Read The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins Online

the-universal-mirror

On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority atOn the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it....

Title : The Universal Mirror
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13411060
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 178 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Universal Mirror Reviews

  • Catherine
    2019-03-15 04:25

    I was falling behind on my target of books to read and so I flicked through my Kindle, trying to find a book under 200 pages. Lo and behold, I came across this one, a book I had stumbled across for free on Amazon. I'm quite partial to fantasy and this sounded interesting so I thought it would be a good filler book...Oh my, was it so much more than that. I honestly am tempted to give it 5 stars but I am very tight when it comes to that honour, having only done so with a few books. But this was the very definition of a page-turner for me. It's also infuriating (in the best possible way) that the chapters are so short because the temptation of saying "well, just one more..." is overwhelming!The plot is actually quite minimal, telling the story of how it is a Heresy for magic to be performed on the human body and the struggle of two magicians to find out why. But the world and the characters involved is so rich and interesting that I would classify this more as a character piece. Even the magic is described with such energy and rawness that it almost becomes a character in itself, crackling off the pages (or screen, in my case). I was drawn in immediately by all the characters (Why was Quentin risking so much for this? What was Catharine's real issue with Quent? How did Asahel get mixed up in this?) and I wanted questions answered at the end of every chapter. Felix was probably my favourite character; right from his introduction I found him very intriguing. I also think Catharine came into her own in the second half of the book and became a really well-rounded character. Asahel and Quentin are great central characters, especially for their vast differences and I liked how it would flit between the two perspectives without getting jumbled and confusing.My favourite chapter was probably the flashback to the time at the university, it gave a really nice insight into the relationship between Asahel, Quentin and Felix. Pretty much everyone can relate to bullying to a certain degree and the pressure and insecurities that plagued Asahel were so palpable, I wanted to bash heads.Speaking of relationships; I believe that to be the gem of the whole story. The aspect of magic and the whole history of the Heresies etc. is all very well thought out and put across but it's how everyone interacts that elevated it for me. The desperation Quentin felt to be shown love from his wife, his wife's inability to give it to him, Asahel's need for companionship with anyone which he finds in Quentin and Felix's incomprehension of this friendship and his own regrets at how he treated Asahel. All of these relationships evolved in some way during the course of the story to a very satisfying degree, as well as inter-connecting amongst themselves.Pacing wise, I have already said that it is a page-turner, each chapter ending at a point where you just have to know what's happening next. While you may not think much is happening in each chapter, it's so tightly written that you don't really notice the build-up until you're there. It's the small things that drive this book for me.I sincerely hope that Ms. Perkins is considering revisiting Cercia at some point in the future. I would love to catch up with Quentin and Catharine and Asahel and Felix, follow them on more adventures. Or, maybe just return to the island with some new characters to see how they are dealing with this new world that has been opened up to them.A truly excellent book, and I greatly look forward to reading more from Gwen Perkins, whether it is based in this universe or an entirely separate one.(Oh, and just a side not for anyone getting this on Kindle...be aware that the end of the book is actually around 80% in. It threw me for a bit of a curve when I thought I had another 20% to go and it was samples of other books. There's nothing wrong with the ending, it was an appropriate place to stop it, it was just a bit jarring.)

  • Mary Fan
    2019-02-25 09:34

    On the island of Cercia, magicians are forbidden to leave and bound by strict laws called the Heresies. No magician is to practice magic on a human being, living or dead. But that doesn’t stop Quentin, a young and arrogant nobleman, from secretly engaging the services of a grave robber so he can hone his supernatural craft. His best friend, a good-hearted man of a lower class called Asahel, reluctantly aides him in his efforts, knowing that if they are caught, they will be executed. Quentin’s motivations for risking not only his life, but the life of his friend, are noble enough. He believes that magic can be used to heal and wants to practice on corpses, much like a medical student. In his obsession and determination, he often disregards the world around him—taking Asahel for granted, never questioning the origins of the corpses, and more.The Universal Mirror is the kind of book that allows the reader to really care about the characters and understand their world. Asahel is by far the most sympathetic character, with his kind, somewhat naïve nature. Sometimes he seems a little too nice and dependent on Quentin, although as the book progresses, so does he. Quentin and his wife, Catharine, a cold and snappish woman whose physical beauty is marred by plague scars, are less immediately likable. And then there’s Felix, a magician and nobleman like Quentin, whose charming and casual nature hide his unpredictable intentions.Many contemporary books, catering to an impatient audience, drop their readers in the middle of the story and make a mad sprint for the end, sprinkling the plot with a quick dash of details that are barely glimpsed. Like watching a countryside zip by out the window of a train, you get the idea of the world you’re in but not much more. In The Universal Mirror, Perkins throws this notion out the window. The book can feel a little slow, and the plot doesn’t really take off until the second half. But by the time it does, one is so familiar with the universe and invested in the people that the ultimate conflict holds greater meaning and carries more suspense than it would have without the set-up.[This is a condensed version of a full review on my blog, Zigzag Timeline]

