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4.1 out of 5 stars47
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 20 June 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I discovered the charms of Eva Ibbotson a few months ago with her children's books, especially The Dragonfly Pool and was eager for more. At first this romantic novel seemed a bit of a leap from the simple, open style of the other books, but I was soon drawn into the magical world of Vienna and the opera company where Tessa (really Princess Teresa) is following her own dreams of a life filled with music and equality, and avoiding being a marriagable noble daughter. Until that is, Guy comes on the scene, with a second chance to wed the woman he fell in love with as a student: he is following his own dream, with riches helping where his poor beginnings let him down in the past, and the opera company is just the thing to woo his lost love. Chasing dreams is fraught with difficulty though, real life keeps trying to interfere.

This is not your standard fluffy tale of love, for Tessa is a headstrong independent girl, and the cast of characters surrounding her is eccentric in the extreme. There's laughter, joy, the deep love of the landscape and independence that provides a strong undercurrent to all Eva Ibbotsons' books, and oh yes, a cracking good story and people you want to spend time with.

I don't much care for romances but this one captured my heart, quality feel-good writing of the highest order, don't miss out.
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on 24 February 2012
I have read a couple of Eva Ibbotson's books, including 'A Company of Swans', 'The Star of Kazan' and 'The Morning Gift'. I thoroughly enjoyed them all. But this was a bit of a let-down. I read the first part, and it didn't draw me in, like Ibbotson's other works. I was a little disappointed, but ploughed through it nonetheless. But it didn't really pick up. So, although I do love Eva Ibbotson, this book dissatisfied me.
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on 26 July 2014
Some books are like mystery tours. You embark on them not knowing where you're going, and you're so eager to reach your destination that you ignore everything around you that seems irrelevant to the end of the novel. And then there are books like 'Magic Flutes', where you know where you'll end up right from the start, but such is the quality of the writing and the characterisation that it doesn't matter - you're just too busy enjoying the scenery. I'm not surprised that this book, and the others she wrote for an adult audience, have now been repackaged to appeal to teenagers - I would have loved them even more at that age. But if you're in the mood for an uplifting, beautifully written story, with lovely characters (and dogs) and gorgeous surroundings, then take a trip into one of Eva Ibbotson's books. It's worth it for the sheer pleasure of the journey.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tessa has abandoned her life as a Princess and is working for nothing behind the scenes at a struggling opera company in Vienna. By chance she meets handsome Englishman, Guy, who in spite of inauspicious beginnings has made himself a fortune in various international businesses. Guy is looking for a property to buy in Austria and intends to hold a week long house party for the great and the good and announce his engagement to Nerine. He is also looking for an opera company to perform Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'.

This is a Ruritanian romance but there is enough astringency in the dialogue and narrative to lift it out of the realms of mawkish sentimentality which too often haunts this genre. Tessa is very far from being the usual helpless heroine. Her love is music and opera in particular. Her family want her to marry a prince she has known since childhood but Tessa does not want to end up buried in the countryside bringing up children. She wants to stay in Vienna working for the opera company.

Whilst I think this book is targetting the teenage market it can be read by adults who are more likely to appreciate the portrayal of the snobbery of some of the characters. The final scenes in particular are excellent. Guy himself is an interesting though far from perfect character. Even the minor characters are well drawn and I particularly liked Guy's foster mother and the way she fits in at the castle he buys. Altogether a well written escapist read.
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on 1 July 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really enjoyed this book and will certainly be considering buying other books by his author. I was expecting a book aimed at early teens but I think this might be a bit too much of a complicated read for my 12 year old step-daughter ( tho she would love the story) and would therefore recommend it for slightly older teens.
The story is fairly predictable from the start but it's a love story and it delivers what the reader wants. I would have liked a little more build up of the rapport between the two lead characters but all in all it was a easy and enjoyable read with a satisfying end.
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on 28 August 2009
Tessa, a tiny dark eyed princess who has given up her duties to follow her heart. No one knows that the fairytale princess missing from her castle is there humble wardrobe mistress, and she is determing to keep it that way. But secret lives can be complecated. When a handsome rich englishman discovers this bewitching urchin backstage of the vienna opera, in escaping her inhertance, she finds her destiny.....

I liked this book, but sometimes Eva Ibbotson can be slow, or over descriptive. But his was not, the style was complecated but beautiful, I could imagine every room at Pffafenstein.
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on 24 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've read, and enjoyed, many of Eva Ibbotson's other books, which always stray into the realms of the fantastical. 'Magic Flutes' however felt just a little too fantastical for me to really lose myself in the story, while at the same time suffering from a surfeit of precitability. Others have expounded on the plot at length, so I shan't rehash it here

'Magic Flutes' will be my Ibbotson swan song, as it were, as I think I have outgrown her style. To be fair, the three stars might have been four stars a year or so ago.
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VINE VOICEon 19 June 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book was a little slow paced for me, hence the four stars but it was a lovely book.

A tale of love, romance, princesses, princes, castles and handsome heroes, everything a good romance should have. It was written for young adults and beautifully done so to. It read like a 1940's Hollywood Romance film; inuendos, hints, innocent fun leaving the conculsion to the immagination.

I would be very happy for a young adult of any age to read this book. It was exciting, well written and had lots of twists and turns.
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on 4 October 2015
Thank you to lovereading for sending me this book, this is my third book by Eva Ibbotson that I have read and this one is more of an enchanting love story. I managed to read this book in a day. Yes it was that good. There are a few likeable characters and a lovely hero called Guy Farne, there are funny moments but also a few teary moments.The way Eva adds so much description in to a place or scenery is just amazing as you really do feel like you are there.
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I did enjoy this book but it was a gentle nice give to your nanny sort of book. It is aimed at younger readers but I felt that it was a ok good all rounder romance. I don't think it will grab you by the throat and make you go out and buy others by this author but if you like the author then i feel you should like it and if wanting something new that is `nice' then go for it.
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