and cultures were neat but not fully explained. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of conversations at a party and missed the first half. There were teasing little glimpses but never exp Won off @torbooks Instagram giveaway:) ------- 2.5 to 2.75 stars Pros: Loved the characters and the setting. I wanted to sit down with Thalia and Nell and chat with them.. wanted to catch Thalia's stage show (also smack Faber but digressing). The writing was lovely. Beautiful cover. Cons/so-so's: The magic system and cultures were neat but not fully explained. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of conversations at a party and missed the first half. There were teasing little glimpses but never expanded upon more. The ending felt abrupt even though parts of it were nice. The "romance" was barely there but even so I didn't buy the chemistry... felt more telling than showing and rushed. ---- I was kind of confused when I finished... my first thought was "That's it?" I checked to see if this was the first in a series or if I had stumbled unknowingly won a book in the middle of one but that doesn't seem to be the case. It was a pleasant enough book, I enjoyed myself while I was reading it. At the same time, it left me wanting "More" of... everything really. There were one thread in particular I was disappointed in being left hanging (view spoiler)[Regarding Thalia's mother and what happened between her mother and father. (hide spoiler)] Plus I am mightily curious about Nutall as well. Also I thought (view spoiler)[The Ordeal for Nell and Thalia was underwhelming. I can see the whys behind it but I expected something more elaborate, I guess. (view spoiler)[ All in all, it was just "okay" for me but it kept my interest long enough for me to finish it. This seems the type you'll either love it or find it "meh" I am more curious about her other work (more added to Mount TBR :) ) (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erika Sarutobi

    2.5 stars. For a book of almost 300 pages, I feel like barely anything happened beyond the murder and her figuring out how to use her powers. What I disliked the most was how the magic system was barely explained and messy when there was an explanation despite the world building depending on it. Though everything was predictable and cliché, but I didn’t mind it much. The characters were likable but some are superficial. Everyone willingly gives/does what Thalia wants regardless of the situation ex 2.5 stars. For a book of almost 300 pages, I feel like barely anything happened beyond the murder and her figuring out how to use her powers. What I disliked the most was how the magic system was barely explained and messy when there was an explanation despite the world building depending on it. Though everything was predictable and cliché, but I didn’t mind it much. The characters were likable but some are superficial. Everyone willingly gives/does what Thalia wants regardless of the situation except for the police so things were conveniently solved. Moreover, even though some characters were on the scene, sometimes they wouldn’t talk and you’d easily forget that they exist. Overall, I enjoyed the writing style and the vibe enough that it was easy to read through the book. There’s not much information as to how the magic system came to be and I wish it was more focused on it because it was very interesting instead of focusing a lot on Thalia’s thoughts which filled half the book. Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    For some reason, I have the hardest time writing reviews for books that strike me as mediocre. I don’t have anything bad to say, but I don’t have much good to say, either. The Glass Magician was one of those for me. It wasn’t bad. It was fine. A perfectly adequate book. But I doubt I’ll remember anything about it in a couple of months. Thalia Cutler is a stage magician, following in her deceased father’s footsteps. (I had to grab my copy of the book and look up her name, because I had already for For some reason, I have the hardest time writing reviews for books that strike me as mediocre. I don’t have anything bad to say, but I don’t have much good to say, either. The Glass Magician was one of those for me. It wasn’t bad. It was fine. A perfectly adequate book. But I doubt I’ll remember anything about it in a couple of months. Thalia Cutler is a stage magician, following in her deceased father’s footsteps. (I had to grab my copy of the book and look up her name, because I had already forgotten. See what I mean?) Thalia’s story takes place in an alternate New York City in 1905, a world in which humanity is divided into three subgroups: Solitaires, who are your average humans; Sylvestri, who commune very closely with nature; and Traders, who have an animal form in addition to their human one, and whose souls encompass both forms equally. These variances make for a world of interesting dynamics, where a magical-based classism has replaced racism and other forms of prejudice. I enjoyed the (very brief) exhibitions of stage magic, though the last scenes including stage magic were eye-rollingly overdramatic. I enjoyed the setting, and can see where this novel could almost be considered a fantasy of manners. I just wish it had been a bit more fleshed out. The characters were fine. They weren’t especially fleshed out, but they also weren’t obnoxious. There were brief glimpses of humor. The plot wasn’t really unique, but it was compelling enough to keep me turning pages. The writing wasn’t bad; it was perfectly serviceable. All in all, I’d relate my experience with The Glass Magician as the literary equivalent of waiting room television or elevator music. Electronic review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Polly

