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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The sophomore fantasy release from Marie Brennan (pseudonym for Harvard University academician Bryn Neuenschwander, who has -- according to her biography -- "been in school without interruption since she was five" and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology and folklore) continues the adventures of the singularly unique character Mirei: a fusion of two beings, a witch and her warrior twin, that share the same soul.
This sequel to Brennan's debut novel, Doppelganger, pits Mirei against the very society that spawned her. Considered an abomination by most of the witch community -- witches are traditionally considered incomplete until their doppelgangers are killed in an arcane ritual -- Mirei has vowed to change the ingrained beliefs of an entire culture by saving the doppelgangers from ritualistic slaughter. Her hopes are that, with herself as an example, witches can merge with their doppelgangers instead of murdering them and can utilize the benefits that come from both entities. With very few people to back her -- except for Satomi, the leader of the witches' governing body, and a former schoolmate named Eclipse -- Mirei sets out on a quest to save the doppelgangers even as a bloody civil war unfolds around her…
Powered by heaping helpings of magic, murder, and mayhem, Brennan's action-packed Warrior and Witch should appeal to fantasy fans who enjoy authors like Kate Forsyth and Trudi Canavan. A major criticism, however, of both of Brennan's novels thus far is the lack of any substantial character development beyond the main character herself -- and the conspicuous lack of any realistically drawn, three-dimensional male characters. Paul Goat Allen
From Barnes & Noble's Heart to Heart
Marie Brennan returns to the fantastic world of her first novel, Doppelganger, in a thrilling sequel filled with nonstop action, strong political intrigue, and her most appealing heroine, the resolute Mirei.
In Brennan's thoroughly imagined world of witches and warriors, when a witch is born, a doppelganger is, too; they share one soul but are raised separately. The long-standing practice is that when the witch comes of age and must master her powers, the doppelganger must be killed. So it was until Mirei. Born as Miryo the witch and Mirage the Hunter, she was the first to recognize her other half and merge the two selves back into one person. To some, that made her an evil abomination. When Satomi, the leader of the witches' ruling Primes, supports the radical change for Mirei and future generation, it sparks strong dissent and great danger to Mirei and the young doppelgangers she has been training. Worse yet, it looks as though Mirei's unique magic may be killing her. You'll be glad to find a glossary at the back. Ginger Curwen