Monday, July 7, 2008

Quondam: An Ancient Mirror’s Tale by Jayel Gibson

ISBN: 9781933538839 - Synergy Books (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/08)

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It was such a pleasure to be able to get my hands on the latest edition in the "Ancient Mirrors Tale" series by Jayel Gibson.  "Quondam" begins when the evil Queen Karid sends a fire-breathing assassin through a magical portal, into another world, to destroy people whom she fears are a danger to her.  Karid's ordered assassination attempts pull two women through the portal into Quondam. One of them is Cwen.  She holds a special power to link her to the Dragon spawn. This is a half man/half dragon being that has been held in exile on an island for over a thousand years.  Queen Karid's attempts to fight the prophecy that links Cwen to D'raekn, the dragon spawn, only manage to push them together. 
When Cwen manages to end up on D'raekn's island of imprisonment, she appears to have been beaten to death.  Followers of the queen have horribly violated her.  Believing her to be dead, she is dumped into the sea and rescued by mere folk.  D'raeken plays a role in her healing.  Having been emotionally broken by her abusers, he also has to gain her trust.  An intimate moment between the two begins awakening the dormant magical powers of the land.  Previously the queen tried to kill off all the magical beings and hold any powers for herself.  Now the land is awakening, and so are many of the magical inhabitants who have kept themselves hidden. 
D'raekn and Cwen must work together to see that the prophecies come true.  Having people that they believe to be their allies, working against them for their own selfish reasons, works against them.  More mysteries surrounding D'raekn must be solved for them to find the answers that they seek.
I really, truly loved this story and hated to see "Quondam" end.  The magical elements add so much to the story.  The feelings between D'raekn and Cwen are tumultuous and in need of some answers.  The history behind the prophecy of the dragon spawn was fascinating and unique.  Ultimately, this being, which was brought about in a unique manner, has to decide whether or not to choose to be a man or a dragon.  Others decide that his love for Cwen must not get in the way of his decision.  They have a lot working against them, yet through it all, their love has to prevail.  Fans of fantasy novels will love "Quondam."  Readers who have been following the other books in the Ancient Mirrors Tale series will not be disappointed.

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