Friday, July 23, 2010

The Mirror of Her Dreams: Book I Mordant's Need

Someone asked me recently what I was reading. Being the brilliant wordsmith that I am, I said "Oh it's called The Mirror of Her Dreams. I know it sounds like a bad romance novel but it's really good. It's about girl goes doubts she exists, right. And one day this guy comes through the mirror and takes her with him and....yeah. Some stuff happens. It's really good, I swear."

What I should have done is just read her the back cover and THEN told her what I thought about it.
The daughter of rich but neglectful parents, Terisa Morgan lives alone in a New York City apartment, a young woman who has grown to doubt her own existence. Surrounded by the flat reassurance of mirrors, she leads an unfulfilled life—until the night a strange man named Geraden comes crashing through one of her mirrors, on a quest to find a champion to save his kingdom of Mordant from a pervasive evil that threatens the land. Terisa is no champion. She wields neither magic nor power. And yet, much to her own surprise, when Geraden begs her to come back with him, she agrees.

Now, in a culture where women are little more than the playthings of powerful men, in a castle honeycombed with secret passages and clever traps, in a kingdom threatened from without and within by enemies able to appear and vanish out of thin air, Terisa must become more than the pale reflection of a person. For the way back to Earth is closed to her. And the enemies of Mordant will stop at nothing to see her dead.
That certainly sounds better than my stammering description, doesn't it? Nonetheless, this book is still hard to describe, and the back cover does not do it justice. Not to mention the cover makes it look like a cheesy romance novel.

I found this book to be very enjoyable overall. Donaldson writes very well, and his world is believable. The reader only sees a snapshot though, because for the most part the book is from Terisa's perspective, and there are things she wouldn't know. The picture seems sort of fuzzy around the edges.

A lot of the book is slow-paced, but the end had my nose glued to this book. I did some skimming, but I freely admit I easily lose patience with slower paced books books. Stick with it, the last half is worth the wait.

The system of magic is innovative, but I do feel as if I've seen it before. There is never an explanation of the mechanics of it, which leaves a little bit of mystery. The reader is in the dark as much as the Congery is.

My biggest complaint is that Terisa is so incredibly dense, mostly with regard to one Master she is totally inexplicably attracted to. However, while this irritated me, I could find reasons why a character would behave that way. Terisa was abused by her family, and is very naive and has absolutely no self-confidence. I find it plausible that the first man who pays attention to her might be irresistible and have power over her, given her background.

Bottom Line
Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5 
Buy or Try? Try
More? This is book 1 of 2
Plot: 3 / 5
Setting: 4 / 5
Characters: 2 / 5
Pace: Slow 
Descriptiveness: Fair 
Fantasy factor: Low link
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