Reread Review : Mirror Sight

Reread Review : Mirror SightMirror Sight (Green Rider, #5) by Kristen Britain
Published by DAW on May 6th 2014
Pages: 784
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one-star

Karigan G'ladheon is a Green Rider--a seasoned member of the elite messenger corps of King Zachary of Sacoridia. This corps of messengers, each gifted with a brooch of office that imparts a unique magical ability to its wearer, was founded over a thousand years ago during the terrible time of the Long War.During that spell-fueled war, Sacoridia was besieged by the sorcerous armies of the Arcosian Empire, led by Mornhavon the Black. When Sacoridia finally triumphed, Mornhavon resorted to dark magic that rendered his twisted spirit immortal. Determined to keep the realm safe from this terrifying enemy, multitudes of Sacoridian magicians sacrificed their lives to build the immense D'Yer Wall, imprisoning the dangerous spirit of Mornhavon in Blackveil Forest, which uncontrolled magic had mutated into a perilous and unnatural place.
For over a thousand years, the magic of the D'Yer Wall protected the people of Sacoridia, but as the centuries passed, memory of how the wall had been built was lost as a traumatized nation turned its back on magic. And when a malicious entity cracked the massive wall, there were none left who knew how to repair it. Desperate to regain the knowledge and repair the ever-expanding breach in the wall, agents of the king scoured the kingdom for magical relics and information. Finally, in a last-ditch attempt to gain time, Karigan, whose Rider brooch enabled her to "fade"--sometimes traversing the layers of time and space--was able to catapult the spirit of Mornhavon into the future. But how far into the future was anyone's guess.Realizing that this might be their only chance to enter Blackveil and examine the tainted peninsula, King Zachary sends Karigan and a contingent of Sacoridians beyond the wall, along with an equal number of Eletians--the immortal race that eons ago lived in what is now Blackveil Forest. But in addition to the unnatural dangers of the forest itself, Karigan and her small delegation have been followed by a secret rebel sect--descendants of the original Arcosian invaders, and during a showdown between these two groups, Mornhavon suddenly reappears.In the magical confrontation that follows, Karigan is jolted out of Blackveil and wakes in a darkness blacker than night. She's lying on smooth, cold stone, but as she reaches out, she realizes that the stone is not just beneath her, but above and around her as well. She's landed in a sealed stone sarcophagus, some unknown tomb, and the air is becoming thin.
Is this to be her end? If she escapes, where will she find herself? Is she still in the world she remembers, or has the magical explosion transported her somewhere completely different? To find out, she must first win free of her prison--before it becomes her grave. And should she succeed, will she be walking straight into a trap created by Mornhavon himself?

I had both been dreading and anticipating my reread of Mirror Sight, my least favorite entry in the Green Rider series by far. I remembered how angry Mirror Sight made me, to the fact that I hid the book behind Firebrand because I couldn’t even stand looking at it, and wondered if the novel would leave the same impression on me this time around. I found that though this novel no longer left me feeling angry, I did feel really disillusioned with the series as a whole this time around. Mainly because the entirety of Mirror Sight takes place in the future, which becomes nothing more than a nonexistent alternate universe by the end of the novel.

 

In this read through of Mirror Sight, I really tried to keep an open mind. I felt that Karigan really did need a love interest other than Zachary, and that maybe this time around, I would like her love interest in the future, Cade Harlowe. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. In fact, I felt insulted that Karigan developed feelings for a chauvinist. I know that author Kristen Britain is not very good at writing romance, relying on instant attraction for every single one of her romances, but I found it offensive to watch Karigan, who had too much self-respect to become a mistress to the man she’s harbored feelings for for years, to rebound and sleep with the first man she encountered who would have her. And really, the only character trait Cade has outside of liking Karigan is thinking women are silly and should not have rights—it could not be worse.

 

“Cade’s face reddened as he fought to stifle his anger. He swiped his sword off the floor. ‘How do you know? Girls may have played at carrying swords back in your day, but they could hardly fight men.”

 

To make matters worse, Cade is a resistance fighter who does virtually nothing to help the cause. The novel tries to persuade readers that being an archeology student and digging up artifacts from before the evil emperor took over is an act of opposition, but it’s truly not. This whole portrayal of the opposition was so half-hearted and lazy that I don’t know why it was even included. And the same can be said for Lhean, the Eletian that gets sent forward in time with Karigan, who has next to no page time and amounts to little more than window dressing. He felt like a mere consolation prize thrown in to remind readers that this was still a Green Rider book, despite being in a completely new slightly-steampunk-if-you-squint-world.

 

And if that weren’t enough insult to injury, freaking Amberhill, whom the author seems to love for some reason, is apparently the emperor of this time period. Though he’s been possessed by a sea King of old and Mornhavon, so he’s not really himself. Honestly, this character’s arc is an absolute train wreck. It feels like he doesn’t work in the story, and the author relentlessly keeps trying to force him to fit in different ways that offer nothing to the story, or even to his character, because in this story he wasn’t even truly himself.

 

The only character I even cared for in Mirror Sight, was Karigan’s new rider horse, Raven. But of course, the author kills off the horse—which had a better characterization than all the other characters of the future combined. I honestly think there has been an animal killed or at the very least, abused, in every single entry of the Green Rider series. The point has been made, the trope has been used, but the author just keeps coming back to it, as if she has a point to make, and that it’s how dark she wishes her books were. To be honest, these sudden forays into darkness just feel jarring and out of place with the insta-love romances, the simplistic writing, and the incredibly rushed events of the novel.

 

Many times in Mirror Sight, I really wasn’t sure what I was reading was even real. In the case of the horse, Raven appeared out of nowhere, and was killed in less than two pages. In another instance, a character drugs Karigan, starts contriving a plan to get her addicted to said drug so she has to stay in the future, and then gets caught, feels guilty, and sacrifices himself to make it up to the unconscious girl—all in four pages, which is just inconceivable to me. But most regrettable, is that Karigan only returns to her world for the last 40 pages of the book—not nearly enough time to reintegrate or to even begin to deal with what happened to her and what she experienced—but that is all we are given. And it’s simply not enough to make it feel like a Green Rider book.

 

“…Karigan had to shake herself as if waking from a dream. ‘I–I am disoriented. Or, at least, I’m forgetting everything.’
‘That is because, by returning, you have changed the threads proceeding forward. What you have experienced will never happen. Therefore, your memories of events that never happened are fading and will cease to exist.’”

 

It’s really very discouraging to read an almost 800 page novel in a new world, filled with new characters (whom I don’t like even a little), only for the heroine to completely leave that world and those characters behind and to forget about them at the very end of the novel. Books should not leave you asking, “what was this novel even for,” but that’s exactly what Mirror Sight does. Honestly, unless you are a very big fan of the Green Rider series, I recommend skipping this novel entirely. If the heroine doesn’t remember what happened to her in Mirror Sight, I don’t feel that the rest of us should be forced to.

 


 

Read my reviews for the other books in the Green Rider series:

For my reread and most recent reviews of the series —

For my original review of the series —

one-star
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Reread Review : Mirror Sight - Blogging with Dragons

Posted August 27, 2021 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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2 responses to “Reread Review : Mirror Sight

  1. Well, this is quite… Disappointing. I was curious about the series but your review, (that I really enjoyed, btw) gave me pause. Sure, judging a series just from one book, and not the first one, may not be the wisest move but still it doesn’t bode so well!
    Thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I still really like the series, but I think if I didn’t have the nostalgia, I wouldn’t like them nearly as much. I was shocked upon rereading the series that they weren’t nearly as “good” as I remembered. It’s been an interesting experience rereading and rereviewing!

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