  • Think
    2019-03-04 09:29

    The plot tended to move rather slowly. Taking the time to fully flesh out the characters, which was nice. However, the lack of action tended to leave me finding myself distracted from the book. During both books I found my mind drifting and had to make myself concentrate deeply. The writing was good. There were times when the dialogue was confusing and I didn't know who was speaking. But when there was action it was really well written.

  • Melliane
    2019-03-15 04:53

    Mon avis en françaisMy English reviewI don’t read a lot of fantasy books but it’s always pleasant to get into a story like this one. I didn’t know Gwen Perkins but it was a real pleasure to discover her first novel.This volume features two best friends who want a new life. Two magicians who want to counter the laws of their island to cure and save people suffering from plague. Of course, Quentin has a much more personal motive, his wife that he loves more than anything has some after-effects since her childhood. He wants now to cure her so she could be as beautiful as she was before and maybe love him back in return. He will be helped in this quest by his friend Asahel, despite he is more cautions and suspicious. Yes because I have to say, if you’re arrested for heresy you can be condemned to death or even worse. However, whatever is going on, Quent is more than determined to find an answer to his quest, at all costs! But of course, nothing is simple and nothing is enough hidden, mainly when everybody keeps an eye on everybody.I was very intrigued by this different world despite it was difficult for me to really understand this people, mainly why they didn’t resist more to these laws. Everything is so regulated and it’s so unpleasant to be watched like that all the time. But there are some other subtleties I didn’t understand about this universe. It’s however very interesting to follow our two protagonists in their research and to try to understand all those conspiracies we didn’t expect.Quentin and Asahel are very different the one from the other. Asahel is grateful to his friend and tries to do everything he can to help him, even if he knows it’s sometimes not a good idea. He is however very naïve and it’s quite sad to see how he is manipulated by everyone. Especially when in the end, he doesn’t realize the actions of those around him.I have to say that the character I really enjoyed was Catherine. It’s a young woman very hard to define. We don’t understand at first why Quentin wants to help this cold woman. Whatever he tries to do, she pushes him away, to the point that he believes he is the person she hates most in the world. But all of this isn’t real, we learn to know her all along the chapters despite I think I didn’t really understand her true feelings; everything is so conflicting when it’s about her.This story was very interesting to follow and we discover some nice surprises. I think a lot of aspects deserved to be more developed to really understand what was going on. This novel was finally for me an initiation for a bigger story. We approach a lot of topics but a few are developed which was unfortunate. It’s however a pleasant book to discover and I hope there will be soon a sequel for the adventures of Asahel because everything seems to start now.

  • Melanie
    2019-03-02 10:25

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review.This is a unique, well told story about men who practice magic on an island called Cercia. Men, mostly of noble families, are gifted in magic but their use of it is highly restricted and limited. Magic used on a person is considered heresy and throughout the story, you are hardly shown anyone who actually uses magic (though it is depicted as energy from the earth, energy that builds in times of chaos, and energy that hums and begs to be channeled and used). It is also considered heresy for a magician to attempt to leave the island of Cercia. Quentin is a man who fits in with the crowd because he was born into it. He is obviously well off, he's kind of a jerk, and has magical talents. Quentin is in a marriage that displays no love, though he admits he has loved his wife since they were children. He dreams of being able to accomplish something with his magic but he has little idea where to begin and is terrified of getting caught and being accused of heresy. Asahel is a man of lower birth, he lives and works on the docks, and he's a fierce friend. Despite his low birth, he is a man who possesses magical skill and though he loves the sea, he is forbidden to leave the island. Asahel and Quentin met at University where Asahel was the butt of jokes and the object of taunts because of his less than ideal birth.Quentin and Asahel are curious as to whether or not magic can be used to heal but practice on the human body is against the law. So to say they have a less than ideal solution would be an understatement. Unfortunately, certain events and outside influence cause Asahel to turn in his friend and Quentin is captured and imprisoned. In the days leading up to his execution, Asahel has a change of heart and does what he must to save his friend and he enlists the help of a rather surprising character.There isn't much to this story in the way of plot twists and subplots. There also are not a lot of filler characters. Basically, this is a no nonsense, get to the point quick kind of story and I can really appreciate that. Though all the loose ends were tied up at the end of the book, I was upset that it ended because I wanted more.

