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A Shadow on the Glass (The View from the Mirror, #1)
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A Shadow on the Glass (The View from the Mirror #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,200 ratings  ·  93 reviews
This book begins Ian's internationally bestselling epic fantasy series, published in many countries and languages, which has sold over a million copies.

'Ian Irvine is a great find! He writes beautifully about a vast and intricate world that seems utterly real. His characters are as well drawn as any I've come across in fantasy. Best of all, none of them are quite what the
Paperback, 586 pages
Published 1998 by Penguin Books Australia
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shaun Adamson
I will never forget the first time I started reading this book. It was at a very awful time in my life following a severe family dispute and temporary homelessness.

Isn't this what fantasy is really for, perhaps more so then any other genre? To escape our world, to escape to another universe? to leave behind sadness, grief, tension, or simply boredom? To immerse ourselves utterly within an alien culture, amongst characters that are so different in so many ways yet still we can relate to?

All thi
Lisa Sisneros
It's been a long time since I've re-read this series, but from memory, I really loved the unique take on the fantasy genre Ian Irvine has. It's not your traditional high fantasy, incorporating some interesting sci-fi elements that make The View from the Mirror series truly one of a kind.

I am always looking for obscure authors with impressive talent, something a little left of middle that has all the execution of a polished, mainstream writer, but without the cookie-cutter plots and cliched char
Nicholas Karpuk
Ever have someone telling you a really interesting anecdote and someone else interrupts with a boring, only vaguely related story? That's how Ian Irvine writes.

It starts off with the main character telling a story about this fictional universe, which for me is tantamount to beginning a college lecture with a long, growling fart.

Of course it goes on to establish some interesting characters, some rather gripping descriptions, and a brisk, engaging pacing. But ever so often, sometimes without warni
Eventually I came to appreciate this book as a creative story, but it was long in comming. The story starts out very slowly and it takes a long time for the reader to get to know the characters and just as long to care about them. Eventually I really came to appreciate Llian because he was an unlikely hero. In fact, he was so normal that many of the other characters come to despise him for it. Also, most of the other characters are blind to his attributes once they have created a flawed picture ...more
I’m not quite sure how to start here, so I’ll just jump in and say I didn’t like it. Here’s why:

1) It was far too “convenient.” Anytime the author seemed to write himself into a corner, the plot would miraculously solve itself by introducing previously unrevealed information, new magical powers, or another character. It was “Deus ex Machina” to the extreme, and I found that frustrating as a reader.

2) The writing was awkward and jarring initially, and had I not been reading this book based on a
i don't like the way Irvine stops everything to describe new characters in detail; it feels like fan fiction.

the blurb on the front says, "...a worldbuilding labor of love." And that's a nice way of saying Irvine spends too much time trying to tell you how awesome and well thought-out his fictional world is.

Irvine has no feel for pacing. whether that's narrating long passages of time or expressing action, he always hits the wrong tone or rhythm with his words.

but, at about a third of the way thr
A wonderful read. I found 'The View from the Mirror' serise (of which this is Vol 1) when I was driving a lot & bought the Audio Books. The story line sounded interesting, so I thought I would give it a go. Wow! I was hooked. I enjoyed it so much that when I'd finished listening to all 4 volumes- I went out & bought the books as well. I have read the books twice & listened to the audio books at least 4 times. If your looking for an epic Sci-Fi Fantasy you cant' go past these by Austr ...more
I found this book in a charity shop and i picked it up simply because of the cover (in those days i wasnt much of a reader).

However from the moment i picked this up to read i was completely hooked on this three world series. I have now read this complete collection as well as the second three world series and i am currently awaiting the new arrival of the final boook of the third series.

Really good read but annoying that each book ends on a cliff hanger!

Confused Little Walkie Bit
I was beginning to get seriously burned out on the fantasy genre when I picked up this book by Ian Irvine back in my first year of college. I didn't get into this series much at first—it tends to move slowly at times—but Irvine does a wonderful job of weaving a fantasy tale that throws the traditional fomula of the genre out the window. The world is carefully crafted, and the characters in it are richly flawed and wholly human.
secretly crazy
I adore the characters of Karan, and especially Lian. The whole series, and all his fantasy books really, are just novels I keep returning too, although this one, as the earliest in the View from the Mirror Quartet, is one of my favorites,before the stories all split - a lot - and things started getting very twisty and backwards.
David Melbie
Dec 05, 2010 David Melbie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans only!
Recommended to David by: Jeannie Yarbrough
This is a really good story. Full of names that I can't pronounce, lots of back history and full of made-up races of quasi-human characters with strange mental abilities -- who could ask for anything more? --From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie.
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
Originally reviewed on The Oaken Bookcase on 28/7/2012.

Karan is a young woman, a sensitive with powers of the mind, who is recruited to help Magraith break into a fortress and steal an ancient relic. All does not go to plan, however, and Magraith is captured. Karan manages to escape with the Mirror of Aachan but is pursued away and across Meldorin for weeks. Eventually she flees into the mountains, where she runs into Llian, much to her disgust.

