3 out of 4 stars
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Beyond Every Mirror by Christine Church is the first book in the Anachronistic Dimensions series. It can be loosely categorized in the romantic fantasy genre.
Dane Bainbridge has always been both afraid and enchanted to look at a mirror. Afraid that he will see something that no one else can, and spellbound by the ginger-haired, emerald eyed beauty who haunts the world of red mountains and clouds reflected in the mirror. As the lead singer of a popular rock band, Dane lacks for nothing in his life: money, fame, woman, he has it all; and yet his life is an empty shell, devoid of that one person who can bring him true happiness: his mirror lady.
Meirah met him for the first time when she was a teenager, to satisfy her curiosity, which got her into trouble. Since then she has loved, and lost him countless times: the human who stepped into her world, Mikaire, by accident. Her love and his will ensured that they both suffer this hell repeatedly, for all eternity. Dane’s blood is the life source for Meirah’s world, and he is cursed to be reborn every thirty years, only to be kidnapped to Mikaire where he can die a cruel death again. Can they break the curse this time, or will history repeat itself again?
Since, the narrative is fairly uncomplicated, the emphasis is on building the romance and working on the scenes. The characters are well developed and the author has left no stone unturned in portraying the characters in depth. Dane tries to fill the vacuum in his life with meaningless, short-term flings, since he has no memory of his past lives. This facet makes his character quite believable as he is not painted as a lovesick hero, but an ordinary human with his failings and weaknesses. His strength is his courage which he discovers much later in the story.
On the other hand, Meirah’s character faithfully stands by Dane through all his lives. The romance is riding completely on her shoulders in the first half of the book; she catches glimpses of Dane through the mirror when its expressly forbidden to her, bears all the humiliation heaped on her for loving a human, is ostracized from her community, watches Dane suffer every Mikairian year, and despite all the hardship continues to love him. Although Dane is chosen as the sacrifice for his strength, it’s Meirah who displays unbeatable spirit to be with her love.
The author’s writing style is vivid and imaginative. She has spared no detail in depicting the world of Sakkana, the creator and lord of Mikaire. It is easy to visualize the story unfolding in the novel, with the scenes smoothly switching between time periods and dimensions. There are quite a few action packed scenes in the novel. However, after reaching the high point in the novel, the storyline starts to dip. The narrative drags on for a few chapters, which I found disappointing. My only criticism of the book is its length; there was scope to edit plenty of scenes, especially post the final action sequence, where a lot of unnecessary details were added.
Readers who enjoy intense, convincing romances within the boundaries of fantasy fiction, would like this one. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
Beyond Every Mirror
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