    What a delightful story this ended up being. I had semi-consciously put off reading this, as the blurb didn't particularly grab me, but was pleasantly surprised to be fully immersed in the story within a matter of pages. Set in the New York vaudeville circuit in the early 20th century, the theme of stage magic is perfectly balanced with the magical side of the story. Society is made up of three classes of people – Solitaires, Traders, and Sylvestri. While the Sylvestri are left as far more of a What a delightful story this ended up being. I had semi-consciously put off reading this, as the blurb didn't particularly grab me, but was pleasantly surprised to be fully immersed in the story within a matter of pages. Set in the New York vaudeville circuit in the early 20th century, the theme of stage magic is perfectly balanced with the magical side of the story. Society is made up of three classes of people – Solitaires, Traders, and Sylvestri. While the Sylvestri are left as far more of a mystery in the book, Traders are shape-shifters, people can share their soul with that of an animal's and learn to transform between the two at will. Hinted at in the story are elements of privilege and classism, and even appropriation. It feels slightly wasted that this wasn't explored a little more explicitly. The final test, the ordeal, ends up feeling a little anti-climactic, only due to being built up both in the reader's experience and in the in-world narrative. However it didn't detract from the magic of the story. While the writing style is a little simplistic at times, it makes it an easy read. I'm often put off from books that are classed as fantasy because High Fantasy rarely appeals to me, however this kind of story, set in the real world that just has more magic than ours, is exactly my kind of thing. 3.5/5, rounded up

  8. 5 out of 5

    Moony MeowPoff

    Ended up DNF it after i hit the 53% mark at my kindle. I didn't get invested or interested in the story nor did i like much of the main character. It just felt a bit meh and boring to me. I really tried, but i just - i think i'd end up skimming most of it.But, i really liked the cover. Haha.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book. This book has all the elements a reader can love in a fantasy novel set in an alternate era, and I was expecting to love this. I ended up just liking it. First of all, let me talk about the world and the magic system. I LOVE IT. I love the concept of the classes: Solitaire, Traders, and Sylvestri. I love the distinction between the classes and the dangers and intrigues surr An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book. This book has all the elements a reader can love in a fantasy novel set in an alternate era, and I was expecting to love this. I ended up just liking it. First of all, let me talk about the world and the magic system. I LOVE IT. I love the concept of the classes: Solitaire, Traders, and Sylvestri. I love the distinction between the classes and the dangers and intrigues surrounding them which of course make the life of the main characters more interesting as well. In this case, the protagonist Thalia discovered she has powers after a magic trick went wrong. Suddenly, Thalia's life is in danger because having power like hers brings danger. Right after that first scene, I was so excited. I thought I was really about to read my first 5-star read this year. Not to say, this is also the first book I've read this year. How awesome would it have been if this ended up with 5 stars? Obviously it didn't. Sure I have the excitement in my heart for quite a while because I love learning about each class. A book with mystery and intrigues surrounding the main concept should be a sure great read. But halfway through the book, I was beginning to realize something, I still don't get what I want from the book. The magic system, the classes aren't still clearly explained. I already know some things about them but there's no explanation as to why there are classes. The author didn't take me deeper into her world, and because of that, I felt like a stranger in the story despite having read most of it. I don't want to be a stranger, I want to be a part of the book I'm reading. Then overall, I think the book is missing that certain bang. I was expecting more, more revelation, more grandiose. Besides, the heroine is someone who just discovered her power. There should be more shocking revelations, right? Even the last part where there are revelations seem anti-climactic for me. It also felt rushed. Like I said I was looking for a bang,. But overall I give this one 3.5 stars. I really love the concept and I'm hoping I get more in the next books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    San

    I started reading this book not really knowing what to expect. I love books with Gilded Age settings. For me it's the one of the best era of New York to read about so I was really curious what author will create with that. The concept about Traders was pretty unique and I also like main character, Thalia. She was really independent person and could fight for herself. I only have a little problem with connecting with whole story and some parts were a little confusing. Thank you NetGalley and Tor I started reading this book not really knowing what to expect. I love books with Gilded Age settings. For me it's the one of the best era of New York to read about so I was really curious what author will create with that. The concept about Traders was pretty unique and I also like main character, Thalia. She was really independent person and could fight for herself. I only have a little problem with connecting with whole story and some parts were a little confusing. Thank you NetGalley and Tor Books for the copy of the book in exchange for honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was thoroughly expecting The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer to become a new favorite. Unfortunately, it didn't end up being for me in the end. Of course, there were a few elements I enjoyed, but I ended up preferring the description and concept to the final product. Thanks anyway, NetGalley.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Irene△⃒⃘➰

