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The Universal Mirror: Artifacts of Empire by [Gwen Whiting]
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The Universal Mirror: Artifacts of Empire Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 232 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

Gwen Perkins is a museum curator who finds constant inspiration among the artifacts and ephemera of everyday lives. Although presented in a fantasy setting, the characters and events of The Universal Mirror were heavily influenced by her historical research. Gwen lives in Tacoma, Washington with her partner and their three children. This is her first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1990 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rara Avis: An Imprint of PDMI Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (15 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MVGRORS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,596,214 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On the island of Cercia, after a war where all the gods were killed, magicians were forbidden to leave their homeland and laws were created to prevent them from casting their spells on the living - whether to harm or heal.
When the island is affected by a plague, Quentin, a young nobleman defies authority out of love for his wife. His best friend Asahel helps him with his experiments. Knowing that the punishment for heresy is severe if found out, Quentin is determined to heal the damage caused by the plague on his wife.

When I began to read this book, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I was a bit confused at first. It felt like I was coming in half way through a conversation. However, my confusion soon evaporated as I got further into the story. It soon turned into a page turner that I couldn't put down! The beginning felt a little bit like a story from Burke and Hare! I began to empathise with Quentin's character. He's in love with his wife who, due to a plague, had been badly disfigured. Unfortunately, as the law strictly forbids the use of magic on living beings to heal, Quentin is at a loss as to how to help her.
By the end of the book, I was cheering Quentin and his friend on! Gwen Perkins has written a fast paced adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat! I would have liked a little more interaction between Quentin and his wife, especially nearer the end. But, all in all it was a very pleasant read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was falling behind on my target of books to read and so I flicked through my Kindle, trying to find a book under 200 pages. Lo and behold, I came across this one, a book I had stumbled across for free on Amazon. I'm quite partial to fantasy and this sounded interesting so I thought it would be a good filler book...

Oh my, was it so much more than that. I honestly am tempted to give it 5 stars but I am very tight when it comes to that honour, having only done so with a few books. But this was the very definition of a page-turner for me. It's also infuriating (in the best possible way) that the chapters are so short because the temptation of saying "well, just one more..." is overwhelming!

The plot is actually quite minimal, telling the story of how it is a Heresy for magic to be performed on the human body and the struggle of two magicians to find out why. But the world and the characters involved is so rich and interesting that I would classify this more as a character piece. Even the magic is described with such energy and rawness that it almost becomes a character in itself, crackling off the pages (or screen, in my case). I was drawn in immediately by all the characters (Why was Quentin risking so much for this? What was Catharine's real issue with Quent? How did Asahel get mixed up in this?) and I wanted questions answered at the end of every chapter. Felix was probably my favourite character; right from his introduction I found him very intriguing. I also think Catharine came into her own in the second half of the book and became a really well-rounded character. Asahel and Quentin are great central characters, especially for their vast differences and I liked how it would flit between the two perspectives without getting jumbled and confusing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is great fantasy story. Something different to what I've read previously. The characters are likeable and the story flows well.

The storyline itself isn't too in depth, but the characters, settings and practically everything else you find in the book makes up for this. I liked Asahel the most I think. Although at the beginning of the book he seems to be belittled and the under-dog, as we progress through the pages we find this definitely isn't the case. Yeah, I like him a lot.

The idea of the story is heartwarming. Men trying to find out why it is against the law to perform magic on the human body. It's hard because Quentin is trying to help his wife, who he completely adores. He wants to be able to cure her from... I'm not telling you. But he wants her to be able to love him as dearly as he loves her. They challenge the laws which prevent them from helping her... and so the adventure begins.

If you follow my reviews you will know I don't give away too many spoilers. I give a jist of storyline and comments on the flow etc.
This book will not disappoint and I'm looking forward to reading more books by this talented author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really struggled with this book. I've now made two attempts to get into it but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass after reading less than 20%. The main reason for this is overwriting - there is no physical experience too small to describe in detail and in the first couple of chapters so much skin, so many noses, cheeks etc. are going red with emotion that I found it difficult to get into the actual story. It slowed the pace and became irritating for me - others obviously do not agree and I respect their views.

Sorry!
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