The Soul Mirror: A Novel of the Collegia Magica

( 21 )

Overview

Anne de Vernase rejoices that she has no talent for magic. But she is dismayed to learn the king intends to barter her hand in marriage. Anne recognizes that the summoning carries implications far beyond her bleak future. And a murder in the queen's inner circle convinces Anne that her young sister's magical death wasn't accidental.

With no one to trust, Anne must take on her sister's legacy to discover the truth-thrusting herself into a centuries-old struggle that could forever...

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The Soul Mirror: A Novel of the Collegia Magica

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Overview

Anne de Vernase rejoices that she has no talent for magic. But she is dismayed to learn the king intends to barter her hand in marriage. Anne recognizes that the summoning carries implications far beyond her bleak future. And a murder in the queen's inner circle convinces Anne that her young sister's magical death wasn't accidental.

With no one to trust, Anne must take on her sister's legacy to discover the truth-thrusting herself into a centuries-old struggle that could forever alter the boundaries of magic, nature, and the divine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This lavish quasi-Renaissance fantasy, a worthy sequel to 2010's The Spirit Lens, traces "plain, plodding, rational" Anne de Vernase's multipronged quest to discover her sister's killer, clear her beloved father's name, rescue her brother from unspeakable torment, and heal her mother's madness. Caught up in the swirling Machiavellian plots of Sabria's glittering court, in a land barely recovered from the fearful Blood Wars, Anne gradually learns whom to trust, only to discover her own latent magical talents and a strange, powerful romance. Berg's characters return to vivid life, especially Zorro-like Lord Ilario, a court fool turned dashing masked swordsman, and former librarian Portier, kin to Sabria's king and possible human sacrifice. Berg refreshes and reinvigorates the familiar trappings of epic fantasy, shaping a novel that rings true both linguistically and imaginatively. This is one to savor. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Magically untalented and happy for it, Anne de Venase finds herself in a royal dilemma when she discovers the king has slated her for a political marriage. The sudden death of her sister, a student of magic, plunges Anne into a maelstrom of intrigue and deadly sorcery as she must accept her sister's magical legacy to prevent a disaster of worldwide proportions. Berg's second series installment (after The Spirit Lens) tells a complex story of science versus magic and of one woman's determination to maintain her integrity while embracing an alien knowledge. VERDICT Berg brings life and grace to a story of magic and politics that should appeal to the author's fans as well as lovers of Renaissance-style fantasy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451463999
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Series: Collegia Magica Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 638,862
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Berg

Though Colorado is home, Carol Berg's roots are in Texas, in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. She has degrees in mathematics from Rice University and computer science from the University of Colorado, but managed to squeeze in minors in English and art history along the way. She has combined a career as a software engineer with her writing, while also raising three sons. She lives with her husband at the foot of the Colorado mountains.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Utterly Amazing

    There are really no words to describe The Soul Mirror. In reality, all of Carol Berg's novels leave me breathless and wanting more at the closing page, so I'm a little biased. But since this is the latest book I've read and I'm still floundering in the shock that comes with realizing it's over, I'm inclined to say it's the absolutely best she's ever written (mind you, I said that about pretty much every single book of hers). I was unsure about a new protagonist in the beginning. I was so attached to Portier (as well as Dante and that peacock Ilario!) that I didn't want to read about Anne de Vernase (daughter of Michel de Vernase), especially when she would display any anger or distrust toward Portier. She won me over, however. Her story is interesting and sad, and she does what she can to keep going. As always, there are twists and turns every which way; some you will see coming, others you won't. But it's hard to find anything disappointing about this book. Berg writes well and flawlessly (though there are quite a few ?????s instead of 's in the NOOKbook version), with perfectly chiseled characters and motives, and she wraps up the millions of questions you will be asking thoroughly (even if you have to wait until the very last page). Very satisfying and hihgly recommended

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The sequel to The Spirit Lens is an enjoyable otherworld fantasy

    Anne de Vernase is traumatized with what has happened to her family. Her father committed treason using illegal sorcery when the natural sciences currently prevail at court; her mother unable to cope went insane; her brother lingers in prison; and her magical using sister was murdered. Although a believer in the natural sciences, she is unsure how she will survive the debacle but feels good about one thing that she lacks the magical ability that led to the destruction of her family.

    However, in the royal city of Merona, Anne is stunned when the Sabria King Philippe's secretary Duplais informs her that she will serve as a handmaid to the queen as she assumed the de Vernase name meant poison. She also concludes she must save her family, but not sure how. She hears her father whisper to her for help but she has never been trained in the use of sorcery. Still Anne knows she must start with her sister's homicide though the inquiry will take her to realms she preferred remained in her nightmares, but she cannot avoid it even though her world is collapsing into sink holes of sorcery.

    The sequel to The Spirit Lens is an enjoyable otherworld fantasy that has an Age of Reason historical feel to the story line. Anne is a super lead protagonist while Dante the queen's sorcerer is a grumbling cantankerous counterpart to the optimistic naturalist. Although the story line starts slow and remains as such for a third of the novel as Merona's war between science and magic is shaped for the reader, fans will want to accompany the reluctant heroine as she learns there is much more than science in the wonderful world of Carol Berg.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    I'm new to Fantasy, and this was a good introduction

    I would rate this highly, but having said that, I don't have a lot to compare it to. But it was good enough to hook me on the genre (it's not sic-fi, but strictly fantasy which is my preference)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    One of My Favorite Authors

    Carol Berg is an imaginative fantasy writer. Her concepts hold together well. Her characters are wonderful. Her books surprise and delight. Can't wait for another one.

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