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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Soul Mirror Release Day!


Hard to believe, but The Soul Mirror is here at last. Picture Carol wrestling with a 300-pound book for more than a year...well, no maybe don't picture that. But that's what it felt like. It is a big story and it took me some time to get it right. (And the third one is proving to be just as obstreperous.)

Anne de Vernase was a tough narrator. Portier was not entirely an extrovert, but he was accustomed to living in an academic environment, at least, dealing with students and teachers and visitors to Collegia Seravain. But Anne is a true introvert and was not at all prepared for what was awaiting her.

She has lived most of her life in the country with her family, reading, studying, learning under the tutelage of loving parents. When a young girl, her family traveled widely, but she was always sheltered under the protective arm of her father and viewing politics, natural science, and magic through his eyes. Her lively intellect and skeptical view of the supernatural reflected both his love of learning and his pragmatic approach to the wider world.

But when her father vanished, and later when he was convicted of treason, Anne was left on her own. Her mother went into a mental decline, and the king kept her brother hostage against her father's return. Though burdened with responsibilities for a grand estate and its tenants, she was still cocooned by the walls of her home and a few people who cared for her. And then?


Matters got worse. The Soul Mirror begins when Anne is coping with the sudden death of her younger sister, Lianelle, a talented, vivacious student of magic. And then Anne is wrench from the only home she has ever known and thrust into the intrigues of a queen's household...and a murderous plot in which she can't tell friend from enemy. Bad news...

I hope you all enjoy it, while I am hard at work on The Daemon Prism, the third and final chapter of the Collegia Magica tales, written from yet another viewpoint in addition to Anne's.

23 comments:

N. R. Williams said...

Suspenseful blurb Carol. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Alexis said...

Wow, The Soul Mirror sounds very interesting--and coming from you, I know any kind of political intrigue plot where the MC "can't tell friend from foe" is going to be awesomely intricate and realistic. I'm a new fan of yours, about 4/5ths of the way through TRANSFORMATION, and am sitting at work unable to think of anything else. Your writing is AMAZING, Carol--I don't think I've ever gotten inside the head of someone like Seyonne before and *really* understood him the way I do currently. It's amazing how you've made Aleksander so sympathetic too despite him being the personification of all the bigoted, arrogant, alpha male ugh-ness I typically dislike. But through the story, I can see the redeeming things about him Seyonne comes to see, and how many of his bad qualities are simply the product of his upbringing and culture and may be stripped away to reveal a surprisingly kind, just person underneath. The Ezzarians too... I see where they're coming from, but at the moment, I'm totally with Zander on the whole, "Your people are cruel" thing. Really, poor Seyonne. I'm so glad Master Galadon, at least, accepted him back with open arms. Poor Seyonne...

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and gush a bit. I really can't wait for lunch break so I can read some more! :D

tlmorganfield said...

Looking forward to reading it. I just finished up The Spirit Lens on Sunday and just downloaded Soul Mirror to my Kindle this morning. Glad I didn't have to wait long for the next book:-)

carolwriter said...

Alexis, so happy to welcome a new reader! Very happy to hear you are enjoying Transformation - that's usually where I tell new readers to start. Hope you enjoy the rest as well. Yeah, the Ezzarians are pretty strict - but they have reasons, even though they don't always understand them.

Kathy Amen said...

I'm excited! I fell down on the job and didn't order in advance but will be putting an order in right away!

Rabia said...

I'm reading The Soul Morror right now (got it open in my right hand to read while pages load *grin*). Wish I could spend all day reading, but I have to go teach science to my first-grader soon.

Rabia said...

I just finished it! Words fail me. I think this might be the best book I'm going to read all year. How long until we get to read the third book?

carolwriter said...

Rabia,

So happy to hear you enjoyed it. The Daemon Prism is supposed to come out next January. Assuming I get off my duff and get it DONE!

Thanks for the good words. You made my day.

Anonymous said...

Just finished it. Yes, I sat up all night. I heartily second the "best book I'll read all year" and am looking forward to doing another, slower read of it in a couple weeks. I'm sure I missed layers and layers of intricacies in my rush to find out what happened. You are one of the few authors I'll pre-order books by, instead of buying after I've read a couple chapters.

Anonymous said...

I loved The Spirit Lens, and I was a little nervous about reading The Soul Mirror because I liked Portier so much. But OMG The Soul Mirror was incredible! I loved every page! Anne is such a great protagonist; I loved all the complexities she found in herself and others. When I was done, I just stared at the cover and realized how appropriate and awesome the title/metaphor was, too.

carolwriter said...

I knew it was a risk to change narrators, and it would have been interesting to hear Portier's descriptions of Anne's behavior. But of course this was Anne's story, and I'm glad to hear it worked OK.