  • Desiree Finkbeiner
    2019-02-26 04:40

    One of the best books I've read in years! Well written and well researched, the characters and customs of the people fit in perfectly with historical customs of the time period. And though it was a fictional place, the island of Cercia, Gwen's makes it feel real...The story builds in suspense with every chapter, and drew me in immediately with the tension of grave digging, forbidden magic, rotting corpses, lost love, murder, betrayal and secret conspiracies... Unexpected turns are in store for the reader. I could tell Gwen is personally acquainted with her characters as they are easy to love, hate and empathize.My favorite character, Asahel, is a tortured soul, trapped in between the classes and feels that he doesn't belong, an outcast who wears his feelings on his sleeve. His hunger for belonging tests his strength, his ability, his loyalty and leads to some unexpected turns in the plot.Quentin, struggling with his own dysfunctional relationships at home, reaches out to Asahel, risking his own reputation to embark on a great adventure wrought with peril and deceit.Felix, a character whose true intentions are unpredictable, driven by deep rooted motives, a manipulative character who plays a significant role in bringing the plot full circle. I couldn't decide whether to love him or hate him until the end.Catherine.. I see myself in this character. Self-punishing and driven, hard-shelled and stubborn, yet a hidden tenderness which eventually propels her into the plot... a lifetime of regrets to atone for. Her weakness becomes her strength when she finally realizes what's at stake and she learns to appreciate what she has taken for granted.To top it all off, there is an excellent moral to the story... how can you love another if you hate yourself? And how can you be loyal to anyone else if you are not true to yourself? All in all, an EXCELLENT read with action and magical tension. A book about loyalty and summoning the strength within do choose what's right in the face of certain death. 5 well-deserved stars! Can't wait for the next book in the series!

  • Wanda Hartzenberg
    2019-03-12 04:41

    On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best frien...d, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.Review 5 out of 5On the island of Cercia, after a war where all the gods were killed, magicians were forbidden to leave their homeland and laws were created to prevent them from casting their spells on the living - whether to harm or heal.When the island is affected by a plague, Quentin, a young nobleman defies authority out of love for his wife. His best friend Asahel helps him with his experiments. Knowing that the punishment for heresy is severe if found out, Quentin is determined to heal the damage caused by the plague on his wife.When I began to read this book, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I was a bit confused at first. It felt like I was coming in half way through a conversation. However, my confusion soon evaporated as I got further into the story. It soon turned into a page turner that I couldn't put down! The beginning felt a little bit like a story from Burke and Hare! I began to empathise with Quentin's character. He's in love with his wife who, due to a plague, had been badly disfigured. Unfortunately, as the law strictly forbids the use of magic on living beings to heal, Quentin is at a loss as to how to help her. By the end of the book, I was cheering Quentin and his friend on! Gwen Perkins has written a fast paced adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat! I would have liked a little more interaction between Quentin and his wife, especially nearer the end. But, all in all it was a very pleasant read. - Lynn Worton

  • Catherine Estrada
    2019-03-24 02:50

    I really expected to tear through The Universal Mirror with reckless abandon and complete disregard for the rest of the real world. Based on the summary and some other reviews, I figured it would be completely epic. Unfortunately, it fell somewhat short of epic for me, and I think I went into it with too many preconceived notions. However, that’s not to say I didn’t like it, because it was good, it just didn’t quite rock my world.Cercia is an island that has a strong caste system, and a huge magical bent. In most cases, magicians are found in the upper classes, and trained at university. Rarely, someone from the merchant class is identified with magic and also trained. Ashael is one such merchant, who formed an unlikely friendship with Quentin in their school days, despite the differences in their social class. Years after university, Quentin is in the marriage that he wanted, but it’s miserable, and so he tries to find out if magic can be worked on living people, despite the fact that this practice is Heresy. As a noble, the chance that he’d be strictly punished is pretty slim, but he drags Ashael along on his quest, and the consequences are more than either man would have expected.Quentin is noble to a “T” and the characterization is just fantastic. He’s a complete jerk to everyone, and a lot of his problems could have been solved by a simple rational conversation, rather than haring about the city trying to break magical laws. Ashael on the other hand is loyal, honorable, and hardworking, not to mention willing to risk everything to help his friend. Unfortunately for both of them, there’s a lot more going on in Cercia than they realized, and they’re walking right into the thick of it.While The Universal Mirror wasn’t the obsessive page-turning read that I expected, it was definitely good, and puts a very different spin in the common use of magic in fiction. This book strikes me as historical and magical together, in the vein of The Sword of Truth. Definitely worth checking out!

