Let me begin by stating that I don’t read a lot of fantasy (especially YA), so it may seem strange that I chose one as my first review. The reason is twofold: The Mirror of N’de is a Christian allegory, and it was written by a friend of mine.
The story is filled with vivid descriptions and fascinating characters. The story transports the reader into a world of good, evil, and evil disguised as good. The plot twists throughout are enough to keep even the staunchest sleuth guessing.
Hadlay Mivana is a spunky and strong-willed thirteen year old. She wants to do what’s right, but like all of us, falls short in her efforts on more than one occasion. Her mistakes notwithstanding, she forges ahead in an effort to make things better for her people, the Ramash.
When Hadlay is chosen to by the (evil) Oresed Emperor to be an apprentice in the castle, her life changes in ways she never expected. She befriends the Emperor’s son, allowing her to see and hear things the other apprentices are unaware of. A proposal of marriage only serves to complicate matters.
Hadlay has a series of dreams about of a Being who comes to her in the form of a white horse. She doesn’t understand what he wants from her, though he tells her that she will understand when she finds the key.
This is no generic fable. This story delves deeply into ancient (Biblical) history, and takes the reader on a roller coaster ride from moments that will have them laughing to moments that will have them holding their breath or biting their nails.
There are a few scenes that are quite graphic, so parents might want to read before allowing their younger children to do so. There are also scenes where the Emperor’s son mixes animals to create new species. As a Christian, I was bothered by this in the beginning, but when I realized the importance of the boy’s actions, I changed my mind.
I urge young and old to read this book. It’s one of the best I have read in a long time!