A Man Rides Through by Stephen R. Donaldson
Del Rey, 1st mass-market printing, 1987
Warning! Spoiler Alert! This is the second of a two volume set, and in order to say anything about the plot, I will by necessity be revealing things left … unrevealed in the earlier review of The Mirror of Her Dreams.
Synopsis & Review: Following the decidedly intense cliffhanger at the end of The Mirror of Her Dreams, A Man Rides Through finds Geraden missing, Nyle possibly dead, Master Eremis vindicated before the Congery, Orison’s water poisoned while the castle is besieged by the Alend army, and Terisa fast in the clutches of Castellan Lebbick, a man far more likely to rape or murder her than listen to her. No one in Orison seems to believe Terisa that Geraden did not murder (or attempt to murder) his brother Nyle, not even their own brother Artagel. No one that is, but the mad Adept Havelock and his ineffectual sidekick Master Quillon. The two engineer Terisa’s escape from the dungeons with both the Castellan and the renegade Master Gilbur in hot pursuit. In order to save herself, Terisa must not only accept her power, but demonstrate it, and she does at long last, finding herself in the Care of the Domne with Geraden. Houseldon is no safe haven, however, as Eremis unleashes monstrosities of Imagery upon the town in hopes of killing Terisa and Geraden. Instad of hiding, they must escape and warn all of Mordant against him, raising support for King Joyce until the final confrontation of Imagery and Cadwal’s armies. click here to continue reading about A Man Rides Through
The Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson
Del Rey, 1st mass-market printing, 1987
Synopsis & Review: Terisa Morgan lives alone and unloved. Though financially supported by her wealthy, neglectful father, she takes a job as secretary in a small, ineffectual mission to fill the void in her life. She has no friends, and people often seem to look right through her. To assure herself that she still exits, Terisa lives surrounded by mirrors, the only thing that can persuade her of her reality. One dark, difficult night, and man comes through one of her mirrors, shattering it. He introduces himself as Geraden, an Apt, or apprentice Imager, sent by the Congery of Imagers to seek the augured champion to save Mordant in her darkest hour. Though Terisa’s apartment is not where he meant to go for the champion, Geraden believes she must be important, and begs her to return with him to save Mordant. Much to her surprise, Terisa accepts, and is drawn through her mirror with him.
She finds herself in a fantastic world, one in which mirrors do not reflect the world around them, but instead are windows to other places or other worlds, and can only be used by Imagers. A rogue Imager threatens the world, and Mordant in particular, translating horrors into the land to destroy it. Mordant’s King Joyse, who once saved Mordant and won its independence from the avaricious countries of Alend and Cadwal, has succumbed to senility. His closest advisor, the Adept Havelock, is a madman obsessed with hop-board (checkers). Joyse’s daughters and lords of the realm are rebelling, and the Congery of Imagers cannot even agree between themselves whether the Images in their mirrors are real, or whether they only exist after translation. Individual Masters such as Eremis, Barsongae, and Quillon, all strive in different directions, but who s to say which is heading toward treachery? Add to that the threat of war from Alend and Cadwal. Into this quagmire Terisa stumbles, and for the first time in her life, not only does someone pay attention to her, but she becomes the center of attention. Every faction believes she is important, though no one—including Terisa herself-knows how. Everyone in this world is plotting, some to save Mordant and some to destroy it, but in a world where mirrors don’t reflect, no one is who they seem. click here to continue reading about The Mirror of Her Dreams