Reminiscent of The Golem and the Jinni, The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer is a magical and romantic tale set in New York’s Gilded Age.
New York 1905—The Vanderbilts. The Astors. The Morgans. They are the cream of society—and they own the nation on the cusp of a new century.
Thalia Cutler doesn’t have any of those family connections. What she does know is stage magic and she dazzles audiences with an act that takes your breath away.
That is, until one night when a trick goes horribly awry. In surviving she discovers that she can shapeshift, and has the potential to take her place among the rich and powerful.
But first, she’ll have to learn to control that power…before the real monsters descend to feast.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In this unexceptional, low-stakes fantasy, Stevermer (best known for her YA historical novels the Cecelia and Kate series) invites readers into the gritty streets of an alternate early 1900s New York City, where wealth and power are a matter not only of birth but of magical ability. Stage magician Thalia Cutler is confident in her identity as a magicless Solitaire until a life-threatening accident during a magic trick forces her to shape-shift, a power she didn't know she possessed and which signals her status as an animal-shifting Trader. As an untrained Trader, Thalia is vulnerable to attacks by magic-draining Manticores and is confined with a Trader family until she can learn to shift on her own. Thalia's stage manager, meanwhile, is under investigation for the death of a rival magician. As secrets start to surface, the two story lines are kept isolated from each other, sapping the tension, and the plot is bogged down by actionless passages about Thalia's opulent life with the Traders. Readers will be charmed by the well-rounded characters and bustling Gilded Age backdrop, but long for Stevermer to pick up the pace.