In the mythical city of N’de lives thirteen-year-old Hadlay and her people, the Ramash. Scorned and abused by the unloving and absent Emperor, the Ramash are poor people, placed second to the ruling class of the Oresed. Young but bold, Hadlay rages against the injustice in her city. When she is chosen for the honor of serving the Prince in the Tower, she hopes to find a way to right the wrong... but soon discovers that things are worse than she believed.While Hadlay works to better her people’s condition, she struggles to abide with the abusive Oresed and understand the meaning of her dreams in which a fantastical white horse appears to her and speaks in riddles. When Hadlay stumbles into one of the Tower’s secret rooms, she discovers a hidden mirror that doesn’t just show her reflection, but reveals much more: the horse’s name is Sirach and he has a plan to save the children of N’de, if only Hadlay can bring them to the mirror. Hiding her knowledge of Sirach from the Prince, Hadlay sets out to do Sirach’s bidding. But when Sirach’s presence is revealed, Hadley’s life is in danger and the only way to save her is for Sirach to give up his own.Crafting powerful narrative and creative characters, author L. K. Malone spins a compelling tale that combines exciting entertainment and the Christian story. In The Mirror of N’de, readers will empathize with the desires of an oppressed people, will anger at the affliction of a cruel adversary, and ultimately rejoice with the revelation of a Savior.
L. K. Malone is an insatiable reader who devours nearly a book a day when she isn’t writing. Favorite genres include political thrillers, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. Some of her favorite reads include the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter books, which inspired her to try her hand at fantasy with a Judeo-Christian twist. Malone is a Colorado native with a large extended family, which includes two lovely young women who graciously let her mentor them through the Denver Kids program, and a handsome menagerie of pets.
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A great cast of characters along with a quirky and fun story make this a great read for children and adults alike.
The atmosphere in the novel is what captured me at once. There is a sense of thinly veiled violence that sets up a good mood. The characters are very entertaining, with Hadlay as a heroine who, though sometimes whiny, is fun to follow. With my penchant for liking villains, it’s no surprise that I found Zeru to be the most interesting of the bunch. I do wish more background on him and his father had been given. The author left too much about him unexplained.
The plot is the most interesting thing about the book. There are so many wonderful twists and turns throughout the pages that I had trouble putting them aside. We don’t really see anything cliché, or predictable, which, with a fantasy novel post-Harry Potter, is not the easiest to accomplish. I do have to say, however, that the last few chapters did feel preachy. It felt like the author was trying too much to get her point across about God and Christianity, which, for me, was annoying. It got in the way of the story and, since she already did a good job throughout the novel to make these points anyway, it felt like overkill.
All in all, though, this is a great fantasy story, and I do recommend it for children as well as for fantasy-loving adults.