The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier
When Bridei arrives at Pitnochie as a four-year-old, Juliet Marillier lets the reader see the unsure thoughts of the druid Broichan who will mentor and educate him. We get to wonder if this little child will be able to handle all that Broichan has planned for him. The mystery piles on from there.
Marillier reveals little pieces of the puzzle as Bridei takes lessons in magic, in history, in battle, in strategy, etc. Marillier lets Bridei—and thus the reader—learn some of his destiny while withholding other tidbits, as the young boy finds an orphaned child on Broichan’s doorstep one cold mid-winters night. He names the fey-girl that he finds Tuala, meaning “princess,” and vows to take care of her. This doesn’t set well with Broichan, who sees the “princess” as a threat to the grand plans he and his council of five have for the little lad.
The story goes on from there, but I’m not sure that I want to give away more plot details. I will admit that it took a long time in the telling. Marillier takes great care in her world-building and spends time on the details she doesn’t want her readers to miss. I enjoyed it. I love medieval history and conjecture about the Picts and the Celts and the movements that took place before Anglo-Saxon England, so to find a fiction story that incorporates that lore intelligently thrilled me. I thank Marillier for her excellent research and logical inferences for a fantastic story. Do I wish it could have moved at a faster pace? Well, maybe not. The pace gave me time to absorb the weight of information about the various characters who played important roles in Bridei’s inevitable fight for his country.
Something else that I deeply appreciated about Marillier’s story was the lack of gratuitous “bedroom scenes.” Too many fantasy stories these days include scenes of adultery, premarital sex, or just bed-chamber romp after bed-chamber romp when such acts serve to make the hero and/or heroine appear hormonally out-of-control. In Marillier’s story, Bridei is a druid-trained warrior in complete control of his emotions and actions who stops warriors who would have taken part in the rape of prisoners; he openly humiliates them for what they were about to do.
What a pleasure it was to see two characters fall in love and recognize desire without debasing one another or showing a complete lack of physical restraint. Kudos to Marillier for creating that kind of tension without an R rating. Yet the sweet romance between two main characters in Marillier’s story is only one plot that propels the reader through this novel. For fantasy enthusiasts looking for a clever, multi-layered, well-written story that lets you fall in love with the characters, lets you respect the characters, and gives you time to enjoy the characters and root for their successes, I can recommend The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier.
This The Dark Mirror book review was written by Sandy Lender
All reviews for: Bridei Chronicles
The Dark Mirror
Bridei Chronicles: Book 1
When Bridei arrives at Pitnochie as a four-year-old, Juliet Marillier lets the reader see the unsure thoughts of the druid Broichan who will mentor and educate him. We get ...
Blade of Fortriu
Bridei Chronicles: Book 2
The kingdom of Fortriu has enjoyed five years of peace since Bridei came to the throne. Now the king is preparing for the long-awaited war that he hopes will see the Gaelic...
The Well of Shades
Bridei Chronicles: Book 3
Sent home to Ireland on a secret mission for King Bridei of Fortriu, Faolan must first deliver the news of a brave warrior's death. Unexpectedly Bridei's chief assa...
Have you read The Dark Mirror?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Dark Mirror reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
Sailing to Sarantium
Guy Gavriel Kay
Rumoured to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius the Trakesian has himself now risen to the Golden Throne of t...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Publius Varrus is the last legionnaire in Britain, and The Skystone is in many ways his story. He is a common man with aristocratic friends, and successful both as a soldie...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOM...
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
Philip Jose Farmer
About a hundred years ago, a group of mutant supermen began playing a major role in our affairs. It is no accident that Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo, and Doc Savag...
The High King of Montival
Rudi Mackenzie has returned to Montival with the Sword of the Lady, ready to face the legions of the Prophet. To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of former e...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Silver Mask
The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-e...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...