From School Library Journal
Grade 5–7—Fans of The Water Mirror
(S & S, 2005) will enjoy this wild ride of a sequel as Merle, with the Flowing Queen within her, is taken to Hell by the winged stone lion Vermithrax. As the Egyptian Pharaoh unleashes his army of mummies (unearthed dead bodies) on the city of Venice, Merle tries to find Lucifer, Lord Light, with whom she hopes to forge an alliance against Egypt, and her friend Serafin joins the rebels in a plot to assassinate the Pharaoh. With the appearance of the powerful sphinx woman Lalapeya, the plot twists and turns, so that readers, along with Serafin, do not know whom to trust. While this novel lacks the powerful sense of place that the Venetian scenes of the earlier title offered, Meyer shows great inventiveness in his portrayal of the environment and creatures of Hell. However, characters such as Junipa from the first book appear only toward the very end of this volume, and the water mirror appears only cursorily. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, leaving both Merle and Serafin's stories unresolved. While there is a great deal of action, the emotional heart of the novel seems to be missing. There is an occasional awkwardness in the phrasing that leaves the narrative feeling jerky. The British edition, with a different translation, reads much more smoothly. Although readers new to the series may be left unmoved, enthusiasts of the first book will fly through this one and await the conclusion of the trilogy.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
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In this continuation of the Dark Reflections Trilogy, mirror-maker's apprentice Merle, who carries Venice's guardian deity inside her, travels to seek an alliance with the feared lord of Hell. Serafin, her friend and sweetheart, remains behind to help oust invading Egyptians. The serpentine plot twists resolve few of the major questions facing the protagonists, but the landscapes and creatures the characters encounter are jaw dropping, and readers of the first adventure will certainly want to go along for the ride. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved