Mirena Calanais is destined to change the world.
Her rival has made a desperate flight to the past to stop her.
A gifted student of majik, Mirena is on the verge of graduating from a secret college that will give her a leg up in her political career, when her achievements are overshadowed by the arrival of a mysterious woman with an unknown agenda. Desperate to keep what she sees as her rightful place in the spotlight, Mirena goes to astounding lengths including taking it upon herself to pose as a double agent to investigate a rebel force plotting to destabilize the government. Unfortunately, her actions cost her the trust of those around her, so when she is proclaimed the Dark Avatar of the Destroyer, she finds she has nowhere to turn.
In a seeming utopia, Mirena is now a pariah with the force of Destroyer behind her and her once bright dreams have darkened, leaving her a threat not only to herself, but to those she cares about. Can she turn her life around, or will someone need to stop her before she goes too far?
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publication Date: May 17, 2018
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy, Romance, Fantasy
Page count: 240 pages
Read an Excerpt:
The extra quarter turn of the hourglass Caralain spent in the waiting room helped her to calm her nerves and gather her thoughts. By the time Mirena left the Panarch’s office with a bounce in her step that sent her long white-blonde hair swinging, Caralain was ready. She stood, brushed imaginary dust from her clothing, and strode into the Panarch’s office with purpose.
“Panarch, thank you for allowing me to speak with you,” she began as soon as she was across the threshold, doing her best to avoid meeting his gaze directly lest she be overwhelmed again.
“Of course,” Terrence Lee answered, shutting the door behind her and heading for the chair behind his desk. “I have an open-door policy, as you know, so it’s no trouble.”
“Right, of course.” In fact, she did know that, in theory. In practice was another matter altogether. “Well, either way, I’m glad to have the opportunity to speak my mind. You see, I have…important information regarding the woman who was just in here speaking with you.”
He lifted a brow in question. “Mirena?”
Oh no, they’re already on a first name basis. Caralain felt a momentary panic seize her heart. Maybe I’m too late.
“Uh, yes, Mirena Calanais. Well, you see, I have reason to believe that Mirena has plans…” She hesitated, but having come this far, she knew she had to continue. “Plans to remove you from office and install herself in power in your place.”
To Caralain’s surprise, a wide grin spread across the Panarch’s face, his blue eyes twinkling with amusement. “Oh?”
She couldn’t help but feel discomfited under that blue-eyed stare. She wriggled uncomfortably in her seat. “Uh, yes. I know it seems ludicrous from where you’re standing, with Mirena’s relative anonymity at this point, but…”
“No, it’s not that,” he chuckled. “Mirena was just in here saying exactly the same thing.”
“Mirena is a bright girl with a bright future ahead of her,” the Panarch told her and Caralain felt the world beneath her feet begin to fade away, leaving in its place only a dark abyss from which there was no return. “I’m thinking of making her my apprentice, actually. She showed great promise in the meeting we just had.”
Caralain’s heartbeat picked up speed and the air suddenly felt thin as she tried to take in enough to keep breathing. She was halfway to her feet and stumbling out of the chair before she realized that there was nowhere she could flee that would be safe from what she was hearing. “No! I mean, you can’t! She’s…she’s a monster. She’ll destroy this world and everything good in it.”
Terrence Lee’s look of patient amusement turned quickly to one of concern and alarm. He also got to his feet. “Ms. Dashar? Are you all right?”
He was coming around the desk now and Caralain realized abruptly how she must look and sound. She fought desperately to bring her fear under control and to compose her face. “Yes, yes, of course, I’m fine.” She started for the door and was relieved when her hand found the handle. “This was a mistake. I’ll just go.”
She wrenched the door open and allowed the gentle murmur of the waiting room comfort her nerves.
“Are you certain?” He wasn’t just going to let this drop, but Caralain couldn’t let her sanity, and therefore her credibility, be called into question. “I can call someone for you if you need me to. A Healer, perhaps?”
“No, no, I’m fine. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.” And with that, she fled.
Review (Spoiler Free)
I enjoyed this book very much. It is a complex story filled with twists and turns. I feel that sharing any of the twists would take away a reader’s enjoyment, so I will do my best to leave a spoiler free review.
There is magic at the center of this story, as well as time travel, secret identities, assignations, murder attempts, and battles. It reminds me a bit of Game of Thrones with the level of political and personal intrigue. (It is no where near as bloody though!)
The characters are complex. There is no clear “hero” or “villain” in my point of view. (Although I feel very sorry for Tendro.) Each character makes choices that impact more than his/her own life. The time travel either has the greatest impact of all, or makes few changes because of the rule found in most books of fiction that destiny is pre-determined. It is difficult to tell at this point. I hope that the next book makes this clearer. (Yes–I definitely will read the next book if/when it comes out!) It is the third book in the series, so I am hopeful!
I think this will make a great summer read for anyone who enjoys magic/adventure/intrigue.
I received a review copy of this work in exchange for a fair and timely review.
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Meet the Authors:
Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of eight novels and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally roleplaying with her friends.
With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is a new mom living in Windsor, Ontario, ready to embark on a new career as a medical technician.
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