  • Martin
    2019-03-12 08:29

    ***I received this book free on the condition I reviewed it upon reading***First off I have to say, this book is one that isn't shy about dropping you right off in the action. No build up, no warning, you are just thrown into the world and left to figure out what the hell is going on. I like that. However it someone managed to feel a bit slow to start up, in a strange paradox kind of way. This could just be due to the fact that you are trying to figure out who is who, what is going on, where you are and so much other stuff at once. Once you get past that initial stage the book sucks you in completely.By part 2 of the book the story is a lot more clear and so feels a lot more fast paced. Each page turn moves the story along nicely and doesn't leave you wanting to just get past the part you are on.I like books that show magic or other over done stereotypes in new ways and this book definitively does that. I could almost feel the effort being used to cast simple spells and draw power. It makes it all seem more real, which draws parallels to the previous book I read: The Night CircusThe story itself in engaging and almost seems to take aspects of utopian/dystopian books such as 1984 in the way the people in power keep that power.While I got this book for free I would have happily paid for it and look forward to see what more this author has to offer in the future.It's just a shame that this story seemed to be wrapped up so nicely, seriously where could it go from here?P.S you know you are enjoying a book when you turn the page and are severely disappointed to find no more story to read.

  • Heidi
    2019-03-01 07:29

    I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.The first few chapters of this book where a bit hard to follow as it was a bit confusing trying to figure out who was doing what and why. Then I realized that was the whole point of the secrecy behind what the two main characters were doing. As the book continues the plot starts to unfold and you see a new world of magic unveiled before you. One of classes as strict and conforming as those of the early European Courts, to corruption at the highest level of Government, all done for the good of humanity.There are two main characters in this story. Quentin, a pompous Aristocrat Magician, who is motivated for selfish reasons, to use every means available to him to reach his goal. Then there is Asahel the Merchant Magician, an unimposing salt of the earth kind of man who is from a lower class to Quentin but too high of a class for most of the other citizens of the island. Because of his magic he is always an outsider no matter where he goes. Meeting at School, the two men come together forging a tentative bond that later leads them to fulfill a hair brained scheme that will tip the Island world upside down! Felix, also a Magician and classmate of the two, plays a key role in unveiling a dark secret of the Islands past and future that sends Quentin and Asahel deeper into the unknown and almost certain death! Together with a rag tag set of characters, they band together to see if they can't change the future forever!This book is a definite read for Sci-FY mystery fans! For an Author's first book she does an amazing job of bringing the reader into her world and that of the Island of Cercia! I can't wait to see what she does next!

  • Delia
    2019-03-16 03:37

    This is an interesting world, where God is dead and magic has survived. But why? In the land of Cercia magicians are trained at the University in the art of magic and of its many rules. They are so well trained it seems they never use any magic at all. SInce most magicians come from rich families there seems to be no practical application for magic at all. These kinds of situations almost always lead to some kind of rebellion which is where we find Asahel and Quentin. They may not realize that their actions show the sparks of rebellion, yet anyways.The Universal Mirror is as much about human nature as it is about magic. Much like The Radleys it is a story laced with magic that could stand alone even if you exchanged the word magic for something like medicine. It is a reflection on the way society treats certain classes, even if they are as gifted as the people "above" them in life. There is also the something to be said about the blind faith we, as human beings, have in what society tells us is right and wrong. Anyone who challenges those truths may suffer humiliation or even physical harm. It is these individuals who push on for the greater good that will help mold our world into a better place. Whether they mean to of not. I did find the beginning a little slow moving but by the middle the story had swept me up and I couldn't wait to find out what happens. The author even threw in a few big curve balls I wasn't expecting, making the story that much better. This was a nice change of pace from my usual werewolves and vampires, a real human interest kind of story.Check out an interview with Gwen Perkins at my blog. http://www.wolfmajick.blogspot.com/20...