Llian is a graduating student Chronicler who is cas
'A Shadow On The Glass' is the first book in Ian Irvine's fantasy series 'A Tale Of Three Worlds'. As the name of the series suggests it follows the tales of three different worlds that are connected and inhabit different human species (among others). This particular book follows two characters who paths cross due the stealing of a powerful mirror that everyone in the world of Santhenar (the world in which it is set) seems to want. Irvine is clearly influenced by Tolkien, as this series opens up ...more
Chris Pacheco
Tonite is my review-A-thon
bout to get my groove on with the keyboard, and complete some late but most likely unread book reviews.

so... let get it ON!!!!
Irvine, Ian... lets call him DUBBLE i. Well, i picked up this little ditty called A SHADOW ON THE GLASS.
and for a book/ author i aint never heard of this shit was SOOOOOO fucking good. SHIT! it was such a damned surprise. the more and more i contiued to read. the book just sucked me in like a cock thirsty whore, fresh off a 15 yr stretch of solit
Ward Bond
With this stunning and original debut, Ian Irvine begins the saga of The View from the Mirror, a brilliant epic fantasy that rivals the works of Robert Jordan and J. V. Jones. "Once there were three worlds, each with its own human race. Then, fleeing from out of the void came a fourth race, the Charon. Desperate, on the edge of extinction, they changed the balance between the worlds forever..." THE TALE OF THE FORBIDDING In ancient times the Way Between the Worlds was shattered, leaving
I absolutely loved the Tainted Realm Trilogy. Which is why I was eager to read some of the author's other novels. However, this one just didn't have it for me.
I felt like there was no character associations for the reader; there was a severe lack in moments where you expect to delve into a character, what he or she is feeling, and therefore associate and sympathize for them.
Even the characters themselves were poorly written. Karan, think Merida from Brave, is just minding her own business on h
A bit of a slow start, and I struggled to get into it, but soon found myself gripped by the story of Karan and Lian - a proper epic fantasy story, the two main characters barely get time to breathe before being thrown into pursuit, torture and perilous escapes. Can't wait to see how the next book turns out! Really good, well thought out fantasy world and races, and the characters are believable, and rather lovable!
This was the start of my favorite Epic Fantasy series to-date; I am still searching for something to compare....
There are 10 books in this fantastic series, full of great characters, action, pace... it takes you away to another world that you will remember for a long time to come. It's a big read, but you will be hang'in out for the next book. I highly reccommend this seriers and Big Ups to Ian!
This is a great fantasy novel, part one of a trilogy, which had action and drama to a shocking end of the story. I rarely read fantasies. But I'm up to making allowances. I had his name under eco-thrillers, in which he did write one. I might read more of his next year.
I liked this book, however it took me three separate tries of starting and putting it down and starting over again to make it through the first book and then the series. While it has been a while since i read it, I do recall finally enjoying the story
The narration has something of the style of the old 1970s fantasy and some science fiction, but my nostalgia for that style doesn't make up for how "meh" this book left me. By the end I was tired of everyone's misery and backstabbings.
I would rate this book about a 3.5.

It was a nice, fantasy adventure book. An enjoyable ride, with some unexpected twists and turns. Overall it was good, although I think it could have been cut back at least by 100 pages.
A little slow to start but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. His character development was very detailed and clever and the plot flowed along as the building of a great saga. Made me want to read the next installment.
This was a cracking series and the characters were excellent. They were unusual characters, very flawed. The story is quite long and again descriptive, but the writing is very strong.
Cherie Barton
An amazing set of novels from a true genius....excellent character development, and descriptions, will read it again and again
The book promises to develop an interesting story in the sequels. However, the style of the author is a bit unorganized. The plot jumps from one character to another a bit chaotically and by the end of the book, we still know next to nothing about the big picture in this fictional world. Many times it is mentioned that something huge is going on, but we only get a glimpse or two through Karen's nightmares.
As other commentators had mentioned, the main characters Karen and Lian sound way younger t
David Hayden
Exciting, creative, but too long due to long descriptions of scenery.
Loved it & am so looking forward to The Tower on the Rift.
I really, really struggled to like this book. It wasn't un-enjoyable, exactly, and I particularly enjoyed Karan and her POV, but it somehow just didn't quite hit the spot for me. There's a pretty big likelihood that it was a bit too "high" fantasy for me: there's a reason I usually read YA and similarly written books; I just don't have the patience for wordy slowness. That said, I did like this enough to finish the book, but I'm not sure whether I can be bothered to finish the series, irregardle ...more
Lisa H.
I must confess: I bought this book (second-hand, as I do most books) JUST for the cover.

Mr. Irvine has ambitions for this tetralogy, of which A Shadow on the Glass is the first volume. He starts with a massive concept: three separate humanoid races/civilizations with ancient conflicts, dating back not only into the darkest reaches of his planet's history, but even further, to when they occupied other planets (or possibly even other dimensions.) At the start of this book, these conflicts and the
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I'm an Australian author of 31 novels, mainly fantasy. They include the bestselling Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, which has sold over a million print copies and has been published in 11 countries. It comprises The View from the Mirror quartet, The Well of Echoes quartet and The Song of the Tears trilogy. I’m currently writing the long-awaited sequel to The View from the Mirror, which will be ...more
More about Ian Irvine...

Other Books in the Series

The View from the Mirror (4 books)
  • The Tower on the Rift (The View from the Mirror, #2)
  • Dark is the Moon (The View from the Mirror, #3)
  • The Way Between the Worlds (The View from the Mirror, #4)
The Way Between the Worlds (The View from the Mirror, #4) Geomancer (The Well of Echoes, #1) The Tower on the Rift (The View from the Mirror, #2) Dark is the Moon (The View from the Mirror, #3) Tetrarch: A Tale Of The Three Worlds (The Well of Echoes, #2)

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“My name is Llian. I've come to save you."
Said to Karan just before Llian falls flat on his face in front of her.”
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