In Dark Mirror, readers will feel as though they have fallen through time -- straight into 19th century England. M. J. Putney evokes the vibrant period with flair, bringing it to life before readers' eyes as she weaves magic into the very fabric of history. The age is fascinating in its own right, filled with social tension and political shifts, the threat of war and the perseverance of elegance -- it seems only fitting to throw true magic into the mix of an already magical time. The author's love of history is evident in the incredibly detailed accounts of not one, but two eras, pulling readers through time to the war-ravaged shores of WWII Europe. The eerie parallels between the Napoleonic Wars of Tory's time and the WWII battles she faces in the future are powerfully drawn, evoking unsettling questions about the ways in which history repeats itself.
Though the setting steals the show, Tory proves to be a beauty with a backbone, demonstrating unwavering strength in the face of adversity. Her roommate Cynthia also sparks with life -- though not a truly villainous antagonist, her snarky remarks and emotional baggage make her a refreshing counterpart to Tory's poise. There are a wide range of other secondary characters, but Jack Rainford stands out from the start. Jack bursts hilariously onto the scene and I would have loved to see more of his mischief, rather than letting him fade into the background. Unfortunately, the other characters felt rather stiff and staged, making it difficult to connect with the romance that blossoms over the course of the novel. Nonetheless, readers will find themselves swept up in the whirlwind of fact and fantasy, enjoying the sights and sounds of two of history's richest periods.
This novel hits shelves March 1, 2011! Click here to preorder Dark Mirror by M. J. Putney.
Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this novel from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.
Come back tomorrow for an interview and giveaway with author M. J. Putney!