  • J. Aaron Parish
    2019-03-17 08:37

    Sometimes you really like a concept and an author’s concept and you want to give the work a really glowing review. But there are just a few stumbling blocks that file a bit of its edge off. The Universal Mirror is like that.Now, don’t get me wrong. This is very well-written book. I recommend it for any fantasy fans out there, especially if you can get it free on Kindle. Perkins creates some really good characters. She’s got a nice world and a unique magic system that includes something lacking in more amateurish fantasy: Limitations. It’s easy to end up with godlike characters in fantasy when there aren’t any natural or societal limitations on the magic. Perkins’ world has a set of rules, called Heresies, that limit how magic is used. It’s just that it’s all a bit shallow. And I really want to see deeper into Cercia.I was nearly halfway through Mirror before I had the two main characters straightened out. The limitations are there and explored to a degree, but never really explained. The city has periodic bouts of a plague, but for most of the book, it reads like it was a one-time deal. From the descriptions of their friendship, I kept expecting Asahel and Quentin to develop some sort of bromance, if not outright romance.Perkins does a few things really well, however. Interpersonal interactions (aside from some of the awkwardness between the two protagonists) are handled very nicely. Especially between Quentin and his wife. The rigid structure of society is explored and shown to us in great detail via the vehicle of Asahel’s and Quentin’s friendship.I enjoyed The Universal Mirror. I’ll probably read it again. It just needed a little more depth to be a great book instead of a good one.

  • WTF Are You Reading?
    2019-02-21 10:42

    My ReviewThis story is so much more than it seems at the outset.When first we meet our cast of characters, it seems as though Quentin has all the cards and young master Asahel is nothing more than his "lesser than" sidekick. The further into the story that we go however, the more we come to see that this is far from the case.The "greater than...less than dynamic is one that permeates all of the relationships within this story; but rather than becoming trite, it changes given the particular circumstance to which it is applied. Sometimes, as in the case of Quentin's marriage to Catherine; this notion of "greater than...less than is an illusion that both parties are forcing upon themselves in order to spare tender hearts.There are so many lies being bandied about during the course of this read, that half the fun of the story is trying to figure out who is the biggest liar. It is like a character shell game. You must keep your eyes on the "good guy" at all times, because if you blink, the person that you think to be the hero has become the heel and you were forced to try your hand with someone else. Don't get caught up in the relationship drama that literally drips from the pages of this novel. That, as juicy as it seems is not the big fish in this pond. The rulers of this world are working some magic of their own. That's right folks, can you spell CONSPIRACY!!!!!!O.K.,let's recap. We have love, lies, foes, friends, scandal, conspiracy, and MAGIC! What more could a reader ask for? To top it off this wonderful book is only 179 pages! This reviewer for one hopes that there is more to come in this storyThis review was cross-posted from: http://wtfareyoureading.blogspot.com/...

  • Lynn Worton
    2019-03-05 09:49

    On the island of Cercia, after a war where all the gods were killed, magicians were forbidden to leave their homeland and laws were created to prevent them from casting their spells on the living - whether to harm or heal.When the island is affected by a plague, Quentin, a young nobleman defies authority out of love for his wife. His best friend Asahel helps him with his experiments. Knowing that the punishment for heresy is severe if found out, Quentin is determined to heal the damage caused by the plague on his wife.When I began to read this book, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I was a bit confused at first. It felt like I was coming in half way through a conversation. However, my confusion soon evaporated as I got further into the story. It soon turned into a page turner that I couldn't put down! The beginning felt a little bit like a story from Burke and Hare! I began to empathise with Quentin's character. He's in love with his wife who, due to a plague, had been badly disfigured. Unfortunately, as the law strictly forbids the use of magic on living beings to heal, Quentin is at a loss as to how to help her. By the end of the book, I was cheering Quentin and his friend on! Gwen Perkins has written a fast paced adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat! I would have liked a little more interaction between Quentin and his wife, especially nearer the end. But, all in all it was a very pleasant read.

