by Jaclyn Dolamore
First sentence: "The audience didn't understand a word we sang."
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Review copy provided by the publisher.
I have to admit: I've had this on my shelf for a long time. But, ever since the whole cover controversy, I really didn't have much desire to read it. I guess because it was so popular, or maybe it was because it had come on the heels of the Liar cover controversy, but I really had no desire to read this one at all. I didn't toss it, however, choosing to let it linger on the TBR shelf.
I'd like to say I was pleasantly surprised by the book, and in some ways, I was. I thought it was a clever premise: Nimira was a respected singer and dancer in her country, before she ran away because of troubles at home. She became a "trouser dancer" in a new land, plying her art for pennies. Then she meets Hollin Parry, who hires her as a singer for his automaton pianist. However, it turns out that the automaton is really a captured fairy prince, someone she falls in love with and finds she needs to rescue from the organization of sorcerers determined to declare war on the fairies, wiping them out once and for all.
But, it just kind of hit the middle ground and stayed there. I never really connected with Nimira as a character (maybe I was tired?), or ever really felt the growing attraction between her and the prince. It was unevenly paced, ending with things left unsolved. It felt unelegant, choppy, and committed the sin of telling more than showing me what was going on.