When gentleman sorcerer Hollin Parry appears in the grungy dance hall where Nimira is performing, she imagines he has come to rescue her. But when he actually approaches her after the show and tells him he is looking is for a singer, and that she is that singer, Nimira is astounded. The very next morning, she sneaks away to meet with Hollin.
As a dancing trouser girl from Tiansher, an exotic land across the sea, Nimira is no more than a curiosity to the prim and proper people of Lorinar. But Hollin has something that is even more of a curiosity than Nimira- an automaton. And he wants Nimira to perform with the fairy-made, life-sized, piano-playing clockwork man. The only catch is that the automaton is rumored to be haunted.
Scoffing at the idea of a haunted clockwork man, and desperate for a new life, Nimira goes to live with Hollin at his country estate. When Hollin shows Nimira the automaton, she is entranced by his lifelike beauty and beautiful fairy clothes. When Hollin leaves her alone to rehearse, Nimira at first thinks she must be imagining the clockwork man's eyes looking at her. But when he begins to make noise, and play notes on the piano keys that are most definately not part of his clockwork routine, Nimira knows there must be more to him than gears. Is the automaton really haunted? Or is it more than that? Who exactly is trapped in the gears of the beautiful clockwork man?
Romance, magic, political intrigue, fairies, spirits, dark secrets, and a little bit of steampunk all combine to weave a thrilling tale in this Victorian gothic romance. Follow Nimira as she delves into the secret of the clockwork man and uncovers a twisted web of conspiracy, deceit and enchantment that reaches to even the highest levels of power.
(whose hold on The Dark Divine by Bree Despain just came in - I know what I'm reading during Olympics commercials this weekend!)