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Der Spiegel ihrer Träume (Mordant's Need #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,349 Ratings  ·  315 Reviews
The most accessible tale yet from the creator of the bestselling Thomas Covenant series; a rich, fully rounded epic of love and lust, power and court politics in a mythical land.
Paperback, 941 pages
Published 1988 by Heyne Verlag (first published January 1st 1986)
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Donna Davis Really strong fiction transcends time. The main problem most sci fi novels hold is believability. Thomas Covenant, the flawed hero of the series, is…moreReally strong fiction transcends time. The main problem most sci fi novels hold is believability. Thomas Covenant, the flawed hero of the series, is utterly believable. I still have to remind myself sometimes that he isn't real.

That said, it is true that this is not a wild page turner; this is the type of story you sink into until you forget where you are and what time it is. If nonstop action is part of your requirement for enjoyment, this is probably not the book for you. However, you say you like sci fi, and besides Vonnegut, I can't think of a better sci fi writer.(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 31, 2012 laurenpie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Main character too frustrating and not entirely credible

I was disappointed and even slightly disgusted by "The Mirror of Her Dreams" and its sequel, "A Man Rides Through."

SPOILER ALERT! I don't give away the end or even the middle, but still a bit of a SPOILER...

My biggest complaint was that this was too obviously a middle-aged male author's botched attempt at portraying a young female protagonist (Terisa). Terisa's thoughts and motivations were heavily-influenced by MALE psyche and ego to the p
Feb 20, 2008 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Unlike his Thomas Covenant, this duology is one of my favorites. I really love the characters, and the story is really interesting and well-told.
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Stephen Donaldson is a decent writer—he writes plots that make me want to keep on reading. But he creates characters that I just hate! I couldn’t stomach any more of Thomas Covenant after reading two books. Now, I’m confronted with Terisa Morgan, possibly the dullest, most slow witted, whiniest protagonist that I have ever encountered in science fiction and fantasy. Hand her over to the Castellan, she could benefit from a bit of torture, just to make her realize that life
Jan 20, 2013 Ita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, audio, dnf
In a word: Boring. Prolix.

In two words: glacial plotting. Unsympathetic characters.

In five words: Pathetic, colorless, wimpy uninteresting heroine.

I'm 1/3 of the way through listening to this (9 hours or so!!) and I'm thinking of quitting. Maybe I'll read it so I can skim. God he's wordy and keeps saying the same thing over and over and over again (maybe I don't exist, my father didn't love me). Boohoo. Hullo? We get it!!

Mostly, I want to slap the heroine. And the king. Or kill them both so the
Jul 21, 2009 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Recommended to Lynne by: Husband
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Every three years or so, I go back and read these two books. Terisa Morgan is a rich girl living in a high-rise in NYC when a handsome young man from an alternate reality stumbles into her apartment through one of her mirrors. His home is in danger; he was headed somewhere else to pick up a champion with armor and weapons and ended up in Terisa's apartment instead.

You see, in his world, mirrors are portals to other worlds. "Imagers" do research and create these mirrors. One Imager creates a mir
Mar 06, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book about 15 years ago and it's still one of my top favorite fantasy novels today. When the book opens Terisa Morgan is a beautiful girl, living in a busy city but she feels cut off from the rest of humanity. She has no close friends, no family that really care about her, no ties to anyone- and that lack has left a deep impression on her. It's gotten so bad that Terisa has covered her entire apartment in mirrors and she spends hours sitting in front of them, trying to prove to ...more
Jan 03, 2011 April rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most problematic reads I have ever picked up. It ended up in my trash can. Never. Again.
Jul 18, 2016 Rachelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favourite two-part series, which is interesting because the main character is not really that likeable of a person. She's indecisive, easily pushed around and a bit of a whiner. That being said, it makes sense that she is these things because of the way she was raised and for some reason, it made me want to see her come into her own.

I think it's the universe that is the most interesting to me. To be able to travel between worlds via mirrors was something I always pretended was
A.J. Maguire
I chose this book because the author was said to have redefined the Fantasy genre ... and since I write fantasies, I thought it a good idea to check this one out.

While the world was compelling and the plot was interesting, I could not get over my dislike for the main character. Teresa was weird at first, and her sense of detachment to the world was a little sympathetic -- but I stress "at first." As the plot continued forward, I grew to hate her. Midway through the book, I wanted to bash my hea
I got so far through this book.... I was halfway done. And that's saying something because this book is a massive brick! I wanted to finish. I really did, but I've realized after putting it down in April and not picking it back up a few months later that there is no way I can force myself to read it.

