Thalia Cutler has no magic of her own, but under her stage name, the Lady of the Lake, she performs miraculous feats and imagines the day when she is a famous magician, just like her father. Swanlike and serene, no matter the impossible situation facing the Lady of the Lake, she pulls off her tricks with ease—but offstage, Thalia’s life is becoming more and more difficult.
When work grows scares, Thalia travels to New York City, hoping for full theaters and good pay. Instead, she finds herself out of work because of a rival magician, alone in a city full of danger and subterfuge, where nothing and no one is as it seems. Not even Thalia herself.
For when Thalia discovers a magic within her much powerful than the tricks she’s performed all her life, it’s up to her to master it before it leads to her destruction.
Set in an alternate 1950s New York City, The Glass Magician is one of the most detailed historical fantasy novels I’ve read. Carole Stevermer constructs a complicated three-tiered society based on magic and class, then seamlessly incorporates it into a real setting, creating an intricate, unusual world. The events of this story, especially surrounding Thalia’s character and the intricacies of her career as a stage magician, feel very true to this setting. Somewhere between typical fantasy and murder mystery, the plot is twisting and interesting, helmed by an interesting and determined main character. There was also not much romance, which I appreciated. I highly recommend The Glass Magician to historical fantasy fans ages thirteen and up.