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The Mirror Prince Mass Market Paperback – August 7, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756404231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404239
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,769,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Malan's Narnia-spiced fantasy debut, which also contains dashes of de Lint, Rowling and Tolkien, Canadian Max Ravenhill thinks he's just a young professor of history with a crush on Cassandra Kennaby, a pretty martial arts expert, but he's really Dawntreader, a Faerie Prince Guardian, who lost a war and was exiled to the Shadowland of Earth. And Cassandra is actually his soul mate, Truthsheart, a Rider charged to protect him from the Hounds of the Hunt during the time of Banishment. Cassandra is also trying to keep him far from his evil brother, Dreamer of Time (aka the Basilisk Prince), who thinks Max knows the location of powerful Talismans. The revelation of the identity of the High Prince, whom the Lands of the People have been awaiting, provides the best surprise in a book that suffers from overly complicated world building, fragmentary plotting and lead characters who never really come alive until the end. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Violette Malan lives in a nineteenth-century limestone farmhouse in southeastern Ontario with her husband. Born in Canada, Violette’s cultural background is half Spanish and half Polish, which makes it interesting at meal times. She has worked as a teacher of creative writing, English as a second language, Spanish, beginner’s French, and choreography for strippers. On occasion she’s been an administrative assistant and a carpenter’s helper. Her most unusual job was translating letters between lovers, one of whom spoke only English, the other only Spanish. She can be found at violettemalan.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jim C. Hines on August 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The premise of the book will be familiar to more experienced fantasy readers. History professor Max Ravenhill discovers he's not who he thinks he is. He's not even human. He's an exile from the lands of the Fae, guardian of the Talismans that can select the next High Prince and end the cycle of death and corruption. Now, as Max's exile comes to an end, the Basilisk Prince is determined to capture him and use the Talismans to make himself High Prince.

It took me a few chapters to get into the book. Malan jumps right into the action with a fairly brutal (off-screen) massacre, and it also took me a while to grasp the fantasy side of her worldbuilding. It wasn't until a few chapters into the book, when Max and his protector Cassandra left our world and returned home, that I started to wrap my brain around everything.

With that said, I enjoyed the book a great deal by the end. Max and Cassandra were fun, and it was interesting to see the relationship between the guardian (who knows what's going on) and Max (whose memories have been altered, so he doesn't even know Cassandra at first). Malan even gives us glimpses of "humanity" from the Basilisk Prince, and I always like conflicted characters.

While some elements of the story felt familiar, others were intriguingly original. I enjoyed Malan's take on enchanted weapons and armor, and the creative ways they can be used. Her revelation about the Hounds (hunting beasts, from the original Hunt) was fascinating enough I wanted her to spend more time on it.

Actually, that was my biggest frustration. Some of Malan's most fascinating ideas seemed to get skimmed over. I wanted to learn more about the Naturals and the Solitaries, the other "races" of Max's realm. I wanted to understand guidebeasts better. And if the biggest complaint about a book is, "I wanted more," then I think that's a pretty positive thing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly A. Monaghan on September 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
The plotline of this book is what caught my interest. The action begins in our world-the Shadowlands. The protagonist is a Faerie Prince whose memory has been taken and has been banished to our world. He is long-lived and his memory fades every 15-20 years. His time of Banishment is ending and his old enemy has sent the Great Hunt to track him down. He is rescued by a Warden sent to watch over him. Unfortunately, she is given the unhappy task of convincing him of his identity and bringing him back to the Faerie Lands.

The beginning of the book lacks much of the atmosphere and character building that makes the best novels work. The plotline is extremely fast-paced and without the initial framework in place, it is difficult to really empathize with the main character. The writing improves towards the end. Overall, it seems like this was a great novel that was hurried a bit too much.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. V. Wasson on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fast paced novel. For such a stand alone book it has

has unsually well-developed fantasy world. Such development usually takes a longer book or a multiple volume series. Unlike the profssional review, I like time Malan spent develping the faerie culture and history. It has a good mistusre of humor and seriousness, plus a few unexpected surprises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Quincy on August 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Mirror Prince is a clever take on some old themes - cosmic imbalance caused by an evil ruler, a seemingly ordinary man thrust into an important role in a world he doesn't understand, adventure in a fantasy world. Malan draws on some old fairy folklore and Irish legend but isn't afraid to change it - as one of her characters remarks early on, there is some truth and some falsehood to the old stories. Our plucky hero Max finds himself in a world of Riders (fairies similar to the trooping fairies or Sidhe of Irish myth), Solitaries (magical creatures) and Naturals (embodiments of natural landscapes). His quest is to stop the evil Basilisk Prince from taking over the world, a goal that can only be achieved by restoring his old memories.

The writing ranges from fair to good and the characters are engaging. The Basilisk Prince is evil, but not apocalyptically so; Cassandra, Max's protector and inevitable love interest, is charming enough to stand on her own as a protagonist; even characters who show up only briefly prove to be interesting. Max himself is sadly underdeveloped; he often seems more like a pawn being moved around than a prince (even one with amnesia) who can choose his own path. The plot is a bit convoluted (made more so by the fact that everybody except Max can magically travel great distances in a matter of minutes), but remains manageable even if it requires some time to untangle.

If there is a problem with the book, it is that although the setting clearly has had a lot of thought put into it, we don't ever really get a full glimpse of it. To name only a few examples: Most of the characters are highly concerned with social family-like units called fara'ip but what exactly a fara'ip IS never becomes clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Antony Chow on December 25, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At first, it is hard to figure out where the author is headed with The Mirror Prince. The pace and setting moves so quickly that sometimes it is difficult to follow. Fortunately, the plot becomes clear, and the story complete. For Max Ravenhill, his life is but an illusion. And his leading position in another world becomes more apparent as he discovers why someone wants him captured badly, and everyone treats him with either deference or scorn, while his true memory is not yet returned. Leading him onward is a lady protector who seems to know a lot more about him than she would let on.

The plot basically goes running from a chase to restoring the hero to final confrontation with the villain. Fairly simple plot in and of itself. While giving a life-and-death urgency to the chase, the author is hard pressed to find time to fully develop the relationship between the hero and his protector. Yes, bits and pieces of his past lives are thrown in. And her perspective of Max is injected in a chapter or two. Furthermore, the enormous world beyond the Shadowlands (or our world, if you prefer) is not adequately explored. And to me, that is a shame.

Overall, The Mirror Prince is an impressive debut novel. While there are flaws that other Amazon reviewers have already noted, the novel is an enjoyable read and highly recommended.
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