    3/5 In the end this actually turned to be an intereting and different read. I have to agree tho with the people saying that this book had so much potential and wasn’t used in its fully power. The whole concept about Traders and in general the world created were my favorite parts. I had a few problems sometimes understating the magic, I was confused and sometimes had to re-read a few parts to see if I got it right during the first read and that turned out a little annoying. I think the book was well 3/5 In the end this actually turned to be an intereting and different read. I have to agree tho with the people saying that this book had so much potential and wasn’t used in its fully power. The whole concept about Traders and in general the world created were my favorite parts. I had a few problems sometimes understating the magic, I was confused and sometimes had to re-read a few parts to see if I got it right during the first read and that turned out a little annoying. I think the book was well executed till its 60% mark. After, all got more confusing and, at least for me, harder to follow. And I’m saying this when I read the first half on a train journey while the second at home in my “normal and silent habitat”, so something definetly went “wrong” with the book execution. I liked how in the end everything was wrapped up, how the story was concluded even if maybe a little rushed, but there’s always an open ending for a new chapter. I had no problem getting into the story at the beginning, on the countrary, I was so interested and excited to start this adventure. The writing style was very good as well. So in summary, I think that there’s definitely a good story there, a nice set of characters and a very good story/world concept. The plot development could have been worked out a little more. Thanks to the publisher, Tor Books, and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    The Glass Magician, a story filled with a lot of magic and a little bit of murder mystery. Thalia, a magician who goes by the stage name, Lady of the Lake, is in her element while performing on stage. Magic has been a part of her family and with the death of her parents she wants to keep the family tradition alive. One evening she performs a new trick, a dangerous trick and succeeds in mastering it. A fellow magician attacks her though with a paper saying she has stolen his trick and gets her kick The Glass Magician, a story filled with a lot of magic and a little bit of murder mystery. Thalia, a magician who goes by the stage name, Lady of the Lake, is in her element while performing on stage. Magic has been a part of her family and with the death of her parents she wants to keep the family tradition alive. One evening she performs a new trick, a dangerous trick and succeeds in mastering it. A fellow magician attacks her though with a paper saying she has stolen his trick and gets her kicked off of the circuit she’s been working. Now jobless and unsure of what’s next she discovers another form of magic within her, a form of magic that could be the death of her if not managed correctly. When a murder happens during a magic show she attends, Thalia must figure out who the real killer is, all while trying to maintain herself and her safety. This book was filled with magic, which I enjoyed, as well as some fantasy aspects with the ability to turn into a new creature (called Trading in this book). I found the book to be enjoyable and unique, but at times it was very slow with limited action. There was also some loose ends that were not tied up in the end and made the book feel rushed and unfinished. That being said, I loved Thalia’s character which made this book fun for me and I also enjoyed the fantasy elements as well. Overall a good read! TW: Murder, Loss of a Parent. *I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is an experienced author, and it shows in the smooth and assured writing. Unlike most period pieces, it isn't full of obvious anachronisms (with an exception I'll mention later) or regrettable vocabulary glitches. However, the plot, the characters, and especially the setting all fell a bit short of excellence for me. There's nothing really wrong with the plot. It's more or less mystery with a chance of romance, though there's a dash of coming-of-age in there as well. The protagonist must de This is an experienced author, and it shows in the smooth and assured writing. Unlike most period pieces, it isn't full of obvious anachronisms (with an exception I'll mention later) or regrettable vocabulary glitches. However, the plot, the characters, and especially the setting all fell a bit short of excellence for me. There's nothing really wrong with the plot. It's more or less mystery with a chance of romance, though there's a dash of coming-of-age in there as well. The protagonist must deal with the discovery that she isn't who she thought she was, that her family situation is not as she's been told, and that her mentor isn't who she thought he was either. Meanwhile, she's prevented from working as a stage magician, which brings a brief threat of economic difficulties, quickly averted. She ends up the house guest of a man who both attracts