Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: The Dark Mirror (The Bridei Chronicles #1)

Today The Book Babe welcomes guest blogger, Jackie Pifer. Jackie is a dear school friend of mine! She's a fellow 20-something bookworm currently residing here in Central Florida.

The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier
Book one of The Bridei Chronicles 4 out of 5 stars
As a fan of fantasies, epic fantasies in particular, The Dark Mirror was certainly right up my alley. I have not had the pleasure of reading one of Juliet Marillier’s books yet, and The Dark Mirror was my first. It held everything I could have asked for: blood, angst, geography, historical value (however fictional it might be), love, loss, magic, and magical creatures. Although it did most certainly contain these essential elements, it did fall flat at some points. I gave this book 4 out of five stars, but to be completely honest it at times deserved less. Don’t get me wrong, this was a fantastic book. Marillier has a way with words that I can only be jealous of. Her comprehension of how to put historical fact and fantastical fiction together was absolutely seamless. I just wish there was more.. and less.
I wish there was more to Bridei, one of the two foremost characters. I deeply wished him to portray more flaws and less perfection and more magical ability, especially considering his druidic training. As well, I wished for Tuala to have shown more of her capabilities (and backbone). It irked me that this master author skirted on truly describing magic in general. Her characterization was lovely, but lackluster when it came to putting me under a spell from her wondrous tale. I wish there was less. Less of Broichen being so bullheaded. It became ridiculous and not believable to the point where I wanted to skip his parts. I wish there were less parts that were not described with detail and only shown as flashes of a vision or memory. Yes, less of that, and more descriptiveness! I also was not fond that some of the best characters were just passerby or fleeting at best. I loved Donal, Fokel, and Faolan. These three really brightened up the whole book and it was a damned shame that Marillier barely scratched the surface with them.
I will most certainly be picking up the other books in this series. There is no doubt in my mind that I must get them. The Bridei Chronicles have intrigued me and I would like to see what comes next. I hope that whatever paths are explored next within books 2 & 3 are just as good, and better, than what I have read thus far.
-- J.P.

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