Read by David DeVries
Book 1 of The Soul Mirror (Collegia Magica, #1) series
Genre: renaissance, fantasy, murder mystery, investigative suspense
Format: paperback, unabridged audiobook (MP3)
About The Spirit Lens:
In a kingdom on the verge of a grand renaissance, where natural science has supplanted failing sorcery, someone aims to revive a savage rivalry...Source: Info in the About The Spirit Lens was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6678976-the-spirit-lens on 21/08/2012.
For Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, sorcery's decline into ambiguity and cheap illusion is but a culmination of life's bitter disappointments. Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, he fights off despair with scholarship. But when the king of Sabria charges him to investigate an attempted murder that has disturbing magical resonances, Portier believes his dreams of a greater destiny might at last be fulfilled.
As the king's new agente confide, Portier - much to his dismay - is partnered with the popinjay Ilario de Sylvae, the laughingstock of Sabria's court. Then the need to infiltrate a magical cabal leads Portier to Dante, a brooding, brilliant young sorcerer whose heretical ideas and penchant for violence threaten to expose the investigation before it's begun. But in an ever-shifting landscape of murders, betrayals, old secrets, and unholy sorcery, the three agentes will be forced to test the boundaries of magic, nature, and the divine...
I bought this book simply because it got Carol Berg's name on it. I am an old Carol Berg fan and absolutely love her Lighthouse doulogy. I wanted to enjoy more of that kind of wonderful reading time... thus the purchase of this series... But, I've had this book in my TBR shelves for the longest time. I tried picking it up a few times, however I just couldn't get into the story. After sometime I finally decided to cheat and download the audio version. I wanted to persevere with this book because based on my previous experience with this author, her beginnings are not always smashing. I had to plod through Book 1 of the Lighthouse doulogy before I could enjoy the wonderful reading time of Book 2! So I decided to cheat... listened to the audiobook.
Right off at the start, the king hired a librarian who is also a failed magician with no investigative experience or knowledge, to investigate the magical assassination to his royal person. At the same time the king paired the librarian to a less-than-useless and bumbling pompous jay. It made me think that the king did not really want the root of the magical assassination discovered. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, that was just one of the many twists of the plot. Once I got into the story I appreciated the unfolding of the plot and the unexpected turns it took! Kudos for the twisty plot! So our hero is a librarian-turned-investigator. He never claimed to be a trained professional so I forgave his ineptness at times, even as it annoyed me. It was after all, in keeping with his character. I am also looking forward to reading further into this series to find out how the dice would roll with the wild card character who is Master Mage Dante would turn out to be... I sincerely hope he would be one of the good guys instead of one of the bad guys... 'coz, it'll break my heart... Another kudos for the character development! All in all, this book was quite a good start for Carol Berg.
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = N/A (17 hours & 18 minutes)
Plot = 4.5
Narrator = 4.5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries