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.
Magic Under Stone
There are a slew of new folks in this installment, most importantly Ifra and Violet, a spoiled young girl and relative of Erris. Violet could actually inherit if Erris does not survive. At first, I was not wild about these decisions. By the end, I was totally sold. Of course, Violet is mostly annoying, but, one thing I love about Dolamore's writing, is how everything is shades of grey. The characters are all so real, because there are things that annoy me even about my favorites, and sparks of good in the bad guys.
Speaking of things that annoy me, much as I love Erris, which I really do, he was driving me crazy! Nim too. He was all mopey and just wanted to be alone all the time. Come on, man. I know your situation sucks, but it's gotten better, so why are you grumpier than when you couldn't move. Sigh. I mean, I get it, but it was painful going through that with the characters. Even the pain is better than if he was constantly perfect, but I just want him to be happy!
There was definitely none of the "we're in love so it's us against the world with our perfect relationship" thing that often drives me crazy with YA romances. Despite their feelings for one another, Nim and Erris clearly are having some difficulties. Considering the fact that they had only known one another for a brief period of time and under very extraordinary circumstances it's no wonder that some peace brought complications. They have to form a real life, normal bond...all while he's stuck in a clockwork body. Yikes.
Anyway, all of that, even the whiny bits, are just to explain why this book's so good. Life isn't always happy, and that is captured in the book. Still, there are moments of joy, moments that make your toes curl, and moments of hope. Also, I loved seeing Nim coming into her own, becoming a strong woman in more than just guts.
I want to end this review with a quote that illustrates just why Dolamore's series is so wonderful. Every heroine should have this mentality, imho: "I am not going to be helpless while some magical villain hauls off the people I love." So says Nimira.
This is a wonderful series, and I really hope that more books are coming!