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Quondam by Jayel Gibson

Quondam: An Ancient Mirrors TaleAmidst death and destruction, Cwen of Aradan and her aunt Yávië, the Dragon Queen, fall from their home in Ædracmoræ through a mirror and into a new world called Quondam. It is a dangerous land, one full of death and shifting loyalties ruled by the harsh iron fist of Queen Karid, a corrupted wood nymph forced to wear the skin of humans as punishment for wrongly accepting a human’s soul. Karid will stop at nothing to get what she wants, in this case, destruction of the House of Aradan because of a prophecy foretelling Karid’s downfall at the hands of a half human dragon spawn, who can only be freed from his prison by an Aradan. There is both hope and despair in the promise of Cwen’s placement in this prophecy, but while there are those who want to help Cwen and shelter her from Karid’s wrath, Karid has quite a few allies of her own, and they, like their vicious queen, will do anything to ensure the failure of the prophecy.

This final installment in Gibson’s fantastical Ancient Mirrors series is by far my favorite. Cwen is my favorite character because of her physical determination and emotional fragility. She is the key ingredient that breathes life into this novel. Gibson is a fantastic storyteller, able to weave a fast-paced story with elements of fantasy in a way that makes Quondam hard to put down as well as create realistic characters that readers can connect to instead of making them mere machines to carry out the tale. One of the reasons I enjoyed Quondam so much more than the other titles in the Ancient Mirrors series is because the outcome is so dependent on Cwen and her fear of loving. This helped make the story in Quondam so beautifully romantic and unforgettable. The multitude of names and new species are surprisingly easy to keep track of, though the shifting points of view are sometimes difficult to get used to. Quondam ends the Ancient Mirrors series with an epic bang that makes me wish the series would continue.

Fantasy fans, especially those who enjoyed The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix, and Foundling by D.M. Cornish, will want to go back to the first installments in the Ancient Mirrors series, Dragon Queen, The Wreckening, and Damselflies, before delving into this fourth one.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from Phenix & Phenix Literary publicists

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Anonymous said...
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Diana Dang said...

I would pick that book up because of the lovely cover. //loves art-drawn covers//

And it looks like a fun read!

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