A New York Times Bestseller
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have pushed her into a life of dreary servitude. When she discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday—and befriends Jules, a tiny magical metal horse—Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. And the timing may be perfect: There’s a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. Determined to invent her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica seeks to wow the prince and eager entrepreneurs alike.
In a kingdom that both needs and fears faeries, orphan Nicolette's late mother was a gifted mechanist, who created tiny clockwork animals and other creatures brought to life through Fey magic. On her 16th birthday, Nick discovers her mother's hidden workshop a welcome distraction from stitching new gowns for her cruel stepsisters, Piety and Chastity, in time for them to meet the young prince who will soon marry. There's no need of fairy godmothers in this feminist retelling of Cinderella, since Cornwell (Tides) gives Nick all the tools necessary to make magic on her own (though she also puts her in the way of some helpful new friends). Nick's narration can be claustrophobic; even as Nick's social circle expands, readers remain largely inside her head. (That said, Cornwell's evocative writing makes Nick's intelligent mind a fine place to spend time.) Fans of fairy-tale updates will find it easy to lose themselves in this bright, romantic story, whose hero shows she can not only have it all but also do it herself. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Bad Pacing Good Book
Maybe I just read fast, but the pacing of the story was off. I think that it was set a little too fast. Otherwise, amazing story!
Very good book. Can't wait for the second book to come out.