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The Bell Between Worlds

(The Mirror Chronicles #1)

by
3.82  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Half of your soul is missing.

The lost part is in the mirror.

And unless Sylas Tate can save you, you will never be whole again.


Sylas Tate leads a lonely existence since his mother died. But then the tolling of a giant bell draws him into another world known as the Other, where he discovers not only that he has an inborn talent for the nature-influenced magic of the Fourth W
...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published May 20th 2013)
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Teresa Osiowy Hi Ian,
Thank you for your reply. This is wonderful news as we've just returned from holidays and the young reader is eager for some good fiction. I t…more
Hi Ian,
Thank you for your reply. This is wonderful news as we've just returned from holidays and the young reader is eager for some good fiction. I think I'll surprise him... We both enjoyed the first book so much, I have no doubt we'll enjoy the second as well.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Start your review of The Bell Between Worlds (The Mirror Chronicles, #1)
Melanie
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

3.5 stars

Thank you HarperCollins Australia for the copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.


'You are able to see the world as it is promised for us.'

While I could cherry pick out the flaws easily, there were several aspects of The Bell Between Worlds that I appreciated to a great extent. However, I'll I have little qualm and banter here about the synopsis. For me, I felt like it either gave away too much or the plot was too slow. Reg
...more
Arielle
There's nothing particularly wrong with this book at all - other than a tendency to over-describe, which is not unusual, and the fact that it starts off incredibly derivative (it does get more original as the plot moves on) - I simply think that there are children's books that transcend genre and age, and ones that don't. This is the latter. My ten-year-younger self would have absolutely adored this book, though, especially the take on mirror selves and the ravel runes. Infinitely better than an ...more
Louie Reynolds
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Imaginative, intriguing and finely written. Great start to a new fantasy adventure trilogy. Very much looking forward to book 2.
Micheline
**An ARC was provided by Harper Collins UK Children's in exchange for an honest review**

When a book gets compared to big name works and titles that have come before it, it can really be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives the reader an idea what kind of story to expect and it can get people's attention where they might not have gravitated towards a certain book otherwise. On the other hand though, comparisons set the bar pretty high - sometimes, impossibly so. When I stumbled upon Th
...more
Vincent Ripley
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book review will be posted on my blog first......... http://mrripleysenchantedbooks.blogsp...

This book is definitely the belle of the ball - it is taking fantasy literature literally by storm this year. It is a book that, in my opinion, should certainly see Ian's name in the fantasy hall of fame.

After flying through the first chapter I had a tingling feeling that this book was going to be really special and I was not wrong. The more that I read, the more I became totally immersed in an amazing
...more
Susan
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing


A glorious epic fantasy in the grand tradition of CS Lewis and Philip Pullman, and a major publishing event, The Mirror Chronicles will take you into another world, and on the adventure of your lifetime…
Half of your soul is missing.
The lost part is in the mirror.
And unless Sylas Tate can save you, you will never be whole again.

Sylas Tate leads a lonely existence since his mother died. But then the tolling of a giant bell draws him into another world known as the Other, where he discovers not onl
...more
Anna || BooksandBookends
I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sylas Tate never thought that a trip from Gabblety Row to post letters for his uncle could change everything he ever knew. A trip into the mysterious new shop, 'The Shop of Things' and meeting a certain Mr Zhi alters everything Sylas ever thought possible. A humongous bell chiming and a magical journey could make Sylas finally see that his true destiny is in another world...

This was an ama
...more
Kushnuma
I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Bell Between Worlds is book 1 in the Mirror Chronicles series.

I quite enjoyed reading this as it reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia at some points. However, sometimes I thought the story was going too slowly. I did like most of the characters and I liked the idea of the Ravel Runes and Nature being involved.

Overall, a good read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK, Children's for providing me with a
...more
Cindee
This book was ok it was really boring and so very slow paced it was a chore to finish it the writing was fine also the synopsis gave away too much it lost all mystery and was just boring. The characters were just fine the writing was good but the story was way too slow paced for me to stay interested. While I was reading I found it a chore to read it was just so slow I will more than likely not read any more of this series it is just not that interesting to me. So overall this book was just ok a ...more
Suze Lavender
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sylas is living with his unkind uncle. His mother died and he misses her terribly. She was the light in his life. When one day he stands in front of a new shop in town he's being introduced to a world of magic. It immediately changes his life completely. Soon a bell is calling him and reaching it isn't easy. There are plenty of obstacles on his road to get to it. The bell will take him to the Other, a geographically similar world to his own, but otherwise very different. Here Sylas learns about ...more
Elaine
An amazing new saga commences in this first book of ‘The Mirror Chronicles’. It is one of the most eloquently written novels I have ever read; the carefully chosen language paints detailed scenes in the reader’s imagination, enticing you to journey with syllabus Tate from his home in Gabblety Row to explore life in the ‘Other’. In this alternative reality Science and technology are replaced by the ability to manipulate and harass natural powers, forces and materials. Here, such inborn talents ar ...more
Nancy Steinle gummel
The Bell Between Worlds by Ian Johnstone. is a first reads win and I'm giving my honest opinion. This book is a fantasy that's a little different in that mirrors and lights force the issues. Sylas Tate lives with his strict and harsh uncle since his mother died. One day Sylas meets Mrs. Zhi. He opened a variety store. he invites Sylas in and shows him a flight of birds. they're on mirrors. Mr. Zhi teaches him to use his imagination and the birds take flight. He gives Sylas a book and a scrap of ...more
Trelawn
DNF at p.119. Not at bad book by any means just not grabbing my attention at all. I can see why it appeals and it is well written but I just had to keep forcing myself to pick it back up
Becki
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
THE BELL BETWEEN WORLDS is the first book in Ian Johnstone’s debut series THE MIRROR CHRONICLES. It tells the story of Sylas Tate who lives in a world similar to our own, with his uncle Tobias Tate in a place called Gabblety Row. Sylas seems like an ordinary boy who spends most of his time with his head in the clouds. Through a series of strange events Sylas finds himself in another world, one very different from his own but strangely similar where magic exists.