At first I was interested. I thought that the magic with the mirrors was very cool, but that can only carry the book for so long. The main character, Terisa, was far too frustrating for me to handle
Dec 16, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I loved this book. I read this way back in 1987 when I picked up a copy at the library. I wasn't reading much at that time and I had yet to discover Thomas Covenant. The blurb on the back intrigued me so I checked it out.

I loved this book! I fell in love with Terisa and Geraden. I think part of me related to Terisa or maybe part of me WANTED to relate to Terisa. And of course I was in love with Geraden. Since it's been so long since I've read it, my mind is fuzzy on some of the details but I cer
Mar 10, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
One of my favorite fantasies. The protagonist is passive and unsure of herself, but that just makes the political intrigue of the world she's taken to that more intricate and fascinating. I love books with twisty political mysteries, and this one is full of them.
Nov 05, 2014 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Fantasy w/Lots of Detail & Intrigue
Reviewed for THC Reviews
I first read The Mirror of Her Dreams probably close to twenty-five years ago, so when I picked it up for a re-read, I barely recalled anything about the story. As I read, some small things started to come back to me, but by and large, it was like reading it for the first time all over again. The thing I did remember was really liking the book the first time around, and while I did still enjoy it this time, I picked up on a few things that I would kind of consider flaws.
Megan Lillian
Mar 13, 2011 Megan Lillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtle is a good description of this book. It has an almost Alice in Wonderland quality, with more time spent being lost in the main character's confusion than lost in the unfamiliar customs and creatures of an alternate world. Although complex, and at times bogged down with its own intricate details, this book was very well-crafted. Context clues leave no room for last moment twists and yet somehow the suspense still remains. It's like the proverbial train-wreck you can see coming a mile off an ...more
Lisa Seaman
Feb 18, 2012 Lisa Seaman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this 2 book series. As always, the main requirement of crisp well-defined characters has been met. The storyline is unique (to me) and I totally relate to the main character, which as I have read in other reviews totally irritates many of the other readers... explains alot on other peoples irritation for me through the years (I guess). (I also relate to her counterpart lead character) But yet I totally understand the feeling of invisibility... the struggle... the feeling of having valuab ...more
Joan Podleski
This 2 book story is my favorite fantasy novel of all time. I reread it every couple of years. While it's obviously well written, because Donaldson never puts out a book that isn't, I think it's the core of each character that moves me the most. Each recognizes their imperfections, doubts their strength, but just keeps moving forward and accomplishing more than they thought possible. And while recognizing their own weaknesses, they also recognize the strengths in each other and band together to ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Jam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The book is well-written, and some parts are actually enjoyable, but I only gave it one star because half of the book focused on a character which I found to be absolutely irritating. Halfway into it, I was prepared to throw it away. I found the character to be that annoying. But, I didn't throw it away. Instead, I skipped all the way to the end, and found out that this character, Terisa Morgan, doesn't get any better. She stays almost as weak and stupid as she was at the start of the novel, onl ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After 11/22/63, I needed a palate cleanser. Something I didn't have to worry about too much. This book--which I first read back in junior high or high school--fit the bill perfectly. It's a fat, fluffy, fantasy novel and you know it's all going to come right in the end.

What I didn't remember (this is a recurring theme with books I revisit as an adult) is quite how sexist the whole thing was. I'm not going to complain about Terisa's passivity; he made a good case for why she is the way she is, a
May 26, 2007 audry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Edited: Dear Stephen R Donaldson-- Write shorter books!!
heh- This book happens to be part one of two. No part of the book actually mentions it, not the dust cover, nor the title page, nor any other decent location. You realize that this is a two booker series when you get to about thirty pages before the end, realize that all of the threads he has opened can't possibly finish by the end of those thirty pages and scream in frustration because 'damn it! it was getting really good'.

Donaldson seems
Lasairfiona Smith
Aug 31, 2007 Lasairfiona Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meh
My god this book draaaaags. It is an interesting story about a girl who ends up in another world and has to deal with that world and all of its intrigue but boy does it need a good editor. It isn't that he goes into too much detail about the world. The problem is that there is so much detail about every little decision that the main character makes. Actually, a different heroine would be good too. She is just so dense you want to scream at the book. "NO! Don't do that! What are you doing? How mu ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I keep reading Donaldson's books, hoping he will eventually write a "protagonist" character I don't hate. I mean, really hate. There's no doubt Donaldson is a good author; no other writer in my memory has ever made me hate their characters like Donaldson does. This book is no different; as others have mentioned, the primary starts out so weak, so spineless and cowardly, I can generate zero empathy for her. It's true genius how Donaldson keeps writing about such winning personalities over all the ...more
May 04, 2016 StarMan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In short: long and mostly well-written alternate world fantasy with likeable but slow heroine, mirror magics and mystery... but with some serious pacing and content issues. Should be a 3.5 to 4 star book -- and maybe it was, when first published in the glorious 1980s. I give it ~2.25 today, but am glad I read it. Similar to Elantris, a newer fantasy tale by Brandon Sanderson.

