Set in a mythical time on earth, Course of Mirrors follows the story of a rebellious young woman, Ana, in search of her destiny. Ana spends years of her life in isolation and caught in a rift between the disparate realms of her parents. Her spirit is affirmed by Cara, her soul-sister living in the twentieth century, who beckons her across time. They have a task together, for which Ana must travel west. The night before her covert departure, Ana is given a confidential letter that burdens her adventure with secrecy.
Ana travels between her parents’ realms in disguise, crossing dangerous bridges and battling dark fears. She evades the ominous plans of a maverick preacher and shortly after meets her first love, Luke. He and the preacher are twins, though both are ignorant of this. As the two brothers fight to win Ana and betrayals begin to unravel, Ana attempts to bridge the gap between love and power.
Course of Mirrors is a gripping and enchanting story of a young woman’s odyssey. Its overriding theme of a quest for belonging has a universal recognisability and appeal, and will be continued in Ashen’s sequel, Shapers, in which Ana’s journey continues into future worlds.
Inspired by 1001 Nights, and writers like Ursula Le Guin, Ashen Venema’s debut novel will appeal to fans of fantasy novels and those who enjoy coming-of-age mysteries.
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I had the privilege to read a first draft, long ago now, and I recommend the story on many levels. The story grows like pictures in your mind; great escapism.
by Angela Hart