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Magic Flutes by [Ibbotson, Eva]
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Magic Flutes Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, but when the Nazis came to power her family fled to England and she was sent to boarding school. She became a writer while bringing up her four children, and her bestselling novels have been published around the world. Her books have also won and been shortlisted for many prizes. Eva died peacefully in October 2010 at the age of eighty-five.

Product Details

  • File Size: 793 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Young Picador; New edition edition (February 23, 2011)
  • Publication Date: February 23, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004P1JDTO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,474 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This was the first Eva Ibbotson book I read and it made me a fan for life. It's a completely captivating love story filled with colorful details about opera, art, and royalty. It's also VERY funny, and I found myself repeatedly laughing at the comic antics of the opera company. I was perplexed when I read the one negative review--if the buyer wanted a "realistic" story, why did she buy a book of romantic fantasy? Yes, the heroine Tessa is a very good girl indeed, but I didn't find her unbelievable because of that. Cinderella was a good girl too, but we cheered when she got her Prince Charming. Magic Flutes is a Cinderella story for grown ups, as sweet as a piece of cake and just as much fun to devour. (written by Sandra Kelley)
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Format: Paperback
Ibbotson's writing is entrancing, and this is another un-put-down-able romance for teen girls. Thankfully there are none of the direct 'scenes' that appear in some of her other books for older readers, though a few mature-theme references prevent it being suitable for under 13s. As it is, we'd keep it for 15+.

Part of the reason it's so easy to 'lose your heart' in Ibbotson's stories is that her female characters are superb. How she can make an ordinary looking, hard-working, self-sacrificing and kind-hearted girl look absolutely irresistible! Especially when contrasted with a miserably self-seeking, comically vain, narrow-minded drama queen. Yet somehow both characters retain an air of naturalness that makes them not only believable but actually seem to resemble people you know. Usefulness, generous hard work and small acts of service appear like the most beautiful things you've ever come across.

Even better is that these are precisely the qualities that make the young heroine irresistible for the Rochester-like hero; far from appearing bland or 'too good', her character is full to the brim and overflowing, he is captivated. But of course there are many obstacles in the way, that's what makes the story.

A far cry from the shallow infatuation of Twilight, Ibbotson offers a similarly heart-engulfing romance founded on something truly beautiful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Magic Flutes was recommended by another writer, someone whose work I adore. I know her to be a demanding reader (I'm a demanding reader), so I had high hopes. That was likely the problem. I expected a great deal, too much. The story was a bit predictable for me. The protagonist was likeable...but didn't have that extra spark. I had hoped to discover another author to join the ranks of my favorites. No go.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Eva Ibbotson's stories are slightly magical to me. They are light, charming, heart-warming, feel-good confections that are peopled with delightfully endearing characters. They invoke both tear and smiles - and always have the requisite happily-ever-after. I find myself smiling long after I have finished the book.

Magic Flutes is set just after the end of WWI. The hero is solidly British, a scrappy orphan, who has made good in the world. He has made his fortune several times over, in point of fact - yet has never forgotten his down-to-earth unpretentious foster mother who raised him. He respects her and his humble and probably disreputable origin, despite his striking good looks, fame and fortune. He makes a wonderful hero (understatement).

The heroine, on the other hand, is a Germanic princess who has come down in the world that exists after the ravages of the war. She is trying very hard to disguise her privileged upbringing, and is working menial jobs in a rather second-rate opera house. She is charming, unassuming and generous and has earned the love and loyalty of the eccentric characters for whom she works. No one has a clue she is royalty, albeit on the verge of poverty. She makes a perfect heroine (again understated).

The story unfolds gently and beautifully and it would be such a shame to spoil such a love story by telling much more. It is rather like a Rags to Riches fairy tale - and is simply stated a delight to read. I stumbled on this years ago and am so happy to have found it available on Kindle. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Format: Paperback
Found on the docks at Newcastle-upon-Tyme, Guy is a foundling who spent his earliest years at the Foundling Home fighting any perceived insult or injustice. At the age of 6 he was adopted by the widow Martha Hodge, who saw his potential and loved him unconditionally. Guy worked hard to please Martha and turned his energy to his studies. After attending University in Vienna, Guy came home changed and determined to make millions. Now, in 1922, he has become a multi-millionaire and is rich enough to buy a castle. He decides to buy Pfaffenstein castle to woo back his lady love who rejected him years ago when he was poor. Tessa was born and bred the Princess of Pfaffenstein but is now a republican and working backstage at a Vienna opera company for free because she loves music so much. She encounters Guy backstage when he comes to hire the opera company for his engagement house party. She is struck by his kindness to her but knows he will go away and she'll never see him again. When the opera company is engaged to perform Mozart's Magic Flutes at Pfaffenstein, Tessa is torn between her duties to her station and her heart. Should she marry Maxi, a prince who lives in a damp and crumbling home or can she help patronize the arts? Will Guy actually marry the spoiled beauty he believes he loves? Those are the questions that kept me turning the pages long into the night. This is a typical Ibbotson romance novel with a doe-eyed virtuous heroine who tried her hardest to please everyone and an older man of the world. The book is filled with beautiful descriptions and historical details of pre- WWII Austria and a number of quirky characters. Though she does reuse the same formula and same elements of previous stories, this is a sweet, funny and charming romance novel for teens and adults.
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