The Dark Mirror (Bridei Chronicles Series #1)

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Overview

THE DARK MIRROR is the first book in Juliet Marillier's Bridei Chronicles.

Bridei is a young nobleman fostered at the home of Broichan, one of the most powerful druids in the land. His earliest memories are not of hearth and kin but of this dark stranger who while not unkind is mysterious in his ways. The tasks that he sets Bridei appear to have one goal-to make him a vessel for some distant purpose. What that purpose is Bridei cannot fathom ...

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The Dark Mirror (Bridei Chronicles Series #1)

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Overview

THE DARK MIRROR is the first book in Juliet Marillier's Bridei Chronicles.

Bridei is a young nobleman fostered at the home of Broichan, one of the most powerful druids in the land. His earliest memories are not of hearth and kin but of this dark stranger who while not unkind is mysterious in his ways. The tasks that he sets Bridei appear to have one goal-to make him a vessel for some distant purpose. What that purpose is Bridei cannot fathom but he trusts the man and is content to learn all he can about the ways of the world.

But something happens that will change Bridei's world forever...and possibly wreck all of Broichan's plans. For Bridei finds a child on their doorstep on a bitter MidWinter Eve, a child seemingly abandoned by the fairie folk. It is uncommonly bad luck to have truck with the Fair Folk and all counsel the babe's death. But Bridei sees an old and precious magic at work here and heedless of the danger fights to save the child. Broichan relents but is wary.

The two grow up together and as Bridei comes to manhood he sees the shy girl Tuala blossom into a beautiful woman. Broichan sees the same process and feels only danger...for Tuala could be a key part in Bridei's future...or could spell his doom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. Agent, Russ Galen. (July 17) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Marillier begins a new series with this novel of the sixth-century kingdom of the Picts. Bridei is a boy, sent to live at the home of the powerful druid, Broichan. When Bridei is only six years old, one Midwinter's night he finds a basket on the doorstep, containing a baby who is obviously one of the Good Folk. Despite the objections of Broichan, Bridei is determined to keep the child, convinced that he was meant to protect her. He names her Tuala, and she grows up with him in Broichan's household. As Bridei becomes a man, there is conflict in the land. The Gaels are invading from the west, and the southern kingdoms are beginning to convert to Christianity while the northern lands struggle to maintain the old religion. The moment of truth arrives when the old king dies and Bridei becomes one of the logical candidates to replace him-only his attachment to Tuala may destroy his chances. Marillier does her usual masterful job of storytelling here, weaving what little bits are known of the Picts into a story of love and politics. The book suffers a bit from being the "setup" piece for a trilogy, The Bridei Chronicles, however, as characters and plot elements are introduced, sometimes at great length. Some of these will undoubtedly take a larger role in the later novels. Nevertheless older teens who cannot get enough of Marillier's brand of historical fantasy (or "magical history," as she calls it) will devour this one and wait eagerly for its sequels. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Tor, 512p., Ages15 to Adult.
—Sarah Flowers
KLIATT - Sherry Hoy
Bridei is of noble parentage and has been chosen to be groomed as the next king. He is raised by the king's druid from the age of five with this in mind. The glitch in everyone's plans is that one Midwinter's Eve, Bridei finds a baby (one of the Fair Folk) on the doorstep and brings it into the household while taking magical steps to ensure that she can stay. They grow up together. After many, many hardships and trials for them both, they eventually realize their love for each other and how they are meant to rule as man and wife. A slow-moving saga, with many subplots and side stories, this will take a dedicated reader, but those who like Celtic (actually the society this is based upon is the Picts—there's an author's note of explanation) and alternative histories will probably be looking for the next installment.
From the Publisher
"An engrossing, beautifully written work of historical fiction and a portrait of a man's fierce struggle to find his own truth."—Booklist on Wolfskin

"A rich tapestry of love and loss, family loyalty and personal sacrifice." —Publisher Weekly (starred) on Child of the Prophecy

"The author's keen understanding of Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity adds texture to a rich and vibrant novel."—Library Journal on Daughter of the Forest

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593359898
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Series: Bridei Chronicles Series , #1
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 2 MP3-CDs, 22 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Juliet Marillier is the author of the Sevenwaters trilogy - Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, and Child of the Prophecy - as well as her fantasy pairing, Wolfskin and Foxmask. She holds advanced degrees in music and languages, and has had a lifelong passion for both Celtic music and Irish folklore. She lives with her family in Perth, Western Australia.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This author's best work

    There are several books this author has given for us all to enjoy, and each are unique. However, I think this one is the best of her talents all in one. Beautiful storytelling, vivid descriptions and solid characters make this a wonderful tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Very nice introduction to the series

    I found the The Dark Mirror to have an excellent story line and though ending with the 'boy gets girl' it left many many potential interesting stories for the future. Ms. Marillier is a skilled writer and I 'think' because this was the first in the series, went into considerable detail that 'might' have been shorten by 10%. The book is 720 pages but they go by fast.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    i do not know which is better her seven waters trilogy or the first book in the bridei chronicles the history and detail she uses to tell the story of Bridei and his Good folk 'heart friend' Tuala is astonishing i only wish i had half her talent with the pen she grabs my attention in the first sentence and refuses to let go until the end the best thing about this book is the light she puts on actual event in early scotland it made the researcher in me come alive the dimension of her characters leaves no doubt on wether or not they exist it is a three dimensional book with three dimensional characters five stars is not enough to exemplify the unique talent for the combination of writing and history she shows.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A deep pre-Celtic Scottish romantic fantasy

