Book Reviews

Mirror Gate by Jeff Wheeler


Four years have passed since we first me Cettie Pratt and Seraphin Fitzempress in Storm Glass. The girls have been students at Muirwood Abbey, learning the magic of the Mysteries. The emperor dies just as a terrible sickness—the Cholera Morbus—is sweeping through the kingdom. Seraphin find herself vying for the throne against her power-hungry father. War looms on the horizon as Sera faces betrayal from those she trusts, and Cettie is threatened by an evil from her past that wants to destroy everything she holds dear.

It was such a delight to return to this magical world! When I started reading it yesterday, I didn’t bother to reread the synopsis, so I essentially went into this without knowing what to expect. That turned out to be a blessing, because everything that happened was a complete surprise.

Sera’s portion of the story mainly revolved around the fate of the throne. Would Sera be chosen as Empress? Would her father be chosen as Emperor? Sera’s feelings of doubt and her insecurities relating to her (lack of) mastery over the Mysteries were pitch perfect. She had a lot on her plate for a sixteen-year-old girl who was kept secluded for most of her life. The fight for the throne had everything I wished for, but as a result, I disliked her father, the Prince Regent, even MORE in this book. What a treacherous little worm he was!

Cettie’s story took place at Muirwood Abbey, where she was plagued by an old foe—the ghost with no eyes that tormented her in the Fells. Its messenger terrified her in an equally distressing, way that made Cettie question everything she thought she knew about herself.

As invested as I was in Sera’s part of the story, I have to say that I was more intrigued with the events involving Cettie. ESPECIALLY what happened after she took her Final Test of the Mysteries in the Abbey and she did… that thing she did… and something was whispered to her.  (Those who read the book know what I’m talking about.) WHAT WAS SAID TO CETTIE?! Later, Cettie told Maren and Fitzroy about that thing she did, and then told them about another thing, and Maren whispered in awe, “Is she…?” and Fitzroy said, “I think she may be.” WHAT IS SHE?! Maren knows, Fitzroy knows…. I want to know, too! It looks like I’ll have to wait until book three to find out… ugh! This is torture!

Ahem. Sorry about that. I just needed to indulge in my frustration at having to wait for the next book in the series to have a question answered. Sigh… it’s the life of a series reader… always needing to know more, never wanting to wait… yet having no choice but to wait.

I’m loving this series so far. I rarely read fantasy, but this is quickly becoming a favorite series of mine. I’m enjoying it so much, in fact, that I’m likely going to add the Kingfountain series and the Muirwood trilogies to my TBR. I don’t know when I’ll get to them, but I do know I definitely want to read them sometime.Jeff Wheeler has earned on spot on my author radar, for sure!

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of 47North via Netgalley.

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Author: Jeff Wheeler
Title: Mirror Gate
Series: Harbinger #2
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: August 28, 2018 by 47North
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler continues his wondrous Harbinger series in which two young women unite as two worlds approach the brink of war…

Though relations between Princess Seraphin Fitzempress and her father have been strained, Sera’s royal position has remained unchallenged. Filled with self-doubt, she struggles to grasp the Mysteries—her greatest trial yet.

An education in the enigmatic magic is a necessary one, should Sera plan to rise in her station and invoke her powers during war. But the emperor’s death now leaves both Sera and her ambitious father eligible for the throne—a contest the prince regent intends to win. Even if it means an alliance with a rival empire.

Sera’s hope lies in Cettie, a waif raised in the world below, whose life has intertwined with Sera’s in the most unexpected ways. The Mysteries come easily to Cettie, and her studies have begun to yield new insight into her growing powers. But those same powers put Cettie in the path of those who would destroy her.

Now as the threat of war ignites and an insidious sickness spreads throughout the kingdom, Sera and Cettie will need to gather their courage and fight for each other’s lives…and for the future of their endangered world.

About the Author

JEFF WHEELER took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is also one of the founders of Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction.