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The Water Mirror: Dark Reflections, Book One

Review

The Water Mirror: Dark Reflections, Book One

When fourteen-year-old Merle is sent to be apprenticed to the mirror maker Arcimboldo, she's thrilled; she will finally escape the horrors of the orphanage. Besides, the mysterious master craftsman is rumored to be a magician of sorts --- how exciting to be that close to magic, even if it does mean relocating to the ominous Canal of the Expelled at the dead end of one of Venice's famous waterways.

Joining Merle as one of two new apprentices is Junipa, blind since birth. Merle is impressed by Junipa's heightened abilities to hear noises and sense feelings, and she's even more impressed when Arcimboldo cures Junipa on their first night in his home. The master replaces Junipa's own pupils with flat mirrors, enabling the girl to see even better than her friend.

Merle has a mirror secret of her own; set adrift on a Venetian canal as a baby, Merle was left one present by her absent parents. She is the possessor of a magical "water mirror," a hand mirror whose surface is water and whose watery depths are warm and inviting. The mysterious hand that grasps Merle's own inside the mirror and Merle's own dreams lead the girl to believe that she might have a secret connection to the Flowing Queen, the elusive power that has protected the city of Venice from the menacing Egyptians who have taken over much of the rest of the world. When the Flowing Queen is threatened, can Merle and her allies help save the city --- and even the whole world?

THE WATER MIRROR is full of richly imagined characters who seem familiar and yet strange. Marauding mummies threaten cities, soldiers patrol on stone lions, and mermaids seem more like sharks than sirens. In addition to these vivid fantasy images, Kai Meyer has created engaging and admirable heroines readers will be compelled to follow.

Fortunately, they will have a chance to do so, because THE WATER MIRROR is the first book in a trilogy. Like Cornelia Funke, Meyer, a bestselling author in his native Germany, will certainly find audiences in this country as well.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on August 30, 2005

The Water Mirror: Dark Reflections, Book One
by Kai Meyer

  • Publication Date: August 30, 2005
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
  • ISBN-10: 0689877870
  • ISBN-13: 9780689877872