and annoys her, caught up in the murder of a rival magician, and under threat from what amounts to a force of nature because of her newly discovered identity. It's probably a bit too much for a book this length, and some of the elements don't really get the development they need. The denouement to the mystery is a painfully awkward attempt at a villain reveal which, rather against the odds given how badly it's done, succeeds in flushing out the murderer. The pursued-by-manticores plot at least has a level of tension that's largely missing elsewhere. There are a few conflicts ("I must clear my mentor's name, but doing so risks my life") set up by the interweaving plots. It's not outstanding, but it will do. The characters are all right. There's nothing really wrong with them either. They're not complete cardboard cutouts or straight out of central casting, not quite. But they don't have an uncommon amount of individuality or depth either. You can describe each of them in a phrase (the rich young man, the rich young man's dilettante sister, the mentor, the monster hunter, the Romany magic shop proprietor, the landlady) and there's not a lot to add to that brief capsule description. The protagonist and viewpoint character has the most to her, of course, and she does develop and change in the course of the story. There were a couple of things about the setting that tripped me up and challenged my suspension of disbelief. We're in an alternate 1905, similar to our own 1905 in many ways (including some prominent people), but different in many other ways. Firstly, as well as baseline humans ("Solitaires") there are shifters ("Traders") and people who have some kind of nature affinity that's never really made completely clear ("Sylvestri"). The three can interbreed. In order to shift forms, you have to be a Trader on both sides of your family, but if Traders intermarry too much they produce manticores, monsters that can shift into apparent human form in order to stalk young Traders who are not yet in full control of their shifts and eat their magic, killing them in the process. This seems genetically improbable, but then, shapeshifting is extremely biophysically improbable, so let's be generous and put it down as part of the fantasy. For some reason that is never made clear, pretty much everyone who is prominent and successful is a Trader, and vice versa. The lack of an explanation for this was one of the things that tripped me up. I couldn't figure out a history in which the ability to turn into an animal (and the loss of human thought and memory beginning around the age of 70) translated automatically into becoming rich and powerful. Several of the actual historical figures mentioned are Traders, and the impression one gets is that nobody can just rise to prominence on their talents (as some of those people did in our reality); they have to be a Trader. Why? Most Native Americans are Sylvestri (because affinity with nature, presumably), and they have a treaty with the other Sylvestri that has kept the centre of the North American continent theirs, while the coasts are apparently colonised - both seem to be part of the United States, though that isn't said explicitly - and a railway runs between the two. Again, this seems unlikely; it doesn't play a big role in the plot, except that the Sylvestri ambassador is a minor character. (He is stationed in New York. Is New York the capital, then? Ambassadors are posted to capitals, consuls are posted to non-capitals.) And yet the Gilded Age is in full swing on the Eastern seaboard, unsupported by the resources of the central US. (The wealthy in the real Gilded Age often had extensive holdings in those central states.) It's hard to resist the idea that Native American sovereignty over a large portion of their land is simply something the author put in because she thought it should be that way, especially given other indications. There are black people in this alternate world, but they have a much higher status than was the case in our 1905 (40 years after the Civil War, let's not forget); a black woman is a prominent lawyer, and two other black women form two-thirds of the influential Board of Trade, who rule on certain important Trader matters. (The status of women seems a little higher, too.) Race is something that's constantly highlighted; the viewpoint character is a white woman, yet every person she meets, most of whom are white, is described by their race as well as whether they're Solitaire, Trader, or Sylvestri (which she generally seems to be able to tell as easily as their ethnicity). I'm not a conservative person and am mostly sympathetic to liberal viewpoints, but this does read to me like conspicuous 21st-century white liberalism projected intrusively onto an earlier age. Overall, then, I found this book fell short of being fully satisfying. The plot, while servicable, lacked the momentum it could have had, and the mystery resolution was painfully bad; the characters stuck mostly to type; and there were, for me, big holes in the worldbuilding that distracted me from the story. I received a copy via Netgalley for purposes of review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*

