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The Soul Mirror (Collegia Magica #2)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,042 ratings  ·  138 reviews
By order of His Royal Majesty Philippe de Savin-Journia y Sabria, Anne de Vernase is hereby summoned to attend His Majesty's Court at Merona...

Anne de Vernase rejoices that she has no talent for magic. Her father's pursuit of depraved sorcery has left her family in ruins, and he remains at large, convicted of treason and murder by Anne's own testimony. Now, the tutors at C
Mass Market Paperback, 533 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Roc (first published January 1st 2011)
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Vilde Late answer but: I would say so. I've only read this one so far and am working my way through the third one at the moment and I didn't feel lost.…moreLate answer but: I would say so. I've only read this one so far and am working my way through the third one at the moment and I didn't feel lost. There's a few references to the past, but none that require prior knowledge I'd say.(less)
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The Soul Mirror was not just a worthy sequel to The Spirit Lens, it was its superior in almost every regard.

The Collegia Magica series is not your typical epic fantasy. It is more of a mystery/detective story set in a high magic fantasy world that is a bit reminiscent of Renaissance France. Carol Berg dealt with the mystery aspects well enough that I was kept guessing for most of the story.

Anne de Vernase has just been summoned to the court of her Goodfather, King Philippe de Savin-Journia. It
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Don't be fooled by the "author information" included in Berg's books. All that stuff about mild-mannered software engineer. It's a smokescreen. Somewhere in Berg's past, she was a sorceress. I'm sure of it.

Nobody does magic as well as Berg, and I do mean nobody. Her magic is always terrific, believable, scary, and ... beautiful. (Not to say, different from series to series, through 12 books, which in itself is magic. See? Sorceress.) Add to that utterly convincing characters, a world so palpably

5 Big Stars

This is the best book that I have read so far in 2012. My reading enjoyment of this novel surely benefitted me by rereading book one just before I started this one. The Spirit Lens is an enjoyable mystery that has moments of greatness but it seemed to be entirely too focused on the plot and could have benefitted from more backstory. The Soul Mirror, book number two in the series, does not suffer from the same opportunity. It builds off the first, giving us more from our favorite chara
Magic is not what it used to be. Now it's less potent. It's less reliable. Fewer people can use it. As a result science has gained popularity and the people of Sabria are experiencing a Renaissance.

But the Aspirant wants to change all that—and he will resort to murder to get what he wants.

The story began in Carol Berg's THE SPIRIT LENS, a fantasy whodunit told from the viewpoint of Portier, cousin to the king, and charged with finding the source of a failed assassination plot. It unravels into a
I love the Collegia Magica series by Carol Berg. I've now read the first book (The Spirit Lens) 4 times since January 2010 and The Soul Mirror 3 times since it came out in January 2011.

That said, I have to confess I didn't like The Soul Mirror quite as much as The Spirit Lens. I think it has to do with the differences between the protagonists, most of which are based on gender.

The hero of The Spirit Lens, Portier de Savin-Duplais, was self-deprecating and rather vulnerable. Because he was a man
Just awesome, this takes the Collegia Magica series to the next level with a gripping tale that essentially ends all the threads from Spirit Lens though enough loose ends are left so new series books can follow.

Spoilers for Spirit Lens follow:

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Four years after the end of The Spirit Lens, 22 year old Anne du Vernase, goddaughter of King Philippe is trying hard to keep her family estate going with a disappeared father condemned in large part by her testimony as murderer an
Well, this one is a lot better than, and completes The Spirit Lens. Told from the point of view of Anne de Vernase, daughter of the man convicted of sorcery by the protagonist of the first book, we learn more about and again are swept up into the mystery. While this book has a more satisfying ending than the first, it is obviously not the end of the story. There must be a third book in the offing.