Thanks to all for the good words. It's still scary putting one out there. For those of you who have read the book, the person Anne is visiting at the end is the narrator of The Daemon Prism. Mwa-ha-ha-ha...

teriegarrison said...

Hiya, Carol. Long time no chat...so long you prolly don't remember me. :-)

I need to ask a question about this series. I bought Spirit Lens as soon as it came out, and I just ordered Soul Mirror, but I haven't started reading yet. This is because when a series is one big story arc, I like to read the whole story at once. This strategy was particularly wise for Flesh & Spirit and Blood & Bone!!!

However, from the bits and bobs I've read about Collegia Magica (not much, admittedly, because I'm positively anal about avoiding spoilers!), it seems as if this series is different. I love your work so much that the thought of having to wait a whole 'nuther year to read the books is a bit depressing, but....well, for those of us who 1) are getting to an age where keeping loads of details in our memory over year-long gaps is getting difficult, 2) prefer to read a story all at once, or 3) both, would it be better to wait for book 3's release, or is this series safe for 'intermittent consumption'?

Rabia said...

For those of you who have read the book, the person Anne is visiting at the end is the narrator of The Daemon Prism. Mwa-ha-ha-ha...

FANTASTIC! It's going to be awesome. :D

carolwriter said...

Hi Terie,

Of course I remember you. Other readers can probably answer better than I. Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone were really two parts of the same book. Neither book has a cliffhanger ending. They are definitely complete stories with a conclusion. There are four years between books 1 and 2 and 2 years between books 2 and 3. I really think you could go ahead... But that's me.

Carol

Anonymous said...

Dear Carol, I had no idea how lucky I was when I picked out The Soul Mirror from the "New Releases" section of my public library on Monday night! I so enjoyed your story - despite not reading The Spirit Lens, I was immediately immersed in Anne's world. I read the book in 2 days - impossible to put down! I have re-read the ending 3 times now, marvelling on how you pulled it together, and re-living the struggle Anne, Dante and Duplais shared. Thank you for sharing your gift, and thank you for giving your characters each other. I am very much looking forward to the next book. Jenny

teriegarrison said...

Okay. Maybe I'll give it a whirl when I finish the series I'm currently reading. I suppose the worst that could happen would be I'd have to re-read them before reading book 3, and how much of a hardship is that? :-D

I don't know if I told you, but when I got to the end of F&S, I literally let out a shout of 'arrgghh!' before remembering that book 2 was upstairs on the bookshelf waiting. LOL!

Dawn Montgomery said...

Congrats on your release! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the story definitely caught my interest. :)

Elizabeth Tai said...

I missed Portier's point of view, but the story grabbed me as usual. I let out a little shriek when I found out it was released and promptly bought the eBook. I'm greedy, but I'm now impatient for the next book! :P

lyssabits said...

I just finished The Soul Mirror last night and I'm dying for the next one! It was a little rough at first, I liked Anne, but it was hard watching her hate on poor Portier, even though she had every reason to hate him. ;) And without being too spoilery, I'm glad this book vindicated my opinions that seemed hard to justify from the first book (BUT I KNEW IT! Bwahahah!) but some of the conspirators totally slid under my radar, even though this book really has you question just about everyone Anne interacts with. That was fun.

Lady Kailen said...

Hi Carol, only just finished reading Soul Mirror, and I'm going to join the others in saying it's my book of the year...though having been a fan of yours for quite a few years, I know you never disappoint!

I tried my best to read slowly and savour each word of the two Collegia books (had to do a reread of Spirit Lens :D - though 2 1/2 weeks of straight shifts at work also conspired to slow me down), but as usual with your books, I ended up sacrificing that pesky thing called 'sleep' in order to find out What Happened Next. It really was a rollercoaster ride, and Anne was such a dynamic character under her quiet surface, and such fun to get to know. One question, though: will Anne still be a narrator for the third book, alongside the other person; or would it be entirely the other person's book?

But right now, I'm still coming down from the buzz the ending has given me, and dismally looking at my calendar, counting the months until Daemon Prism can grace my bookshelf as well - can't wait!

carolwriter said...

Oh, so many wonderful reactions. I love you all!!

Anne will narrate the second half of The Daemon Prism. The first half will be told by the person she was visiting on the last page.

Lady Kailen said...

Possible spoiler alert:

It's going to be awesome to be inside the new narrator's head, especially considering how that person's circumstances have changed. I got more than a few funny looks from my family when I started yelling "Carol, how could you?!" at that certain particular point in the story!
(ps I'm finding it's really hard to say something without actually saying anything, so I'll chuck in a 'Spoiler Alert' at the top just to cover my bases!)

carolwriter said...

Yeah...that was kind of cruel... "Moi?"