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A pair of Fantasy Novels by Stephen R. Donaldson. * * *
(* * * * minus the last chapter, see below)
Mordant's Need comes in two volumes:
The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through.

Terisa Morgan is vegetating her life away in a rent-controlled Manhattan apartment, resenting the controlling ways of her wealthy father. The only thing that makes her life worthwhile is doing the accounting at a homeless shelter, and the books tell her the shelter is failing financially.

The walls of Terisa's apartment are covered with mirrors, not out of vanity, but as a reminder to Terisa that she still exists.

One day, a man comes out of one of those mirrors, and implores Terisa to follow him to the other side, that he and his countrymen will be lost if she does not help. Who could resist that?

On the other side of the mirror is the land of Mordant, a land of knights and princes, dukes and kings, with one difference: Magic is made with mirrors. Some mirrors allow people to travel great distances at an eyeblink, others allow visions, while viewing one's reflection in yet other mirrors turns the viewer to stone! There is even a school for using mirrors for magic. The man who led her through, Geraden, is a student at this school, albeit an abject failure at controlling the mirrors.

And so, apparently is Terisa. From all the mirrors she had hanging in her apartment, everyone assumed she was a powerful wizard. She has difficulty believing in mirror magic, much less any ability to perform it herself!

This is extremely disappointing to some, and her failure wins her powerful enemies, for Mordant's need is all to real: It is a small country trapped between two great empires about to go to war! Guess where the battleground will be if they do...

To top it all off, the King is a senile old fool, unable to make any decisions, and bits of his power are assumeed by various factions jostling for control

But Terisa has some allies. Geraden is one, and another is a Master at the magicians' school, Master Eremis, who is extremely friendly. Others lend her support in the vain hope that she actually has some power. What will happen when they convince themselves otherwise, yui can onlty find out by reading the story...

This story is well worth reading, except for the last chapter, which looks like something the publisher tacked on because they were too dense to realize the story ended with the chapter before it. So just skip that chapter and enjoy the story.

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