Saturday, February 11, 2012

dark mirror

dark mirror
m. j. putney
dark mirror series #1
st. martin's press
published 2011

At sixteen years old, Lady Victoria Mansfield lives quite the carefree life.  Until the day that her family discovers she has magic.  Her father sends her away to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for aristocrat children who must be 'cured' of their magic.  There is nothing more Tory wants than to be cured and return to her family...until she discovers a group of students who meet secretly to learn how to control and use their powers in the hopes that someday soon they will help defend England from Napoleon.  Does she choose to defy her family and risk being turned out from her home to practice magic or will she stay on the path to be cured?

There is no doubt that Mary Jo Putney is an excellent writer.  I've never read any of her historical romances (not really my thing), but this one caught my eye.  Tory is a great heroine.  She's strong and fearless.  She's not easily shocked or scared, which you would imagine a girl coming from a privileged family would be.  Even the dreamed 'mean girl' has some golden qualities.  There is of course, a romance element, but it doesn't overwhelm the story and it's sweet and innocent and quite lovely.

The magic is fun, quite complicated.  Not simply that someone can heal or that you either have it or you don't.  Putney puts a lot of thought and effort into making even the magic a story.

That being said, I wasn't in love with the book.  I wasn't excited to get back to it once I put it down.  In all honesty, I should have been done with this book days ago, but there just always seemed like something better to do.  The second book, Dark Passage is already out.  In fact, I saw that book first and that's what got me interested in reading this series.

So I'm not saying run out and buy it. It's certainly a library read, but it is well written and there are a few nail biting moments.  I'm not going to rush out and get Dark Passage, but if I find myself itching for something to read and I've finished my Off the Shelf Challenge then I'll probably pick it up.  If you're interested Barnes and Noble is currently offering Fallen From Grace for free as a NookBook.  Fallen From Grace is Tory's love interest, Allarde's diary and this takes place before the events in Dark Mirror.

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