Title: The Mirror of N’de
Author: L.K. Malone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Complimentary copy from LitFuse
In the mythical city of N’de lives thirteen-year-old Hadlay and her people, the Ramash. Scorned and abused by the unloving and absent Emperor, the Ramash are poor people, placed second to the ruling class of the Oresed. Young but bold, Hadlay rages against the injustice in her city. When she is chosen for the honor of serving the Prince in the Tower, she hopes to find a way to right the wrong… but soon discovers that things are worse than she believed.
While Hadlay works to better her people’s condition, she struggles to abide with the abusive Oresed and understand the meaning of her dreams in which a fantastical white horse appears to her and speaks in riddles. When Hadlay stumbles into one of the Tower’s secret rooms, she discovers a hidden mirror that doesn’t just show her reflection, but reveals much more: the horse’s name is Sirach and he has a plan to save the children of N’de, if only Hadlay can bring them to the mirror. Hiding her knowledge of Sirach from the Prince, Hadlay sets out to do Sirach’s bidding. But when Sirach’s presence is revealed, Hadley’s life is in danger and the only way to save her is for Sirach to give up his own.
Crafting powerful narrative and creative characters, author L. K. Malone spins a compelling tale that combines exciting entertainment and the Christian story. In The Mirror of N’de, readers will empathize with the desires of an oppressed people, will anger at the affliction of a cruel adversary, and ultimately rejoice with the revelation of a Savior.
Author L.K. Malone knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, The Mirror of N’de. Take a little excitement and danger, add a little intrigue and mystery, toss in a whole bunch of random animal “mixes” (like a Nuppy: Newt + Puppy), and a few unexplained occurrences and you have the makings for one addicting page-turner! Honestly, I could not put this book down. I finished it in one sitting.
Malone creates a fantasy world that is easy to slip into. While I may have been intimidated at first by the preface of Names (2.5 pages of pronunciations, associations and brief descriptions), I quickly found myself absorbed in the story right from the beginning. The characters are rich and hearty, the plot moves quickly, and as with any good novel, there are many layers to dissect.
More than a coming of age story, The Mirror of N’de finds main character, thirteen year old Hadlay Mivana, on a quest to save her people, the Ramash, from the oppressive Oresed rulers. Hadlay is one of a handful Ramash selected by the (Oresed) Emperor to apprentice at the castle Early on in her arrival Hadlay unassumingly catches the eye of the Emperor’s son and a friendship develops—a vantage point that may benefit her people.
More than a quest to save her people, Hadlay finds herself pursued by a mysterious Being, who through the medium of dreams predicts the future. Hadlay realizes while the fate of the Ramash rests upon her ability to gain the Prince’s trust and favor, her destiny is tied to the predictions and riddles presented by the Being.
Through circumstances hardly primrose or sanitized, author L.K. Malone explores complex themes. I appreciate Malone’s willingness to fully explore the consequences of actions, both intentional and unintended. Good & Evil. Love & Betrayal. Trust & Deception. Illusion & Reality, The Mirror of N’de has it all thrown in there, mixed-up whirled-around and served with a dollop of “Sort of suspected that but you kept me guessing” and a side of “Woah! Holy Cow! Did not see that coming!” (A note to parents of tweens: this novel contains two scenes that are quite graphic and might be unsuitable for children younger than age 11.)
Overall, Malone has delivered a thoroughly entertaining debut novel. I honestly uttered an audible “NO! That’s it?” at the turn of the last page. I certainly hope there is more in store for these characters!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L. K. Malone is an insatiable reader who devours nearly a book a day when she isn’t writing. Favorite genres include political thrillers, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. Some of her favorite reads include the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter books, which inspired her to try her hand at fantasy with a Judeo-Christian twist. Malone is a Colorado native with a large extended family, which includes two lovely young women who graciously let her mentor them through the Denver Kids program, and a handsome menagerie of pets.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)