Annette Laing's The Snipesville Chronicles
Fallen From Grace
Fiction , Historical , Novella , Teen / March 19, 2018

This short story is a companion to the author’s full-length young adult novel Dark Mirror, which I previously read and reviewed. While it is very short, it does give some insight into one of the murkier character’s background–though not an astonishing series of revelations. Allarde is standoffish in Dark Mirror and is also hiding a dark secret. While Fallen from Grace does not reveal his secret, it mentions his uneasiness with what he sees as a premonition for what’s to come. His public ‘outting’ as a mage is similar to Tory’s, which was fairly predictable and his joining the Irregulars and embracing his magic could have been more detailed. Overall I think his character could have been expanded on, but it was an enjoyable addition to the novel. originally posted on my historical review website

Dark Mirror
Fiction , Historical , Teen / March 19, 2018

Victoria ‘Tory’ Mansfield is a gentleman’s daughter in the year 1803. Through an act of bravery she exposes the fact that she has magical powers to the genteel society and finds herself shipped off to Lackland Abbey, where young ‘mages’ are sent to cure them of their unsavory nature. Though the common people of the era find magic useful, the Lords and Ladies maintain that it’s vulgar and thus ostracize anyone claiming the gift. Tory only wants to be cured and return home, but soon realizes the usefulness and her own growing desire of her magical powers. She also finds that she’s not alone–not all the mages of Lackland have the same goal. With the growing threat of war on the horizon, Tory decides that the comfort of her old life may not be as important as keeping war from coming to England’s shores. There is an underlying theme here: the similarities between Napoleon and Hilter, and also the disintegrating of the class structure from one century to the next. For the history lovers, there are good descriptions of both Regency and WWII England. You get to see a more modern world–cars, planes, trains, plumbing, electricity–through the amazed eyes of…