I bought Mirrorscape for one reason, and one reason only; the cover art. I was completely fascinated by the cityscape that it depicted. In truth, the description on the back would have had to be completely out of my realm of interest (which can be pretty broad) for me to not buy this book. Thankfully, what was inside was as artistic and unique as that cover.
I really don’t want to give away too much of the plot away, since I found find that so much of the pleasure is learning about the society and its secrets along with Mel. Therefore, I’ll try to keep this vague, yet informative.
Mel loves to draw and through a series of events, both fortunate and not, he ends up apprenticed to the best artist in the land. There he meets and befriends a young maid, named Wren, and a fellow apprentice named Ludo. The group of friends discovers how to enter the Mirrorscape and quickly find themselves forced to hide there, search for those who are missing there, and use the Mirrorscape to save their own world.
I loved the world that this story took place in from the layout of the city to the structure of their society. The worlds of the Mirrorscape are even better. I love how each world were immediately made different and identifiable.
Mel is exactly what a hero should be. He wasn’t perfect, but he was dedicated, a good artist though not perfect, and a good friend. Wren is a girl who wants to be more than society forces her to be, and she’s a good enough artist to do it. Ludo is the skeptic, but what’s more I found him a bit annoying. At one point someone tries to blackmail him, and I was greatly disappointed with how he responded. I’m still unsure if I think his behavior was simply a character flaw or if I find it a flaw in the story.
I enjoyed the plot of this story. My one complaint is the ending. I think that it may have wrapped up things a bit too easily. While this is the first in a series, it ends in such a way that it could easily stand alone. I hope only that the future books show that the quick wrap up wasn’t as clean as it seemed. That said, the ending isn’t disappointing, and it’s not without a great climax. The problem comes in that it resolves more than I initially thought that it should have.
One other thing I should mention is that there is quite a bit of artistic jargon thrown in. You don’t necessarily need to know what they are talking about, but if you want to, there is a glossary in the back of the book. There may be some readers who are thrown off by this, but for most I don’t think it will be an issue.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a great new fantasy.