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Fourth book of the Ancient Mirrors fantasy series

by Jayel Gibson

      Jayel Gibson's fourth and final installment of her Ancient Mirrors fantasy series is a remarkable tale. Though the book begins as many in this series with the stuff of legends told in almost a two-dimensional fashion, the rest of the story is laid before the reader leisurely with depth of detail and exquisite character development. This book, Quondam, tells the story of warrior woman Cwen, distant heir to the Dragon Queen of Ædracmoræ, the kingdom where most of the other books in the series have taken place. Here, though, evil forces break through into Cwen's world, destroying her home and those she loves. Only Cwen and her aunt Yavie, the Dragon Queen, survive, or so they think, and they stumble into the world of Quondam. Here, women are forbidden to carry weapons or speak out and only have one purpose: to bear children—if Karid, the queen, approves. Cwen not only draws attention to herself with her outspoken ways but she becomes a threat to Karid because the queen thinks she is the woman of prophesy who would loose the dragonspawn, a creature who is half-man and half-dragon, and the only being capable of destroying Karid and her evil reign.

Gibson's characters are rich, unique, and vivid. She has created an elaborate world peopled with dark-skinned Noor merchant politicians, mute stryvers who serve the rich, venomous wasp women, evil nomadic bandits called Emyutes, fire assassins, firefly men, and shadowy hellwings. There are also the assorted wizards, gods, and warrior barkeeps. The characters are all believable and worthy of a reader's concern for them. But most importantly, Gibson has crafted an epic tale full of narrow escapes, battles, magic, death and redemption, and the quest for love.

Quondam is Gibson's finest work in this series. I highly recommend it.

The Book

Synergy Books
May 1, 2008
Trade paperback
193353883X / 978-1933538839
More at
NOTE: Indie Excellence Book Award winner 2008

The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
© 2008