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.