Her review of Dark Mirror by M.J Putney
Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
Published by St. Martins Press
Paperback 304 pages
Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher
Summary from GoodreadsLady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.
Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.
When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.
But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.
This unique novel wasted no time in engaging this reader! Set at the turn of the nineteenth century, magic has been outlawed and forbidden among the upper class of British society. When young Victoria "Tory" Mansfield reveals her ability to fly when she saves her young nephew from certain death, society demands that she be sent to Lackland Abbey, a school that will rid her of her powers. Still new to her abilities, Tory is thrilled to learn that, despite the public's perception of the school, there is a small group of teachers and students who meet secretly to foster their magical talents.
Meanwhile, the parallel storyline of impending war between England and France (in the Napoleonic Wars) unfolds. As Lackland school is set along the British coast, an awareness of the military identity of the British Empire is obvious among the school community. When Tory falls through mirror in one of the secret tunnels under the cliffs of Dover, she finds herself in the time of April 1940, at the start of Nazi Germany's invasion of the coast of Dunkirk.
A history buff, particularly of the period of the Second World War, this book sets itself apart from other YA fiction I have read of late. Convinced that her club of "Irregulars" can help save British soldiers and seamen from their doom, Tory returns to her time in order to plead with her friends to travel through time with her. Together, they use their combined magical powers to help with the "Miracle at Dunkirk".
A really unique story, I can see how future novels could feature Tory and her friends emerging in different time periods to use their talents. Highly enjoyable!