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The Dark Mirror

The Dark Mirror: Book One of the Bridei Chronicles (Bridei Trilogy)75. Juliet Marillier, The Dark Mirror

This novel is set in the 6th century A.D. in the kingdom of Fortriu, in what is now northern Scotland. Bridei, a young Welsh boy, goes to live with the king’s druid Broichan as his foster son. Broichan teaches him extensively about the history of his people and the precarious situation of Fortriu, as well as tutoring him in the secret druidic arts. As Bridei grows up, it’s clear that he is destined for a great role; yet his fate might be complicated by Tuala, a young woman of otherworldly origin whom Bridei found on his doorstep when she was an infant. Bridei and Tuala grow up closer than siblings, and as they mature into adults, their feelings for each other continue to intensify and deepen. But will their love for each other interfere with Bridei’s true destiny?

At first, I was afraid I wasn’t going to enjoy this book, which would have been a shame since I’ve loved everything else I’ve read by Juliet Marillier! The first part of the novel was a bit tough for me to wade through; it focuses on Bridei’s and Tuala’s childhoods in meticulous detail, and I just didn’t find it very interesting. Once they both mature into adulthood, though, the plot picks up a lot. The machinations surrounding the throne of Fortriu are compelling, particularly the religious tension between the old gods of Fortriu and the new Christian faith. The romance between Bridei and Tuala is intense and sweet, and I found them an easy couple to root for. However, my favorite part of the book was definitely the secondary characters, particularly Ferada (a courtier’s daughter) and Faolan (Bridei’s eventual bodyguard). I can’t wait to see more of them, especially Faolan, in subsequent books! Overall, despite the slow start, I loved this book! For newcomers to Marillier, though, I’d recommend Daughter of the Forest instead.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamilywistful
Jun. 30th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Argh I hate slow starts :( I'm a terrible reader in that I am very unwilling to slug through the first part to get to the good stuff. But I love Marillier, and this does sound good, so maybe I'll try it sometime. Thanks for the review!
christina_reads
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
I hate slow starts too, and I have occasionally abandoned books because of them. With Marillier, though, I'm willing to make the effort, since I pretty much love her!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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