    This is an interesting book with intriguing ideas behind it but it really does lack that certain oomph it needed to really make it special and sparkle like I hoped it would. I believe it had the real potential with a backstory that could have been the basis for a great tale if it had been explained more fully but I needed more information on certain areas. It should have been fantastic but for me it was just a little lacklustre

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yogaa Lakshmi

    First of all, the cover is just sooooo beautiful. The title and the cover are apt for the book. The title 'The Glass Magician' occurs only once in the book, but it proved to be really strong. The story is set in 1905 New York (although the story started Philadelphia). The story revolves around Thalia Cutler, a stage magician, known on the stage as lady of the lake. She lives along with her late father's friend and her stage manager, David Nutall. One night, one of her act goes horribly wrong whi First of all, the cover is just sooooo beautiful. The title and the cover are apt for the book. The title 'The Glass Magician' occurs only once in the book, but it proved to be really strong. The story is set in 1905 New York (although the story started Philadelphia). The story revolves around Thalia Cutler, a stage magician, known on the stage as lady of the lake. She lives along with her late father's friend and her stage manager, David Nutall. One night, one of her act goes horribly wrong which could've have resulted her death. But something even worse happens, she realizes that she is a trader. To make matters worse, she is fired from her job, she and Nutall unknowingly get involved in the murder of their arch-nemesis/business competitor, and worst of all, she is being chased by a manticore. Meanwhile, Thalia meets some really generous and genuine friends who remain by her side throughout the story. The magic system in this book was really nice: Solitares, Traders and Sylvestri. The character building is done beautifully. The chemistry between Ryker and Thalia was really nice. But I wanted more of them. Overall, it a great mixture of historical fantasy and murder mystery. I wouldn't think twice giving this book a 5/5, because this book is exactly my cup of tea! I sincerely thank Macmillan/Tor-Forge and NetGalley for giving me this amazing opportunity! I am eagerly waiting for further books by Caroline Stevermer, because now, I am her fan.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    3.5/5, rounded up because...I don't know, I guess I just enjoyed it! Full review coming soon.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    The book is not action-packed though the plot does move along. Much of this is the result of the author using the time to build the world she has created. This is accomplished by introducing the various concepts present in this alternate universe and allowing the character of Thalia to experience the mores of her society. In this way, Ms. Stevermer doesn’t overwhelm the reader with daily life of the denizens of her book. Rather, she allows us an intimate look into the thought processes of Thalia The book is not action-packed though the plot does move along. Much of this is the result of the author using the time to build the world she has created. This is accomplished by introducing the various concepts present in this alternate universe and allowing the character of Thalia to experience the mores of her society. In this way, Ms. Stevermer doesn’t overwhelm the reader with daily life of the denizens of her book. Rather, she allows us an intimate look into the thought processes of Thalia, who is the focal point of the novel. Actual history is used as some of the background for the world, with a sprinkling of people most of us will be familiar with inserted here and there to provide an understanding of the time period. This is our familiar world with an overlay of what could have been, a semi-magical place where most people live their lives no differently than we do now. Thalia is nothing more than another person trying to deal with everyday life when the unexpected happens, and that is the charm of this book. Although at times I wished for more of the world to be revealed, there was enough to keep me interested and to find the story enjoyable. Ms. Stevermer introduces a minimal amount of characters yet gives us a good description of each while providing reasons for their actions. Four stars. My thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marjolein

    3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com Thalia is a stage magician with her show as Lady of The Lake. When her livelihood is threatened she will start a cascade of events which will eventually allow her to learn her true self and her true powers. There was a lot in this novel. Besides Thalia being a stage magician and pretty emancipated around the start of the 20th century, there is a whole magic world related to it. You see, real magic and stage magic combined. Thal 3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com Thalia is a stage magician with her show as Lady of The Lake. When her livelihood is threatened she will start a cascade of events which will eventually allow her to learn her true self and her true powers. There was a lot in this novel. Besides Thalia being a stage magician and pretty emancipated around the start of the 20th century, there is a whole magic world related to it. You see, real magic and stage magic combined. Thalia believes she is a simple Solitaire, as opposed to Traders (shapeshifters who for some reasons make up the crème de la crème of New York society) and Sylvestri (nature people who are never really well explained but must have some kind of power also). Add to this the gruesome Manticores, who hunt unexperienced Traders in order to suck their magic out of them, and a murder charge, and it is quite a lot. However, it was an interesting read and while I had hoped that some parts of the worldbuilding would have been explained a bit better without turning it into an infodump, I liked this version of New York. I was a bit worried in the beginning that by throwing all these things at the reader the story would feel overcrowded, but it didn’t really. Still, I had the feeling it was missing a little something that I can’t really put in words. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Gascoyne