The long:
MIRROR IS a pretty original tale that will please the majority of fantasy lovers. In spite of my lower rating, gi
I really liked the ideas and concepts in this story of a woman who gets pulled through her mirror to another world and finds herself in the middle of more conflict, treachery and politics than you can shake a stick at. The imagers in this new world conjure images in mirrors and are then able to “translate” what they see i.e. bring the image through to their world which is how our protagonist Terisa arrived, and there is a lot of debate as to whether these mirrors generate the things that appear ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Sabina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read this book. Stephen Donaldson has a way of creating thoroughly dislikeable lead characters. I found the same with his Thomas Covenant series, where I was getting increasingly annoyed with Thomas' whining and poor action. This book is much the same in that regard as Terisa's self-involved ignorance gave me, to put it crudely, the shits. There were so many instances in which even a young child would have thought 'hang on a sec, this doesn't seem right' and yet she is ...more
Jul 26, 2013 A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-spec
OTP GAME TOO REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know why I had so much trouble with this last year, unless perhaps I was so repelled by Master Eremis that I just ollied right out (to my past self: that's fair. Dude is 500% ollie-worthy), as this time around I just about blasted through it. Truth be told this is fairly standard swords-and-sorcery fantasy with thinly sketched supporting characters and a great deal of emphasis on the usual Fake Europe Fantasyland political machinations with the bad guys fai
TheOneTree AU
Jul 16, 2012 TheOneTree AU rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NO spoilers. (July, 2012)

This is my 'go to' duology. When I'm feeling blue, or need a pick-me-up, I pull out these two novels. I have no idea how many times I have read them, but I have read them a lot.

I have no idea why, as it's not the most uplifting of stories, but then perhaps it's the fight for good, or something along those lines? I'm not too sure, and I don't really want to analyze it. Suffice to say, that I've had the series for two decades now (ick, that long? Where DOES the time go?),
Apr 22, 2015 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the feel the prologue gave to the whole book. Several of the characters were week and frustrating, but the teased curse in the prologue made it excusable.
This was a book club book and I didn't do my due diligence to realize before the last 20 pages this was a duology, which gave out a very sudden and unsatisfying ending.
After I read the 2nd book I may come back a chance my star rating. Up if it wraps up many of the mysteries the 1st book has me invested in our down if it doesn'
Joanne G.
I know the author wanted to show the reader the progression of a timid girl into a strong, fierce woman, but the protagonist started out so insipid and cowardly, she irritated me constantly. I made myself read the sequel--it is a two-part story--and it was a more enjoyable read once the heroine got a backbone. However, Donaldson uses too many similes and metaphors for my taste. He also has a low regard for his readers' ability to figure anything out, so everything is explained in excruciating de ...more
Jackie Gamber
May 09, 2011 Jackie Gamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booktasted
The best kinds of books—like the best kinds of teas—are the ones able to be savored over and over again, without losing their magic. "The Mirror of her Dreams" is this kind of book for me.

Just like St. Paul's London Breakfast Tea, my BookTasting companion to Donaldson's novel. Together, it's poetry in notion.

Find the full review here:
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 08, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
You may have read my reviews of Mr. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books. I felt trapped in them....his life is crap attitude and the constant "woe is me" attitude drove me crazy. A friend recommended these to me and I mentioned how I felt about the Covenant books. She assured me that these were different...I open the book..and the main character started "woe is me". Enough. If you like it, I'm happy for you.
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Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R"). He has also written non-fiction under the pen name Reed Stephens.


Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prostheti
More about Stephen R. Donaldson...

Other Books in the Series

Mordant's Need (2 books)
  • A Man Rides Through (Mordant's Need, #2)

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“The story of Terisa and Geraden began very much like a fable. She was a princess in a high tower. He was a hero come to rescue her. She was the only daughter of wealth and power. He was the seventh son of the lord of the seventh Care. She was beautiful from the auburn hair that crowned her head to the tips of her white toes. He was handsome and courageous. She was held prisoner by enchantment. He was a fearless breaker of enchantments.

As in all the fables, they were made for each other.”
“He was too many things at once - a boy, a man, and everything in between - and the differing parts of himself seldom came into balance. She found him attractive in that way. Yet the perception saddened her: she herself wasn't too many things, but too few.” 6 likes
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