  • Sara Kovach
    2019-03-01 08:29

    This is a very unique fantasy story, one in which I enjoyed reading very much. In the beginning, I was scratching my head and wondering if this was for me, not sure what was going on, but it didn't take long, and once I got into it, I just couldn't put it down. Perkins did an excellent job with the characters. Each character was so fleshed out, I think they could have walked out of the pages at any time. It would be so easy to create a movie based on what she created. In addition to the characterization itself, the interactions and relationships between them was fascinating - not what was expected - and indeed complex. The story-line was anything but simple. There were so going on - the heresy of using magic on a human body, the motives that Quentin had for doing so, and the ethical ideas that were brought to the forefront. I found this book to be a real page-turner. Even when I was getting tired, I wanted to read "just a few more pages". The end of the story was not what I had expected, but I do understand that there will be another book. I am looking forward to reading more about this world - and just more from Gwen Perkins. I think she is a master at her craft!Visit my Character Interview with Quentin: http://sosimplesara.blogspot.com/2012...

  • Byron Wells
    2019-03-16 08:37

    Note: This review is my opinion, and it is skewed to my likes and preferences. The Universal Mirror was a well written book, which I enjoyed reading.  I give it 4.25 – 4.50 stars. Magic – it was thought out and followed rules which the author established in the book; for example, the magician had to be in contact with the earth in order for the magic to flow.  She also established Heresies which the magician could commit, with the requisite punishments- Leave the island- Cast magic on a living beingCharacters – Asahel, Quentin, Felix and Catharine; were all developed with adequate back story so you could understand the interactions between the characters. Story – Quentin, an aristocrat, compels his ‘friend’ Asahel, a merchant, to assist him in forbidden magic. What is the secret motive that compels Quentin to risk forbidden magic and the potential of death?  What is the motive behind his friendship with Asahel, and outsider well below his station.  Learn the dark secret the Magic Council is hiding, and the lengths to which Asahel and Catharine will go in order to expose it.There were a few threads which just ended; it would have been nice to see them resolved.  However, they did not impact the storyline.

  • Lindsay Kendal
    2019-03-04 03:41

    This is great fantasy story. Something different to what I’ve read previously. The characters are likeable and the story flows well. The storyline itself isn’t too in depth, but the characters, settings and practically everything else you find in the book makes up for this. I liked Asahel the most I think. Although at the beginning of the book he seems to be belittled and the under-dog, as we progress through the pages we find this definitely isn’t the case. Yeah, I like him a lot. The idea of the story is heartwarming. Men trying to find out why it is against the law to perform magic on the human body. It’s hard because Quentin is trying to help his wife, who he completely adores. He wants to be able to cure her from... I’m not telling you. But he wants her to be able to love him as dearly as he loves her. They challenge the laws which prevent them from helping her... and so the adventure begins. If you follow my reviews you will know I don’t give away too many spoilers. I give a jist of storyline and comments on the flow etc. This book will not disappoint and I’m looking forward to reading more books by this talented author.

  • Jess Mountifield
    2019-03-06 10:25

    This book was nicely original, especially in the way magic was used and I quickly felt for the characters and their situation, willing them on to achieve their goal. All in all I actually felt the book was a little short. I think the same story could have been told with more words and more decription of the events but I still enjoyed the book and didn't like to put it down.There were a few points I got a little confused and wasn't sure what was happening and where etc and I think there could have been a little more info on the setting. I still can't quite get it all straight in my head but the characters were believable and well written enough I didn't mind that much.And as a slight moan, more to the publisher than the author I really didn't like that the book finished at only 80% of the way through. The last 20% of the book was samples from other works of the publisher. I wouldn't have minded if the book had finished at 90%+ and had samples of the authors other works or another similar author or two but not as many as this had.

  • William Bentrim
    2019-02-21 05:35

    Universal Mirror by Gwen PerkinsGwen Perkins has created a universe pregnant with potential sequels. This book introduces some memorable characters as well as an environment where magicians are curtailed in their art by a corpulent led bureaucracy and love is being thwarted. This is as much a love story as a magical fantasy. Quentin is obsessed with finding a way for his wife to love him. His actions place both his friend and his enemy in dire straits. I enjoyed the characterizations. Ms. Perkins does a nice job painting characters that have the depth of reality surrounding them. They are real people with ordinary personalities engulfed in extraordinary circumstances. The characters show the pettiness of human nature and the extent that perseverance and love can overcome daunting odds and personality shortcomings. I also enjoyed the eponymous nature of the book title and how it was clarified in the story line. It appears that the end sets up a wealth of potential sequels, one can only hope. I highly recommend this book!

