Bittersweet pain conceals a deeper beauty.
I received Mirrors & Thorns through Our Write Side in exchange for an honest review.
3. Inheritance by Melanie Noell Bernard
An ancient house, abandoned and forlorn. A young woman, eager to find her fortune. That night, a strange sound fills the halls, driving her from her bed. She never believed the stories. Now she’ll learn the truth.
Opening in the middle pulls audiences right into the thick of things; while carefully chosen details gradually provide a context. Throughout the story the protagonist looks back at her earlier decisions, debating past choices in a rich inner dialogue that helps to characterize her, and provide some much-needed background information.
But it’s in the writing itself that the story really shines. Carefully chosen details slowly raise the tension; turning what could be a very mundane scene into a suspenseful mystery. Unfortunately it’s the questions that captivate us. The story draws things out, but eventually all things come to an end. And this ending felt…out of place. Audiences are left with new questions, which they must answer for themselves.
A king, robbed of love, is forced to marry again. The kingdom rejoices, welcoming their new queen, but the specter of loss is not so easily banished. Strange visions haunt the young bride, forcing her to wonder who her husband truly sees when he looks into her eyes.
With so much to tell, the story wastes no time; covering years in a dense summary, before jumping into the real beginning. It’s a jarring way to start a story, but once audiences get past it, things really picks up. Crisp dialogue paints a vivid picture of each character; tense threads that combine into a focused conflict, which itself is part of a larger web. Overall the story works, but every so often audiences will catch a glimpse of a larger story, a larger world. One that makes us wish the author had continued, rather than cut things short.
Mirrors & Thorns 3of6