Series Review: Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney

Dark Mirror
M.J. Putney
Genre: YA, Time Travel
At sixteen, Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life and her choice of mates worthy of her status. Then she makes a terrifying discovery that will ruin her life and disgrace her family forever. Tory's blood is tainted... by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to reveal her despised skill, she is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. Tory's greatest wish is to be cured so she can return home and perhaps recover some of her shattered life.

Instead, curiosity and the lure of magic lead Tory to rebel students who have pledged their talents to protect England. As she joins them in their secret studies, she discovers her full powers - and is drawn to the handsome, enigmatic young Marquis of Allarde. But Allarde'a reserve and haunting secret keep him away, though she can see equal longing in his eyes.

Then Tory's pledge sweeps her and her friends into a perilous world of danger, challenge, and a triumph that saves Britain from conquest. Can danger also bring Tory and Allarde together, despite all that stands between them?
I had no high hopes when I was about to read Dark Mirror, possibly because I've often passed this book in favor of other books despite the promise of lords and ladies, boarding schools and supernatural abilities. The synopsis just didn't drew me in. However the reading gods finally made me choose the first book in the series to read and I found that I just couldn't stop at the first book. I had to read the whole series.

I mean - historical, romance, time travel, magic - what's not to love? Pacing, I guess because I was not because I am not that used to reading YA that gets right into the action and adventure. Usually, readers are entitled to spend some pages lazily navigating the new environment that the main protagonist found herself/himself in. In the end, this pacing agreed with me though.

Thank goodness, it got better and I just love it that this series gets right into the action. It's plot driven but it also develops the relationships and the characters without being too emotional and dramatic about it. But what I love the most is that the characters were intelligent and showed it in their actions and in their words - oh my goodness, I am so happy about that - unlike in other books where they describe their characters as intelligent but when it comes to the key moments (and to situations at large) they don't think and behave like the intelligent characters that they were described. What's more is that the Dark Mirror series did not bitchify (is that a word? I think it's a word) the traditional bitch character here. It showed that there's more to the character than the stereotype.

I'm still so giddy at the fact that the characters here are smart and intelligent. Some of us have, one time or another, used these words interchangeably but over time I realized that they're different traits. I won't bore you with an explanation, you could google it up.

I also want to add another note and that's on romance. If the romances in this story were treated differently, I would have labelled them instalove immediately and would have dragged down the story for me. However, the characters' love stories were treated accordingly with response to the situations, the characters' traits and developments and a sense of an envisioned goal right from the start without sacrificing the plot quality.

There's not much angst here to tear your hair out in frustration so it's safe to say that the ending was served in a little neat bow
Ayanami Faerudo

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