  • RutyB
    2019-03-03 07:30

    "How do you know if you're doing the right thing?"That would be the question that Ashael has to deal through the story. Helping is friend, Quentin, in the quest of a higher power, and breaking the laws all along, he found himself between what's right and what wrong, not always knowing wich one is what. In the Island of Cercia the magicians live according to some rules that not always seem fair. And that fact leads this two men to take some dangerous choices.All the characters in the book (wich are a few) play an importan part in how the story develops. And every actions has its consecuences.The first thing that got my attention was the cover of the book. That idea of a man fighting a dark shadow (or at least that's how it looks to me. However at the end of the book I gave the cover another meaning, but I don't want to ruin nothing for you. I can't wait for the sequel of this book.*** I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. ***

  • Rachel Hunter
    2019-03-13 08:37

    In "The Universal Mirror", Gwen Perkins forged an intriguing plot ridden with magical tendencies and corrupt government. She created a neatly packaged world, defined brilliantly by research and a marked penchant for the fantastical realm. As I read, I felt as though I were fully immersed in the tale itself; I could feel the ocean's waves upon my calves and taste the salty air upon my lips.The characters are more than mere names upon a page; they seem to breath with life at every word and pull you onto a beguiling isle filled with mystery and noble love. Catharine will simply rend your heartstrings with her hard - yet ultimately tender - ways, while Asahel will fill you with both pity and admiration. Quentin will plunge you into his harrowing quest, placing all he has known in jeopardy - all the while facing a curious desire to perfect the marred features of an already beautiful creation."The Universal Mirror" - a fascinating tale; a satisfying read.

  • James Peercy
    2019-03-10 09:42

    Magic with morality - can there be such a thing?A land protected by itself, held aloft from the other races of men, The Universal Mirror stands out from the crowd. It is world where magicians are born, learn to wield magic, and are bound by the rules of a counsel. Yet, when rules contradict for the good of all, when questions are not allowed to be asked, can a people truly be free?Gwen Perkins does an excellent job describing this world, pulling you into the intrigue, and then allowing you to experience it as you step free of its bonds. A love held in longing, friendships despite the chaos, and choices to do the 'right' thing all make this book a winner. The question is, what is the 'right' thing? Read it and find out for yourself.

  • Cat
    2019-03-03 06:30

    Well written, though unfortunately I just couldn't get in to it.The story was too drawn out and too verbose for me, though I found the storyline intriguing and heartfelt. The characters themselves had a lot of backstory, which was a pro in my opinion, but I just couldn't come to like the characters very much. In particular I found Catharine deplorable and Quentin to be less than the brightest lightbulb in the box. That said, I was so frustrated after a certain point I stopped paying attention to many of the details. :(

  • Elizabeth Jasper
    2019-03-24 08:48

    I really struggled with this book. I've now made two attempts to get into it but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass after reading less than 20%. The main reason for this is overwriting - there is no physical experience too small to describe in detail and in the first couple of chapters so much skin, so many noses, cheeks etc. are going red with emotion that I found it difficult to get into the actual story. It slowed the pace and became irritating for me - others obviously do not agree and I respect their views.Sorry!

  • Jason Kivela
    2019-03-15 02:37

    A great first novel in what I hope is a long running series. The characterization was great, I saw great depth in all of the characters. A very interesting world, with unique rules for magic. Great plot, good pacing, well writen throughout. I can't wait for the next one!

  • Dianne
    2019-02-26 07:42

    Universal Mirror is an enchanting story that pulled me in from the beginning. The language and style of this book is exquistedly done, the characters are compelling, and the story is unique and engaging. I thouroughly enjoyed it! reply | edit | delete | flag*

  • Rick
    2019-02-25 02:41

    This was a good book. The ending seemed a bit abrupt and expected to a degree. The characters were well developed and the concept was intriguing. I did enjoy reading this and would read more by this author.

  • Janie
    2019-03-16 02:26

    I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review.I found this to a really good read and it had a good story line that was easy to keep up with. I really liked the character's as I thought they were well written as was the story. Can't wait to read more by this author

  • Cecilia Robert
    2019-03-01 04:52

    Review to come.

  • Eva
    2019-03-13 06:48

    My complete review can be found on my blog.http://vampirekiss1967.blogspot.com/2...