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Dark Mirror (Dark Mirror #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,425 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews
Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.

Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory's blood is taint
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published February 17th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This could have been so good - and the beginning was indeed extremely promising: A young English Lady born into an alternative version of the Georgian era who is able to fly! A society which has chosen to shun gentryfolk with magical abilities, but embraces the "tainted blood" in commoners out of convenience. A gothic, prison-like boarding-school that is meant to un-magic the rich boarders, who represent a burden and a genetic embarrassment for their families. And finally ... a club of secret ma ...more
May 07, 2011 Katie(babs) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I heard Mary Jo Putney, like many authors, had jumped on the YA bandwagon, at first I was skeptical. But after reading the blurb for Dark Mirror and seeing it was a YA historical paranormal, I decided to give it a read. Let me get this out of the way first and say that the first half of Dark Mirror is lovely. The heroine, Tory is wonderfully written and insightful. Mary Jo, or rather, M.J. has created a magic and mystical world. But then it was like someone threw a bucket of cold water over ...more
Mar 22, 2011 Kristi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction.... magic... and time travel... and a love story! Is there anything this novel doesn't have!?!? Dark Mirror was a historical fiction, inside of a historical fiction!

The thing that I loved about this novel was the descriptions..... talk about being transported back in time, wow, I absolutely felt like I was there, in both instances. Even more interesting was the strangely similar parallels between Tory's own world and the Napoleonic war and the World War II battle she faces in
Apr 15, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
M.J. Putney, a.k.a. Mary Jo Putney, is a well-known author of romance novels. In Dark Mirror, Putney makes her young adult debut. Dark Mirror is a blend of fantasy and historical romance set in an alternate history in which magic exists and is legal, but is considered gauche, fit only for the lower classes.

In 1803, young Victoria Mansfield learns she has magic and knows she must keep it secret if she is to make a good marriage. The jig is up when, at a crowded fete, she has to use her powers to
I've read a few historical romances by Mary Jo Putney, and I think they're among the most intelligent and sophisticated of the genre. (Specifically, River of Fire and Dancing on the Wind... I think after she finished the Fallen Angels series, her work got significantly less interesting, perhaps [understandably] having exhausted most of her better ideas after 10+ historical romances.) So I think it's great that instead of writing more romance novels that are less unique, she decided to try her ha ...more
Small Review
I had been anticipating this book all the way back to when it had a different cover, so I was very happy when I was asked if I would like a copy for review. I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it, but I did not love it.

As a character girl, I had to subtract some stars because I just could not connect with the characters. They weren’t bad or annoying, but they never felt alive to me. When I did the WWMCD test (that’s the What Would the Main Character Do? Test) I find these characters did no
Erica (daydreamer)
Dark Mirror was such a fantastic fresh novel! I loved it, and while it isn’t without its faults, I still found the story fascinating and the characters very likable. I believe that most fans of young adult novels will like this book, if not love. And I can say that I was very pleased with it.

Dark Mirror is the story of Tory who finds at the beginning of the novel that she has magical powers. She is a mage. After a happenstance that forced her to reveal her powers, she is sent to Lackland Abbey t
A friend received an ARC at ALA midwinter and sent this book my way. I am glad that she did. Lady Victoria Mansfield is exiled from her family when it is discovered she is a mage. At Lackland, the school nobles send their mageling children for the "cure," Tory learns that her magic just might not be a curse but a tool given to her to help save Britain for invading forces, both in her time and beyond.

Tory is spunky and likable; she both loathes the fact that she has magic, since it makes her an o
Jacob Proffitt
I hesitate to rate the book because I didn't make it past the first chapter. For what it's worth, here's what ruined the book for me.

I am a fan of Regency-era books and the author seems not to have considered the period at all when setting her story in 1803 (just prior to Regency, really, but close enough for throwing hand grenades). Examples:
- Long-term fashions dictated by a secret cabal of nobles (secret cabals dictated fashion all the time, but never long term—this is how fads came to be so
As the book opened, I wasn't certain that I'd enjoy it. As an adult reader of YA books, I tend to like my books to have a certain level of sophistication in writing. Roughly, I tend to like books aimed at older teens. This book was clearly set for younger audience than I'm used to.

