- Series: The Bridei Chronicles, Book 1 (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780765309952
- ISBN-13: 978-0765309952
- ASIN: 0765309955
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 84 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dark Mirror (The Bridei Chronicles, Book 1) Hardcover – July 28, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Having given pre-Celtic Scotland a once-over in Wolfskin (2003) and Foxmask (2004), Australian author Marillier returns with a much more in-depth study that draws on what little history is known and surrounds it with the pretty boy-meets-girl story of Bridei, a boy raised by a group of wily councilors determined to mold him into a king who can reunite their divided land, and Tuala, his fey-born adopted sister who runs wild while he studies and is outcast where he is welcome. No one familiar with the current crop of historical fantasy will be in the least surprised by Bridei's extraordinary ability to command both men and magic, or Tuala's struggle to be accepted as a strong-willed and intelligent woman in an alien and prejudiced society. Yet somehow, carefully rounding her characters and paying exquisite attention to detail, Marillier pulls it off so well that you completely forget you've read essentially the same story a hundred times before. Fans of Judith Tarr, in whose footsteps this tale meticulously treads, will be enthralled, and the happy ending—all too rare in first volumes of series, and only slightly overshadowed by the inevitable dark portents—will encourage new readers to seek out both future installments and past publications.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bridei is only four when he is sent to live with Broichan, one of Fortriu's most powerful druids. Broichan is reserved, but Bridei feels welcome, and the druid's household quickly becomes his entire world. His lessons are engaging, and time passes uneventfully until he discovers a tiny fairy child--a gift, he thinks, from the Shining One herself. Smitten, he names her Tuala. Broichan, however, sees her as a threat and wants to send her away. Intuitively knowing that old magic is at work, Bridei insists Tuala stay. Broichan remains distrustful but reluctantly agrees, and the two children grow up together. When Bridei reaches majority, he is certain that he is to be king in perilous and turbulent times and that, to succeed, Tuala must be his queen. Dark and formidable forces disagree. In this captivating tale based on the elusive history of the Picts, Marillier excels at breathing life into the past. Possessing the charm and sweetness of the very young, Bridei and Tuala keep their golden glow to the last page. Paula Luedtke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Juliet Marillier has this power to draw me into her stories, well past the time any sane person would spend glued in one spot. Many chores and errands were neglected, or put off while reading this book. It wasn't my fault.
Anyway, I'm extremely excited to start on Blade of Fortriu. Trying to wait a week or so before cracking it's spine. I'm attempting to pace myself and savor the Bridei Chronicles. I rampaged through The Sevenwaters series in one month. There was this hungry feeling for all things celtic, a strange glint in my eye, and I spent the entire month contemplating naming my first child Sorcha or Finbar. Those were good times, and were over all too quickly.
Cheers to the Dark Mirror! Thank you, Juliet, for another beautiful tale.
Marillier is a 5 star writer, but this particular effort really should get 4.5. Tuala is disappointingly wrapped up in her love interest (for a Marillier heroine,) and Bridei is somewhat annoyingly perfect. However, the political world they live in is too fascinating for me to pass up, and Ana and Faolan are much more satisfying characters, so I have high hopes for book 2!
I really loved her Sevenwaters books. They are well worth it. This one came from her DARK period.
So the story was wonderful, but compared with Ms. Marillier's SEVENWATERS trilogy, this was weak. The protagonist, Bridei was perfect in every respect that you could possibly think of. His fey companion Tuala was more interesting, in that she was more rebellious. But for a fourteen-year-old girl she was remarkably poised and serene about the various misfortunes that assailed her.
This story had little of the realistic grit about it that made the SEVENWATERS books truly great. By the standards of most of the books out there, this was superlative. By her own standards, this book was not as strong as it could have been. Which was a pity. Three and a half stars.