Nota bene: “Try your dears.” Who said these words and what do they mean?
When Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight. Her gift―the ability to read the secret history of objects―is now known by all, and there can be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this.
Beneath the golden rafters of Pole’s capitol, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic and emotionally distant fiancé. As one influential courtier after another disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole’s many illusions to the heart of a formidable truth.
↠ Title: The Missing of Clairedelune (The Mirror Visitor #2)
↠ Release: July 11th
↠ Genre: Fantasy
↠ Author: Christelle Dabos (translated by Hildegarde Serle)
↠ Rating: 4.2 stars
I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review ❤
Before I start, a brief note: some of you may have noticed I disappeared for a bit recently when it came to blog activities, and that was because I had quite a few deadlines coming up. But I’m done now, and will be swinging back into a regular blog schedule.
The book I’m kicking off with is The Missing of Clairdelune, the upcoming English translation of the second book in the incredibly popular French fantasy series La Passe-Miroir. I was absolutely enchanted by the first book and I devoured this one as soon as I got it in the mail. And without being too gushy . . . you guys, I love this series. The world created within the books is just SO incredible, and I’m so glad it was translated and I’ve been able to experience it.
The Missing of Clairdelune builds on many mysteries established in the first book, A Winter’s Promise – why did the world break, who are the family spirits, who is this God figure, and what is the role of the Mirror Visitor? I’m just so intrigued.
What I really liked about this book was the development of the characters, and how characters I wasn’t as fond of in the first book I came to deeply love here. Berenhilde really moved into a guardian-like role, and Archibald was also equally excellent, demonstrating the versatility of these characters and their personalities. Farouk’s own insights were also incredibly valuable to the story, deepening both his character and the mystery at the heart of these novels.
And there’s no need to mention Thorn – you get a glimpse beneath his stony exterior, but he remains as inscrutable as ever. His dynamic with Ophelia is one of my favourite things – they come to really respect each other in this book, and I like that. For those readers seeking a steamy romance, they won’t find it here – the development of love between Thorn and Ophelia is like watching a glacier move – but the building up over time will make the eventual pay-off much more satisfying and believable.
Just as excellent is the worldbuilding of the Pole, which we see more of, both inside and outside of the Citaceleste. Hildegarde Serle does incredibly well translating the French into beautiful descriptions that lend themselves well to creating a world of mystery and wonder, and that isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes things are lost in translation, but Serle manages to convey a perfect sense of magical fabulism. Sometimes I feel like translators are overlooked, and as such I think its really important to commend Serle for her work.
I absolutely flew through this book. If I were to be picky, I could say that this book felt slightly like a filler and was filled mostly with development leading into the third book, but if you enjoy the characters and world, you likely won’t mind much at all. I know I, for one, didn’t. As a novel it is on the long side – 500+ pages – but I always value the time spent in this world.
As always, this series remains one of my favourites of recent years and I will continue to recommend it to all who wish to experience a unique fantasy series quite unlike anything out there in the market at the moment. And it doesn’t hurt that this series has the most incredible covers – I absolutely can’t wait to get my finished copy and take a few photos.
TL;DR: Dabos builds up the world and intrigue introduced in A Winter’s Promise to create an incredibly enjoyable second instalment with an ending that will leave readers begging for the third.