I'm giving it four stars as I was never as swept up into the story as I was of the Rai Kirah trilogy
The Soul Mirror is an astonishing read. I was whisked away and laughing out loud reading about Portia de Duplais from Anne's perspective in those first chapters. The first book in this series, Spirit Lens, written from Portia's voice had me admiring his ability to release ego in the search for truth. I was enamoured with his character, and then Anne starts to blow that all it made for fascinating times. This book is complete with a cast of believable characterss who evolve and develop ...more
This was a great improvement on the first book:) Very exciting and full of unexpected developments.

Rating: 4.5
Nikole Hahn
A Barnes and Noble gift card sent me and my husband out to shop a brick and mortar store. I have my favorite authors, but I wanted a taste of a secular fantasy novel. So I chose Carol Berg’s “The Soul Mirror” for it’s cover and the rear of the book. I had no idea what to expect. I had never read any of her books in the past. The first page helped make my decision to buy it.

Anne De Vernase is the main character born in a magical family, but she was tested early in life and found not to have the g
At first, I wasn't expecting to like this book much...I tend to like Berg's books more often when she's got a male protaganist. At first, I didn't particularly like Anne...but it may be because of the "first person" aspect--she thinks that Portier is a real jerk, but the first novel in the series was from his point of view, so we all know what he went through. After a little while, I came to really enjoy the novel a I look forward to see what the Collegia Magia will bring us next--Ilari ...more
I bought this book while browsing through the bookstore with a friend (a non-bookaholic who grew rapidly concerned as my pile of books kept growing) thinking that I liked the look of the cover and the blurb well enough, so why not? I wound up bringing it with me when I went to Bath during the summer, it was simultaneously both the best and the worst idea I've ever had. The best because those two hours (give or take) went by in a flash and the worst because I had to force myself to leave my hotel ...more
I prefer to read a series one right after the other; this is difficult when I catch the series at book one and have to wait a year for the next. I probably would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't already forgotten so much of the Spirit Lens. Nonetheless, it was thoroughly engrossing. I like the world Berg has created for this series. The characters are strong, and not all of them are what they appear to be. Definitely worth reading. Now, another year before the next one . . .
the narration shifted to anne, daughter of the nominal villain of previous book, which was a bit jarring, since at the beginning anne - a severely introverted, reserved, intelligent but naive woman - possesses all the survival and political instincts of a particularly depressed suicidal lemming, and also doesn't talk to anybody useful; but she's made it through, came into himself and started asking right questions and making right decisions, and so i'm liking her a lot. mid-book, will see how it ...more
Erica Anderson
3.5 stars rounded up to 5

Carol Berg is a favorite of mine, and she delivers a complex, character-driven story in Soul Mirror. I strongly recommend that you read Spirit Lens, the first book in the Collegia Magica series, before SM, otherwise you're going to be a little lost. This is not a standalone.

This book seems to be marketed as YA/NA, but it's a perfectly readable "adult" fantasy as well, so don't let the cover put you off. As with other Berg novels, characterization is fabulous. Pacing in
First rate, intelligent fantasy. Here, as in prequel SPIRIT LENS, a young but very quick on the uptake narrator (Anne of Vernase here, daughter of an accused traitor) is plunged into vicious intrigue at the royal court. I really could seldom tell what would be happening next, and as in the previous book became firmly attached to the central characters.
I absolutely loved this book. Not going to spoil anything, but the author went where I was hoping she'd go, so it made me even happier. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Too bad I have to wait a whole year. Guess I'll check out her other books in the meantime as I don't think I've read her in ages and then only a couple books.
Liesa Malik
Jan 19, 2014 Liesa Malik rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy mystery readers
Carol Berg should be more famous than she is. Her works are smart and gripping. The Soul Mirror is the second of her Collegia Magica series I've read, and I'll look forward to reading others. I think this is a must read for fantasy fans. Berg has so successfully created another world that you never stop to place where on Earth may have inspired it.

