The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins
Publisher: Hydra Publications
Publication Date: January 9th 2012
Author Links: http://theuniversalmirror.com/
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Blurb: 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.Character Interview – Quentin
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.
What’s your strongest opinion?
I believe that it's important to do what your instincts tell you is right, even if it may appear to be the wrong thing at the time.
Do you say what’s on your mind?
Constantly. I have a bad habit of saying things first and thinking them through later. I tend to dive right into situations. My heart is there but there are times when it takes my head a bit to catch up.
Are you a peacekeeper or troublemaker?
Quite definitely a troublemaker.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd try to be a little less thoughtless at times. I hurt others around me unintentionally on occasion because I've not noticed them or how they've reacted to something that I've said. I'd like to be better about that.
Do you have any regrets? What are they?
I regret that I let my father talk me into marrying my wife before she had a chance to fall in love with me. Arranged marriages are typical among those of our station but I wish that she loved me as much as I love her. Or even that she understood how much it is that I do, in fact, love her.
What’s your greatest talent?
My ability to delude myself.
Whom would you contact first to share good news?
I would want to contact my wife, Catharine. The odds are good, however, that I'd likely spill the news to my friend Asahel. Of all the people that I've known, he's both the easiest to talk to and the one who accepts me simply as I am. He doesn't ever seem to expect or want much of anyone. That's a rare thing in Cercia.
Have you undergone any dramatic physical transformations in your life?
No, I can't say that I have, other than the usual spotty period that one gets when young. I never particularly had a gawky period, I've always been reasonably in shape, and the Plagues passed my household by.
What would you never do, no matter the price?
Give up on someone that I loved.
What secret would you feel the most vulnerable sharing with anyone?
That I care more about what people think and about life in general than I let on. I'd rather everyone think that I was just as careless and carefree as I pretend to be. The truth is, I don't like to let others down. It's simply that I always manage to, particularly where my family is concerned. I always wanted to live up to their expectations and never managed it.
Why should the reader care about your story?
We might have something in common, after all. Who hasn't done something foolish or possibly dangerous for someone that they loved? Or wanted to prove themselves to the ones that they cared for? I hope that my tale will inspire others to think about the world from which I've come and wonder how it might be the same as their own.
My Thoughts on The Universal Mirror:
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!