    This was disappointing, as I've enjoyed Stevermer's work in the past, but this latest offering is kind of ... meh. I liked the setting in turn-of-the-century NY (19th, not 20th). However, the magic world-building left a lot to be desired; humankind appears to be divided into 3 (1/2) races: Traders, Solitaires, and Silvestri. Traders are rich and can change shape - cause and effect here is not fully explained. Silvestri _appear_ to be vaguely first-nations, but, again, it's very unclear. And ever This was disappointing, as I've enjoyed Stevermer's work in the past, but this latest offering is kind of ... meh. I liked the setting in turn-of-the-century NY (19th, not 20th). However, the magic world-building left a lot to be desired; humankind appears to be divided into 3 (1/2) races: Traders, Solitaires, and Silvestri. Traders are rich and can change shape - cause and effect here is not fully explained. Silvestri _appear_ to be vaguely first-nations, but, again, it's very unclear. And everyone else is a Solitaire, and what that means is never defined at all except that it seems to be somewhat under-privileged. The 1/2 a race are Manticores, who prey on young Traders. Thalia, the protagonist, thinks she's a Solitaire but turns out to be a Trader and everything she thinks she's known about herself is not true. Things are not resolved at the end, really. There's a certain amount of pleasure to be obtained getting there, but it is certainly not a "must read" and I think could do with a fair bit of revision and reworking. I received an ARC of this courtesy of NetGalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    *ARC received from TOR* "Are you a nice lady?" "No. I'm a stage magician." A new stand-alone from Caroline Stevermer featuring murder, magic, and self-discovery SUMMARY Thalia Culter lives and breathes stage magic. Since her father's death three years ago, she has taken his place on the stage and makes her living dazzlingly audiences. But when a trick goes wrong, Thalia calls upon magic she shouldn't have. To make matters worse, her mentor is thrown into prison for a murder he didn't commit. Sudd *ARC received from TOR* "Are you a nice lady?" "No. I'm a stage magician." A new stand-alone from Caroline Stevermer featuring murder, magic, and self-discovery SUMMARY Thalia Culter lives and breathes stage magic. Since her father's death three years ago, she has taken his place on the stage and makes her living dazzlingly audiences. But when a trick goes wrong, Thalia calls upon magic she shouldn't have. To make matters worse, her mentor is thrown into prison for a murder he didn't commit. Suddenly thrust into a new life, Thalia must learn to control her magic quickly and save those around her, or die at the hands of those who want her new power. REVIEW I was going to give this book three stars, but considering that I found myself speed reading/skimming the last 60-ish pages, I want to say it is more of a 2.5 stars ... which is really sad because I had high hopes for this book. You get introduced to the three different classes/castes in the beginning, but it takes 100-pages to really understand what they are. Even after finishing the book, I still have no clue what it means to be a white Solitaire as opposed to some other colour, or what the Sylvestri are. The Three Castes: Sylvestri: Sort of like the fairfolk, they live off the land and are connected to it. They live separately from Traders and Solitaires (and hate them). Solitaire: Humans, lowerclass Trader: Humans with the ability to Trade (shapeshift) into another animal. They are also very rich. We follow Thalia Cutler, who is a stage magician by the name of Lady of the Lake. She is helped by her mentor, Mr. Nutall. When Thalia accidentally calls upon Trade magic, her life is thrown upside down. I wish the cover wasn't a swan, because it made it so obvious that it was what Thalia's Trade animal was. It would've been more fun to have spent extra time guessing. I do think that the Trade magic was very unique, and unlike anything I have previously read. Watching Thalia learn to trade is one of reasons for a star in my rating. Some of my favourite scenes were when Thalia was performing stage magic or visiting the Ostrova Magic Company. I don't read a lot of books that focus on magicians (in the non-magical sense), and so it was really fun to read. This is the reason for the other star in my rating. Two of our side characters are the reason for the last 1/2 of my star rating. Ryker's sister, Nell, she was a peach to read about. She added a lot of comedic relief. I also loved The Skinner of New York, he was a cool character to read about because he added a lot more action and intensity to the novel. Ultimately, this book tried to do too much in too short time. I feel like this book should have focused on the magic side or the murder/magician side, not both. The reason for this is that the murder fell to the background, even though it was Thalia's main motivation. It felt like an underdeveloped plot that was thrown in for extra substance. I am normally someone who loves when murder is thrown into a fantasy plot line, but this time it did not work. I also did not like the weird, sort-of, romance between Thalia and Ryker. The hot-and-cold fluctuations between the two of them felt very unnatural and I would've preferred it been exchanged for more of a brotherly-role. Overall, the book was satisfactory. If you are a fan of Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok, you will adore this novel. Sadly, though, it was not for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ReadBecca

    I requested and received a copy of this book for honest review, thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author. Thalia Cutler is a stage magician on the vaudeville circuit, along with her mentor Mr. Nutall, working under the name Lady of the Lake. Quite suddenly when a trick is about to go fatally wrong, Thalia transforms, except that isn't possible because Thalia is a Solitaire. She seeks help explaining what happened, but has her assumption that this is impossible confirmed, so she puts it from I requested and received a copy of this book for honest review, thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author. Thalia Cutler is a stage magician on the vaudeville circuit, along with her mentor Mr. Nutall, working under the name Lady of the Lake. Quite suddenly when a trick is about to go fatally wrong, Thalia transforms, except that isn't possible because Thalia is a Solitaire. She seeks help explaining what happened, but has her assumption that this is impossible confirmed, so she puts it from her mind, only to be caught up in a contract dispute and a murder mystery that sweep up her attentions, putting her at ever increasing risk. In this version of history there exist Solitaires - people who only have a human form, Traders - those who have an animal and human form, and Sylvestri - a sort of ancient ones beyond the small lives of the others. There is also the looming threat from Manticores, who are Traders that can become human but are truly Manticores, they live to feed on the magic of Traders. I really enjoyed this in the way of solid historical fantasy with a unique premise and style, very much my sort of thing. The writing was quite good, however I do think for a reader who is unlike me, it is likely a fault that the book leads with the magical element, but then fully drops it till the halfway point before really explaining more. However, I enjoyed the unraveling plots in between extremely, as well as the fact that in proper stage magician fashion Thalia does a big performative reveal in the story. I also do wish the magic had been more integral to the main plot, but it does a lot to develop the world and characters.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Gardiner (luc_lostinbooks)