In this story the protagonist, Anne de Vernase, searches for the person or persons who killed her younger and magically talented sister. She is gratef
The second book in Carol Berg's Collegia Magica series, I enjoyed it. I again liked the environment where "real" science vies with magical science for superiority, and I liked how the tale was now told in a different first person voice, this time that of Anne, the daughter of the renegade exposed in the first book. Now the conspirators who remain from the first book are circling the Queen; we're just not sure who the conspirators are, nor exactly what they plan. But Dante, the magician from the ...more
This kept me turning pages, neglecting housework, book work, my own writing. Such a great story, with unexpected twists, mystery, romance. As usual, Berg's characters are unforgettable, noble, flawed, and people we want to stay with for well over 500 pages. The words are a delight to read. You can't go wrong with this book.
I didn't realize this was the second book of a series until I was about halfway through. Got it as a freebie on Kindle. Does not read like a second book of a series. Just a few pages in and I was HOOKED. Interesting story line. Of course, I then had to go back and read book 1....
OMG! OMG!!! I'm going to have to reread these books again. Setup like a mystery, these books somehow get to a pulse pounding state, and her reveals leave you with jaw hanging open and the world dropping out from under you. And yet everything fits so very, very well!
Historical setting, fantasy, mystery, a strong heroine, a dark hero and a touch of romance. What more could any reader want. This book was fantastic! I can't wait for "Daemon Prism" with Dante as the narrator.
This second in the series is told from the point of view of Anne de Vernaise. It is just as engrossing as the first book, I'm looking forward to reading the third in the series.
(3.5 stars) This is the second book in the Collegia Magica series. Anne, who testified against her own father in the first book and whose trial has left her family in ruins, has been summoned to the capital to be placed under the king’s dominion. She is brought in by Portier, and it becomes very clear that she is being taken to court for her own protection after the apparent accidental magical death of her sister. Her sister has sent her some magical objects and a key to their use. Anne becomes ...more
Lee Dunning
I admit I dragged my heels picking this one up. I loved the first book in the series, but when I discovered the sequel didn't us the same PoV, and in fact used a minor character from the first book, I was unsure I would enjoy it. It was given to me as a Christmas gift, so I decided it was time to give it a go.

Loved it. Anne turned out to be a fun, intelligent character, just as apt at getting into trouble as Duplais. In terms of the mystery, and Anne's investigation of it, I felt this book did a
(Audio book review) I started listening to this book as soon as I'd finished book 1. This book, because it is in a female 1st person POV, has a woman narrator.

I don't much care for women narrators and this one took some getting use to. Her reading of male characters came across as a bit gravely, and her attempt at lower-class accents made some of the dialogue impossible to understand, but overall, she did a pretty good job.

Compared to book 1, this story started off slow. In the beginning, I was
The Soul Mirror by Carol Berg continues the saga of the Collegia Magica that started with The Spirit Lens. The horrendous events that exposed the actions of her father have devastated Anne de Vernase’s family and her summons to Court soon after the inexplicable death of her younger sister Lianelle drags her into the morass of intrigue and sorcery that swirls around the royal family. Reluctantly forced to interact with Portier de Savin-Duplais, Anne discovers that her younger sister had advanced ...more
E.C. Ambrose
Magic, deceit, necromancy--what's not to love?

I had a little debate with myself about how to rate this book, but in the end, I went with my gut. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica, #1) by Carol Berg and was a bit dismayed at first to find that this volume, set five years later, features a different protagonist, Anne de Varnese.

However, that change of perspective allows Berg to perform some delightful Evil Author Tricks--creating tension between Anne's view of the events and characters of the pre
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 01:31PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 01:33PM  
Translation to Spanish 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 04:02PM  
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Carol Berg is the author of the epic fantasy
The Books of the Rai-kirah, The Bridge of D'Arnath Quartet, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winning Lighthouse Duet - Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone - the standalone novel Song of the Beast , and the three novels of the Collegia Magica.

Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Co
More about Carol Berg...

Other Books in the Series

Collegia Magica (3 books)
  • The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica, #1)
  • The Daemon Prism (Collegia Magica, #3)
Transformation (Rai-Kirah, #1) Restoration (Rai-Kirah, #3) Revelation (Rai-Kirah, #2) Son of Avonar (The Bridge of D'Arnath, #1) Flesh and Spirit (Lighthouse, #1)

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