However, once the plot got moving, I got sucked into the story. It's a fairly straightforward plot--a young noblewoman is identified as a magic user. Magework is socially unacceptable, so her father sends her away to a
Steph Su
DARK MIRROR is a doozy of a novel. It seems to cover a little dash of every genre—fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, romance—and while it doesn’t fully develop the possibilities that these multiple genres allow, and used quite a few YA tropes to push its nonstop pace along, it was still overall a rollicking good read.

DARK MIRROR focuses on plot over characterization. The book’s synopsis says practically nothing about the plot, which made it an interesting reading experience for me bec
Mar 01, 2011 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems that some novels have a hard time deciding what genre they fall under. A hybrid of historical fiction with a touch of fantasy, the first few pages of Dark Mirror had me thinking I would fall head over heels for this book. Unfortunately, by the time I finished, I was left feeling that the story had too many elements that didn’t fit with one another.

As I said, this novel is a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy, and while I wasn’t fanatical about the writing at first, I was quick to
Dec 16, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Let me count the ways!

Tory was an amazing protagonist. She’s smart, strong, and yet still vulnerable. In the beginning she was so brainwashed by her society, that she didn’t even consider the idea that magic could be good.
The main idea of high society considering magic as disgraceful was very creative. I loved the short prologue that revealed why magic was decided to be a lower class thing. In most any book concerning magic, it is usually the coveted thing. If peo
Feb 01, 2011 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenbooks, romance
I'll confess up front that I was a bit worried that this new YA novel from romance writer M. J. Putney would be full of bodice ripping, rippling pecs and other romance novel tropes. But I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a satisfying romance/fantasy that kept the pages turning.

The novel toggles back and forth in time between the early 1800's and the beginning of WWII. It is set in the town of Lackland, home of a boarding school for wayward sons and daughters of the British aristocracy. Thes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2015 Merrberr rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-books-only
I found the first half of this book enjoyable. I felt it set up the story well and I was really anticipating what was to come. I liked the idea of how people viewed magic, and I felt that Lackland Abbey created a mysterious and eerie atmosphere that was exciting. But it fell flat for me during the second half.
This book had a lot of potential since the plot and how the society acknowledged magic could have created an interesting and complex story, but personally I found it didn't live up to this
Barbara ★
In 1803, society frowns on magically gifted gentry. In fact if you're caught using magic, you are sent to Lackland Abbey - a prison-like school that is devoted to removing your magical abilities. Lady Victoria "Tori" Mansfield is one such person though upon entry to Lackland she is immediately enmeshed in a secret society that studies magic to help with the war effort against France.

And here's where the fun starts, Tori quite literally stumbles on Merlin's Mirror and is instantly transported to
Jul 13, 2011 Aubrey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I picked this book up at Sam's Club thinking "Good price AND if it's being sold mass-market it must be pretty good right?"


It's not like this was the worst thing I've ever read before, certainly not, I just didn't like it. Which in truth is a shame because the concept is just so intriguing. It was hard to finish, and even harder to enjoy. There characters felt two dimensional and shallow, there wan't nearly enough description setting up the time period, and when the setting did a fli
Feb 11, 2011 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young teens
I won this book for free in the Goodreads First Reads.

It’s 1803 in England and in this world magic is looked upon as a degradation. So Tory, who is from a noble and respected family, of course wakes up one day to find herself with magic. And, right after she insists that she’ll keep it hidden, of course it all comes out. She is then sent away to a sort of magic asylum in order to learn to suppress her powers. Except that she finds herself using her magic more than ever and soon she is called upo
Lori (Pure Imagination)
This book really wasn't on my radar until I was asked to review it. But the premise of magic and Society intrigued me so I had to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed. The story is about Lady Victoria Mansfeld and very respectable young lady with a promising future.Until she reveals that she has hidden magical talents. Then she is sent to Lackland Abbey to be cured and when she leaves the most promising future she could hope for is being a governess. But Tory must face some difficult things at ...more
Sep 23, 2012 E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing look at two different eras in history seen through the eyes of youngsters who have extraordinary powers. Lady Victoria (Tory) Mansfield is unfortunately ostracized when it is discovered that she has magical powers but she eventually learns that the division between the aristocracy and the commoners extends to their perception of magic. Joining a group which styles itself as Merlin's Irregulars teaches her that magic is not constrained to a specific class of people and she learns ho ...more
Chelle (crazytrinket)
Dark Mirror offers us a magical, fantasy world with a touch of history. And I would say that I truly enjoy reading this book.