    Young noble Bridei resides with powerful druid Broichan, who seems to be training the lad for some unknown intention that he fails to explain. Broichan treats the lad reasonably well and has earned Bridei¿s trust though the youngster would like to more about his past before coming here because he has no memory of it and he wonders what the Druid¿s plans are for him........................... On Midwinter Eve Bridei finds an abandoned infant on their doorstep. Since the baby apparently comes from the fairie realm, Broichan wants to kill it as any trafficking with the wee folks, even with good intentions, usually mean trouble. Bridei persuades Broichan to let the child live with them. Over the years the wild child Tuala becomes a beautiful woman, who the studious Bridei desires, but Broichan fears she will prove to be the doom of his apprentice slated to one day unite the divided land under the one king...................... THE DARK MIRROR is a deep pre-Celtic Scottish romantic fantasy. The cast is wonderful as opposites Tuala and Bridei fall in love while his mentor fears their relationship will lead to tragedy for his student and catastrophe for the people waiting for the one king to surface. This spellbinding tale is filled with strong characterizations and vivid descriptions of the era interwoven within a story line that contains plenty of action and can stand alone though trouble seems on the horizon in the next Bridei Chronicle for the hero and his beloved................ Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Wonderful

    Anyone who reads histoical fiction, this is a must read! Wonderful, full of adventure great imagery. I will read this story again and again.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    Highy recommend this series

    I have read the whole series and will read it again. I couldn't put it down and wish the author would continue the adventure with another book. The melding of fact with fiction made the story seem completely believeable.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    SLOW START TO A WONDERFUL STORY

    This story is wonderfully imaginative and intriguing until the end. The story may start off a little slow with a lot of waiting for the action to start but once it does you can't put the book down. The interwoven stories of the characters keep your interest and keep you wondering what will happen next. With every character hoping for a slightly different outcome you don't know which way the author will end it. The blind faith the characters have in their Gods also gives the story a very unique dynamic. Overall, I found this book very enjoyable and I will read the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Heart-wrenchingly Beautiful

    I loved this book! It made me actually FEEL so much, especially at the end! It was beautiful, and heartwrenching! Absolutely lovely...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2007

    Not a 'teen' but young at heart

    I loved this book! It started a bit slow but as I approached the end, I could not put it down...Now, I'm back on line ordering the remaining 2 books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2006

    Just as Good as the Seven Waters Tril.

    This book was written just as well as the Seven Waters tril. I was hooked from the first page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    Ms. Marillier Does It Yet Again

    Anyone that is familiar with Juliet Marillier knows that her works are both thoughtful and lustrously detailed. In each novel her characters brim with human emotion and are constantly tested by the trials and tribulations of life. The Dark Mirror follows along the same path as her other masterpieces such as the Sevenwaters Trilogy. The Dark Mirror starts a little slow. Unlike Daughter of the Forest, which snatches the reader up in its grip on the first page, the Dark Mirror takes a little dedication by the reader. Being patient however does pay off big. The Dark Mirror is like a tiny stream that opens up into a swift flowing lake. Once caught in its current you are helpless to do anything else but follow its path. This to me is Ms. Marillier most passionate and detailed work to date. It is a stunning piece of work and a testament to the oustanding talent that is Juliet Marillier.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    ok

    Maybe it was because i expected so much after the sevenwaters trilogy, but i was definitely disappointed... the book wasn't horrible, but it did seem to take a lot longer to read... i ended up skipping large sections just to see if the ending was better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    If you are a fan, you might be disappointed with Marillier.

    I loved Marillier's first trilogy (Sevenwaters). Then I really enjoyed Wolfskin and Foxmask. So I was looking forward to reading her newest work. However I am sad to say that I am disappointed. It wasn't the sweap you along page turner I am used to with her writing. I had to keep forcing myself to read it, thinking if I got past the 100-300 filler pages I might get into this book and enjoy it later into the book. This never happened for me. Then the ending was even blah for her work. Here's hoping the next in the series is much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2005

    'Foundation Book' OK for Now

    After reading 'The Dark Mirror' the first thing I thought was that it was lacking something. The first books of Marillier's other series (Daughter of the Forest, Wolfskin) were wholesome and fufilling. This book only had a brief climax and you knew from chapter 3 that boy will find girl. It was an okay 'Foundation Book' as in the text that I know who the characters are and their backrounds and such. I didn't like it that when a suituation occured there were conversations about it from every person's view. I don't understand why the author couldn't just let a character's position be known whithout having each and every one discuss it with their friends. There was too much speculation about the character's difficult tasks when in actuality the tasks didn't bring me to the edge of my seat. I only hope that the next book in this series is better.

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    Posted April 8, 2010

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