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Quondam is the fourth book in the "Ancient Mirrors" series by Jayel Gibson. Cwen and Queen Yávië are pulled through a mirror to the ancient kingdom of Quondam, currently under the iron fist of Queen Karid. Can Cwen survive long enough to fulfill her piece of the prophesy that will free Quondam?
The previous books in the series are Dragon Queen, The Wrekening and Damselflies
I really wanted to enjoy the book more than I did after reading the introduction, "Synergy" where Jayel Gibson describes the research she did at Gold Beach Books. Unfortunately after the strong start with a fiery assassination and the initial scenes in Quondam, the book begins to drag.
The weakest part of the novel is the romance between Cwen and D'raeken. All the political intrigue and the violence of Kalid's army and the nomads and the oppression gets put on hold while Cwen and D'raeken play house on a prison island and go through the motions of a typical situation based romance. This part of the novel is no different than Two Alone by Sandra Dallas save for the fantasy elements involving "magick" and dragons and so forth.
Cwen seems to flop around trying to figure out her role in the book. She's a bit like Colette from the video game Tales of Symphonia and she's every bit as annoying. From other reviews I've read there's apparently a "strong feminist theme" running through the book but I didn't catch that at all. For better examples, check out works by Ursula K. Le Guin, Jeannette Winterson or Margaret Atwood. This book instead felt like an unfortunate mashup of Mirror of Her Dreams, the Pern series and any of the Dragonlance books.
Yours is such an excellent archive of book reviews ~ and it's great you keep posting them regularly ~ it's like a 'bookipedia'..
Comment #2: Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 08:37:32
Thank you. It's not as comprehensive as an encyclopedia but I'm glad you find it useful.