    Thalia is a stage magician known as the Lady of the Lake. When a stage performance goes wrong she discovers she’s actually a shapeshifter. Solitaires and Traders are different names for magical and non magical people, I think this could have been explained in more detail at the start of the book as I don’t think it was talked about in depth till later on. Thalia’s character development was interesting throughout the book I really had a lot of respect for her as a person. I also liked that the bo Thalia is a stage magician known as the Lady of the Lake. When a stage performance goes wrong she discovers she’s actually a shapeshifter. Solitaires and Traders are different names for magical and non magical people, I think this could have been explained in more detail at the start of the book as I don’t think it was talked about in depth till later on. Thalia’s character development was interesting throughout the book I really had a lot of respect for her as a person. I also liked that the book wasn’t focused on romance. Overall I feel this was a nice fantasy read, the magic system could have been better explained. Thank you to netgalley & the publishers for this e-book in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ixxati

    The plot are interesting but it lack actions and explanation of the magic system. Btw there are too much happening in this book! I thought The Ordeal was important and hard to pass but why it looks so easy for Nell & Thalia? I feel disappointed with the ending. I wanted to know more about Thalia's mother. Why her father lied to her? What actually happened between her father and mother. Thank you Netgalley, publisher and author for The Glass Magician ARC! 🌟🌟🌟 The plot are interesting but it lack actions and explanation of the magic system. Btw there are too much happening in this book! I thought The Ordeal was important and hard to pass but why it looks so easy for Nell & Thalia? I feel disappointed with the ending. I wanted to know more about Thalia's mother. Why her father lied to her? What actually happened between her father and mother. Thank you Netgalley, publisher and author for The Glass Magician ARC! 🌟🌟🌟

  25. 5 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    *received for free from netgalley for honest review* This was a pretty odd mix of mystery and magic because I wasn't expecting it to have a murder mystery but it was still pretty good! I love murder mysteries so lol right up my ally, I liked the characters for the most part as well and liked the magic in this book even though im not usually into the shifter stuff the way this book did it was really cool!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andria Sedig

    I really enjoyed the writing style of the book. It was descriptive without being flowery or overdone. The city felt alive, the conflict felt well orchestrated and drove the plot. Thalia's character development was fun. I also loved the female friendship between Thalia and Nell within this story and appreciated that there wasn't a heavy romance in this story. The book was strong enough as a stand alone if a reader didn't want to continue, but definitely left the reader curious to know what would I really enjoyed the writing style of the book. It was descriptive without being flowery or overdone. The city felt alive, the conflict felt well orchestrated and drove the plot. Thalia's character development was fun. I also loved the female friendship between Thalia and Nell within this story and appreciated that there wasn't a heavy romance in this story. The book was strong enough as a stand alone if a reader didn't want to continue, but definitely left the reader curious to know what would happen after the big reveal in the final pages. One thing I wish that had been better explained was the magic system in the world. There are three groups of people (races?) but they aren't well explained until well into the book and I felt a bit confused about these titles and what they meant as I began reading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    Real rating: 2,5. The Glass Magician features a wonderful concept. The author presents a creative worldbuilding and magic system. However the execution of the concept was not done to reach its full potential, it was lacking in depth. I'm a reader who treasures above all a character-driven plot and the emotions that the characters portray. Unfortunately, I was not able to connect with the characters because of the way it was written. I was hoping for more fleshed-out characters. It was an okay read w Real rating: 2,5. The Glass Magician features a wonderful concept. The author presents a creative worldbuilding and magic system. However the execution of the concept was not done to reach its full potential, it was lacking in depth. I'm a reader who treasures above all a character-driven plot and the emotions that the characters portray. Unfortunately, I was not able to connect with the characters because of the way it was written. I was hoping for more fleshed-out characters. It was an okay read when it had potential to be amazing. It was not able to sustain my attention. Nevertheless, kudos to the author for creating a fresh concept of worldbuilding and magic system in fantasy. ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Francesca ❆