Lady Victoria Mansfield, or Tory, discovers that she has a magic when she woke up floating in the air. In their time, aristocrat families despise magic. But the commons embrace it. Tory tried to hide her magic but when an accident involving her nephew occurred she has no choice left but to save him using her magic. And the consequences are brutal. She was sent to Lackland
Sarah BT
This book was interesting. There were things I liked and things I didn't like, which made reading it a bit annoying because I kept going back and forth on how I felt about it.

I liked that the summary on the back really only covers the first few chapters, but at the same time this bugged me a bit. We're thrown right into the story without much world building or character development and in just a few chapters Tory has discovered her magic powers, revealed them and is being shipped off to school.
This book had a great premise, but poor execution. The writing quality in this book is only so-so, but when I first started reading, I could let it go because I really love fantasy set during this time period, and I was intrigued by the set-up. Our main character, Tory, is sent to a school for upper class mages where they attempt to basically stamp the magic out of the students. Tory discovers that some students secretly train to enhance their magical ability, and joins a sort of magic user unde ...more
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When I found out that Mary Jo Putney was joining the ever-growing list of authors writing for the YA adult market, I practically did a song and dance. You see, Thunder and Ashes just about tops my list of favorite romances. I haven't read much Mary Jo lately, but I was one-hundred percent behind her getting into the Teen action. Um...that came out wrong. I meant--aw, forget it.
Dark Mirror begins with a group of socially influential men
Mar 01, 2011 Chibineko rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
I'd picked this book out of the vine options because it sounded interesting, but I'll be honest and say that I wasn't expecting to be all that wowed by it. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself getting quickly drawn into the world that M.J. Putney created here.

The book is set in a world where magic exists, but it's only for the commoners. It's considered unthinkable for a person of noble birth to have magic "tainted" blood & any who are discovered with it are quick
Feb 24, 2011 Nora-adrienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Nora-adrienne by: Goodreads
The Dark Mirror
By: M. J. Putney
Published by St. Martin’s/Griffin
Copyright March 2011

Lady Victoria “Tory” Mansfield is the youngest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Fairmount. Her life was destined to be a charmed life of status and wealth. She was the envy of many of the other young girls. Tory knows she is lucky and that is why she is struggling to hide her secret, a talent for magic.

She could lose everything if this secret is exposed, but fate has another life planned for this young woman
I was immediately interested the moment I first saw the blurb of this book-fantasy, history, romance all in a YA novel? Of course I had to read it! It has one of my favourite premises, where the girl, Tory (Lady Victoria) has an exceptional gift (except, well, in this case magic is frowned upon and known by all instead of being a secret), gets sent to a new boarding school away from home, where she meets new people, gaining friendships and love, and also discover the extents of her own magic. I ...more

This book was almost horrible. Dark Mirror was intriguing at the first glance (and though everybody tells you not to judge a book by its cover, I certainly did) and afterwards, I regretted it.

Dark Mirror is about a girl named Lady Victoria Mansfield, a young lady eager to enter into society. The book takes place in 1803, when Napoleon was preparing to invade England. Victoria, or Tory, in the beginning of the book, is still somewhat oblivious to the happenin
Jul 27, 2011 Coranne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading about this book for months, and I finally sat down to read it. Dark Mirror has gotten great reviews online. After the last historical paranormal book I read and the disappointing experience I had, I was excited to redeem myself. This book didn't start well for me. The first two chapters were incredibly rushed and I felt as though I was being told things that happened the character rather than reading a story. I stuck with the story, hoping it would turn around. It did turn ar ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:57AM  
The Young Adult H...: The Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney - June Group Read 10 30 Jun 26, 2012 11:21AM  
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably
More about Mary Jo Putney...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Mirror (3 books)
  • Dark Passage (Dark Mirror, #2)
  • Dark Destiny (Dark Mirror, #3)

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“My brother said that at Eton, students were told caning builds character. I suppose girls are caned less because we aren't thought to have much character."
"Which is the sort of thing males say when they don't know any women.”
“If death is inevitable, one should try to die well.” 6 likes
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