Title: The Universal Mirror
Author: Gwen Perkins
Length: 179 pages
Publisher: Hydra Publications
Rating 5 stars
On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.
Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.
This story is so much more than it seems at the outset.
When first we meet our cast of characters, it seems as though Quentin has all the cards and young master Asahel is nothing more than his "lesser than" sidekick. The further into the story that we go however, the more we come to see that this is far from the case.
The "greater than...less than dynamic is one that permeates all of the relationships within this story; but rather than becoming trite, it changes given the particular circumstance to which it is applied. Sometimes, as in the case of Quentin's marriage to Catherine; this notion of "greater than...less than is an illusion that both parties are forcing upon themselves in order to spare tender hearts.
There are so many lies being bandied about during the course of this read, that half the fun of the story is trying to figure out who is the biggest liar. It is like a character shell game. You must keep your eyes on the "good guy" at all times, because if you blink, the person that you think to be the hero has become the heel and you were forced to try your hand with someone else.
Don't get caught up in the relationship drama that literally drips from the pages of this novel. That, as juicy as it seems is not the big fish in this pond. The rulers of this world are working some magic of their own. That's right folks, can you spell CONSPIRACY!!!!!!
O.K.,let's recap. We have love, lies, foes, friends, scandal, conspiracy, and MAGIC! What more could a reader ask for? To top it off this wonderful book is only 179 pages! This reviewer for one hopes that there is more to come in this story.
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