Thursday, 10 March 2011

Book Review: Dark Mirror by J.P Putney

I love this cover- it grabbed
my attention right away!
Publisher description

As the youngest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Fairmont, Lady Victoria "Tory" Mansfield is destined for a charmed life of status and wealth. The envy of many young girls, Tory knows she is lucky which is why she goes to great lengths to hide her special talent... magic. If her powers were exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace er family forever. Which is exactly what happens when a shocking accident happens and forces Tory to reveal her magic, and she is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for other young men and women in her unique position.

What lies ahead is a strange and wonderful world where Tory will learn that it is not her social standing or her family's wealth, but destiny and magic, true love and friendship, and courage and strength that determine her real worth as a young woman.

My review

I’ve always loved historical fiction but I haven’t read many mixed with elements of fantasy and magic so I was very excited to get the chance to review Dark Mirror and see what I thought of this cross genre.

Lady Victoria Mansfield (Tory) has everything that a young Victorian girl from a wealthy family could ever want and she is soon to be presented to society as a young lady in order to try and find an eligible match. Except when her secret is revealed to her friends and family in a dreadful accident(someone who has magical abilities, she is packed off to Lackland Abbey in disgrace, a school to try and ‘fix’ sons and daughters of members of the aristocracy with magical talents. Tory is determined to do everything she can to learn to control her magic as quickly as possible so that she can return home to her family and live as much of a normal life as she can. However, Lackland Abbey is very different from the life of luxuries that she has always known and everything she has taken for granted is challenged.

Tori was an admirable heroine because she gave up a glittering place at the top of society to save a person who was very close to her when she could so easily chosen not to do anything. Her feelings about being ostracized by the family and the rest of high society and finding herself in a strange new environment where she knows no one were believable and relatable. I was rooting for her throughout and liked seeing the character development she went through from a lady of leisure whose main concern in life is marrying a titled and wealthy man to a determined, independant and hard working young women who doesn’t care about class and titles as much. Despite this, I would have liked to know more about her and her interests rather than just her personality in order to make her a more rounded and well developed character who feels more alive.

The romance between Tory and one of the Lackland boys was sweet, clean and bought a lighter element to the story but it was very predictable. I could tell where it was going the moment Tory claps eyes on her potential love and launches into a praising description of him . This was quite cute but I just wish that there had been a lot more interation between the two before they completely feel for each other to give their relationship more depth. I hope that their romance will be developed better in the sequel and that the deep and magical connection they feel pulsing between them is explained.

I think that the author pulled off the two time periods of the early Victorians and World War Two really well with distinctly different feels in the two. I especially enjoyed Tory’s descriptions of the unfamiliar new inventions that were used in the 1940s such as cars, planes and radios. The time travel also made me think about the similarities between events in history and the way history repeats itself over time.

At times I felt a bit detached from the writing even though I loved the story and I felt this was the one downfall of the book even though it wasn’t that the writing was bad. There were some lovely descriptions, dialogue flowed smoothly between the characters and the tension at the end kept me absorbed

Dark Mirror works well as a standalone novel with a wrapped up ending that left me satisfied and I’m looking forward to the release of the sequel. It has a lot more to give because the characters were really starting to form strong relationships by the end and there are so many ways that the storyline could be carried forward.

Verdict: I loved escaping into the wonderful and magical world of Dark Mirror and being transported between the early 1800s and 1940s with likable characters despite some of the flaws. Therefore my rating is based on enjoyment because the flaws didn't effect that. Dark Mirror is a fabulous start to the Dark Passage series and would recommend it to all history and fantasy lovers.

 Dark Mirror was released at the beginning of this month and is now available to buy on Amazon here.

                                                                Rating: 4 stars

Thank you very much to the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the thoughts in my review.

GIVEAWAY (US and Canda)- Look out for a Dark Mirror giveaway post tomorrow- thank you very much to St. Martin's Griffin for providing the prizes!


  1. Magic! Victorians! Romance...shall survive. Any death?
    Sounds like a really clever story...I like time-travel as well.
    This looks great...can't wait until its out.
    Nina xxx

  2. your so lucky to have got this! It sounds really good really want to read it :)

  3. @Nina Well death does appear in it but you'll just have to wait and find out! Trust you to ask that LOL. Btw, it's out already :) See you at school!

    @Jess Yes, I know! I think you'd enjoy it :D

  4. Interesting concept. I love time travel so I'm sure I'll love this one!


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