    Many thanks to the publisher Macmillan (Tor Books) for providing me a free copy through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. An interesting concept, but in the need of more polish. CHARACTERS: Beside the main character, Thalia, whose POV we follow, I found most of the secondary characters (villain/s included) to be a bit too flat and two dimensional: you can make a list of everyone of them and encompass with a short sentence their whole purpose and barely anything about their personality. Even Many thanks to the publisher Macmillan (Tor Books) for providing me a free copy through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. An interesting concept, but in the need of more polish. CHARACTERS: Beside the main character, Thalia, whose POV we follow, I found most of the secondary characters (villain/s included) to be a bit too flat and two dimensional: you can make a list of everyone of them and encompass with a short sentence their whole purpose and barely anything about their personality. Even the “love interest” (because really the romance is a feeble whisper in the end rather than a side plot), who should be the second best developed character, comes across as monotonous and artificial. The main protagonist is the most “lively” of the bunch, even if she manages to retain her artificiality throughout her evolution arc; her start as a stage magician and evolution into a lady of society puts her through a hard outs emotional journey. Nell (the love interest’s sister) was definitely my favorite character: I loved her sassiness, humor and personality. WORLD-BUILDING AND PLOT: The plot revolves around Thalia discovering the truth about her family and her place in society, and the mad dash in the world of stage magicians to clear out the name of her mentor and manager when he’s accused of the murder of their biggest competitor, who has recently put Thalia out of work. The world building is the most annoying and confusing element of the book: we have a parallel universe in which society is divided in three caste: Solitaires (common humans) at the bottom of the social pyramid, Traders (people with the ability to shift into an animal) at the top of the pyramid, and Sylvestri (mostly Natives with some sort of power over nature, maybe because of their affinity for it?...they also have a different concept when it comes to time (something related to trees) and sneer at the other two classes) who don’t fit into society very well. Traders fear Manticores, who are Traders that are so inbred (which apparently is a huge problem? Like finding spouses overseas is not an option?), they literally go insane and attack young Traders to feed off their magic. Young Traders must prove they’re ready to become adults by going through a Ordeal (in which their ability to control the Trades is put to test). The United States are colonized only on the two coasts while the middle of the nation belongs to the Natives; New York City seems to be the capital (since the ambassador of the Natives lives there), no idea what the rest of the world looks like. The world building is overall so thinly plotted that every single new tidbit of information just raises more questions. Why is the clothing a telltale sign of the class you belong to? Why are there only three ethnicities (white, black, Native) featured in a city like NYC? Why do Traders sick out non Traders spouses (since it will mean their children won’t be Traders) instead of “shopping” overseas if they’re so worried about inbreeding? How does being a Trader (and the ability to shift into an animal) equal to fortune and being regarded as a member of nobility? I don’t know.....I wished the book would have gone into more details because the world setting would’ve been truly fascinating. WRITING: The writing felt very smooth and well crafted, both in descriptions and dialogues, to fit into the historical setting, and I’m not sure if what I’m gonna say derives from the lack of engagement or if it’s something that I would have noticed regardless, but I found the lack of “fanfare” particularly annoying: the author fails to put gravitas into the key moments that characterize every mystery plot (finding the key clue that solves the riddle, the reveal, unmasking the villain)....it all feels unimportant. FINAL NOTE: Sadly, this book wasn’t for me: the lack of camaraderie for the characters alienated me from the story and the world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books* The story carries an air of New York somewhere between the 1800s-1900s. In a world where shapeshifting carries prestige and riches, Thalia lives in the show business and tries to prove that being a simple human can also bring joy and magic. When rivals and secrets try to destroy Thalia and her friends, she will race against all odds to discover who framed her friend and also discov I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books* The story carries an air of New York somewhere between the 1800s-1900s. In a world where shapeshifting carries prestige and riches, Thalia lives in the show business and tries to prove that being a simple human can also bring joy and magic. When rivals and secrets try to destroy Thalia and her friends, she will race against all odds to discover who framed her friend and also discover the power within her. While the plot reminded me of Muggles and magicians the idea behind the book was interesting. There's a hint of urban fantasy and the transformations were great. But I didn't feel invested in the plot and on many occasions I felt that Thalia was thrown into all the hardships of the world, with almost no one to help her. Not to mention that the centuries mentioned above didn't work in favor of women's rights. Also despite the great magic system and classes, those weren't as detailed explained as I hoped and I ended up guessing most of the time. Overall, this is an interesting book, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.