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The Soul Mirror (Collegia Magica #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,271 Ratings  ·  148 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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Jason Holt I would recommend reading this series in order, beginning with The Spirit Lens. When reading The Soul Mirror (book 2), I really enjoyed knowing more…moreI would recommend reading this series in order, beginning with The Spirit Lens. When reading The Soul Mirror (book 2), I really enjoyed knowing more about the major characters than the viewpoint character did. Everything has so much more meaning when you know the story of the first book.

That said, I feel that The Soul Mirror has much better pacing and tension than the first one. Someone reading The Spirit Lens might decide the series is too slow. If you were planning to read just one to see if you like it, The Soul Mirror is the one to read. It does tell a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, and the rising tension pulled me all the way through.(less)
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Community Reviews

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May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012

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
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:

spoiler space

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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
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
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
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great improvement on the first book:) Very exciting and full of unexpected developments.

Rating: 4.5
Nikole Hahn
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 . . .
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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....
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sabrina Barnett
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's crazy how much more interesting and engrossing I found this sequel than its predecessor. The first book felt like a hard, interminable slog, this one was a fun, classic, fantasy read.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks
This review can also be found on my blog

The people in this book make very reasonable, but also very frustrating decisions. Because of Portier, Anne's father is wanted for treason. When Anne finds evidence that her father might be innocent after all it's logical that she doesn't share it with Portier immediately. On the other hand, it's also perfectly logical that Portier doesn't trust the daughter of a known traitor. Especially if he can tell that she's keeping secrets from him. So in-universe t
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “I don’t despise you. I don’t pity you....I know you. I see you.”

Anne de Vernase rejoices in that she has no magic. A devoted woman of science, magic has obliterated her family. It has driven her mother mad, condemned her father to death, imprisoned her brother, and killed her younger sister. When Portier de Savin-Duplais, the King’s royal prosecutor, arrives with the missive that she is to serve in Queen Eugenie’s cour
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I loved "The Soul Mirror" - Anne de Vernase is a fantastic heroine. Four years before the "The Soul Mirror" begins, Anne's world fell apart; her beloved father is charged with treason (Anne's own testimony damning him), her brother is taken to be a hostage while her father is at large, and her mother's mind has broken and twisted into madness.

Since these events (which unfolded in "The Spirit Lens"), Anne has been struggling with the financial burden of keeping her home afloat for her captive br
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cherry Mischievous

Angèle Masters' voice is not as soothing to my ears as Therese Plummer's is. Nor as appealing as Alyssa Bresnahan. Plus I like it when the same narrator reads the books in the same series. I'm anal that way. Angèle Masters also have the tendency to read "happy" lines and "excited" lines in a flat and monotonous voice at times. I am guessing this happens when she is already tired as this does not happen all the time. But still quite apparent to my reader's ears. And quite irritating. The c
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong female protagonists are fairly rare in fantasy and female writers of fantasy are even rarer (I'm not including paranormal romance here). Carol Berg is one of that rare breed. In the Soul Mirror, she continues the story of the Collegia Magica, this time through the eyes of Anne de Vernase, a young noble woman from a magical family who prides herself on her lack of magic. Her father has been named a traitor and her entire family has suffered. When her younger sister dies in a magical accide ...more
I didn't read the first book so I had no idea what it was about or the world or which characters to trust so it was a riveting read. I liked the author's prose, I found the world/magic interesting. The whole italian renaissance type thing, the french/latin inspired names -- maybe it is unoriginal (I don't actually think so, tho) but I always prefer this sort of setting because it is a little more richer due to the various associations and memories it draws up for me.

As for character growth etc,
Erica Anderson
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2014-reads
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
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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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)

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