Magic Under Stone
Publication Date: February 28th 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
For star-crossed lovers Nimira and Erris, there can be no happily ever after until Erris is freed from the clockwork form in which his soul is trapped. And so they go in search of the sorcerer Ordorio Valdana, hoping he will know how to grant Erris real life again. When they learn that Valdana has mysteriously vanished, it's not long before Nimira decides to take matters into her own hands—and begins to study the sorcerer's spell books in secret. Yet even as she begins to understand the power and limitations of sorcery, it becomes clear that freeing Erris will bring danger—if not out-and-out war—as factions within the faerie world are prepared to stop at nothing to prevent him from regaining the throne.
Dolamore's writing in Magic Under Stone is starting to resemble a cross between the styles of Diana Wynn Jones or Patricia C. Wrede and Maria V. Snyder. There is a lightness to the writing, yet at the same the same times the characters are deep and the world-building complicated.
Magic Under Stone is the sequel to Magic Under Glass and succeeds in being both a follow up to what happens next to Nim and Erris, and being a book of growth and expansion for Nimira. It also expands the world more, adding a Jinn character that we follow from time to time. Usually I don't like switching perspective if I have gotten in the habit of following just one character, but I think this book would have suffered without the Jinn's point of view as the way he is under his curse or slavery causes him to not act as he wants all the time.
My favourite part of the story is hands down Nimira's growth, however. Although she is a great character in Magic Under Glass, she doesn't grow too much, her naivety from running from home to become famous in another country still showing. In this book, however, Nimira realizes that she is not the fake trouser girl that she portrayed for years, but she also isn't the "Lady" that Hollin had shaped her into being. She finds herself in this book and I really like that. She also finds her own talents and abilities.
The one thing that annoyed me (but that's just because of personal tastes, other people love this kind of stuff) is the constant drama between her and Erris. Of course it's realistic given their situation and helps to dash any "instalove" issues, but he is just so angsty.
Yay! They found his body, they found his body and he's alive. As the Jinn uncovered Erris's body, I was cheering quite a lot. Though I will admit I think that the new King's turn around needed more work and it seemed so sudden and out of character. In the beginning of the book we are led to believe he is crueler than his father, and then we realize it's the older brothers that are crueler. Yet, he still does so many things that make his turn around a bit unbelievable.
On the other hand, I really like Nimira learning magic and how it isn't an instant thing. By the time they are attacked she can really only move and create heat, the basics of human magic, but there is also a promise that she will learn more and that it is something that becomes her.
Finally, the King turnaround aside, I found the entire ending of the book rather rushed, I'd rather Dolamore had taken a longer route to the wind down portion of the book.
I recommend this book to people who loved Magic Under Glass and I recommend both books to those who love fantasy with a touch of fairytale and now mythological influences. I am quite sad that this is the last book in this world, because I feel like it could hold more stories (with different characters possibly).