Ian Johnstone is a brilliant story
...more
Emma Adams
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first in a vividly imagined new fantasy series for children – thank you to Harpercollins and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review it!

Sylas Tate has always believed his mother to be dead, and lives a sad existence with his strict uncle in a bizarre building called Gabblety Row. But when he’s invited into a strange shop and given a book written in a peculiar language, it’s the beginning of an adventure which leads him to follow the call of a bell into another world entirel
...more
Anthony Burt
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a truly crowning achievement Ian Johnstone has made with this first part of his Mirror Chronicles series. The Bell Between Worlds has to be one of the most continuously imaginative and original fantasy books I’ve read in many years – just when you think you’ve been stunned by one visionary landscape, building or culture, another set-piece comes along that is equally enthralling.

About a “normal” boy called Sylas (but let’s be honest, anyone named Sylas isn’t going to normal, right?) fro
...more
D.J.
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novel is sensational! I was so impressed with the amount of thought that has been put into the significance of the story being told. It is filled with magic, epic friendships that span lifetimes, the importance of self trust and wondrous events that are rolled out over many pages in exquisite detail. Although it is an adventure fantasy there were many points within the story where I was left thinking: 'Of course, that's the way things really are / should be! That makes perfect sense!' This ...more
Erin
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall, THE BELL BETWEEN WORLDS will appeal to any sort of reader and if you like a good old fantasy tale to pass the time on, than this book would be it. It's definitely worth reading!

Full review: http://talesoftheinnerbookfanatic.blo...
...more
Heather Rosser
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have read a pre-publication copy of this incredible book that will be published in June. The first in The Mirror Chronicles trilogy, this novel takes the author on a journey through a parallel world where magic and science are interwoven. The Ravel Runes of the ancient Samarok book hold the key to understanding the connection between our two worlds.
Jana
Feb 28, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am so sorry to say this, but I could not get into this book at all. It was by no means bad, but I didn't care for anything that happened, so I did not finish it. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. I'll leave it unrated because that seems like the fair thing to do.
Lu Hersey
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Ian Johnstone has created a whole new world you can jump straight into. Can't wait for the next instalment. An immensely satisfying read.
Penelope
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Io
Star Bookworm
An entire review can be found at In Pursuit of My Own Library.

This book was compared to the "Chronicles of Narnia" and "His Dark Materials" series. Those are some big footprints to follow behind. I think the comparison is a bit too lofty for the outcome.

Sylas Tate woke up as a normal boy running errands for an oppressive uncle when he comes across the Shop of Things and his whole world is upended. He must find his mother. He enters upon the journey of his life.

The novel is a trope and was a lit
...more
Stephen
This is a quite long and involved young adult fantasy in a grand tradition of stories about parallel worlds. The author is a good writer, and the story starts off in a familiar but still intriguing way. Sylas lives with his overbearing uncle, whose character has hints of Ebenezer Scrooge and Vernon Dursley. He is sent out to mail the post, but comes across a curious Shop of Things that was not there before and meets a mysterious man who shows him an intriguing book...

The story almost writes itse
...more
Holly
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book, via Goodreads giveaways, in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. This book was way better than I thought it would be. I went into it thinking it'd be a Percy Jackson rip off for some reason, but it stood on it's own. I found it to be really fun and interesting and I look forward to continuing on with the series.
Raven
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
3 stars reading this as an adult but when I read this when I was a bit younger it would have had a 4 star rating.
It is a bit cliché with the main character being powerful but doesn’t know it and a ‘surprising’ betrayal.
There were some unique elements to the story as well such as the way he was transported to another world and the magic system was different too which enjoyed
Doris
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
The story has an excellent premise, and started with an interesting twist. The misunderstood, out of sync young boy, living with a domineering uncle in a strange and crreepy.home just begged your attention.
Kes
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
Nearly did not finish this. It was ok. 1.5 stars.
Mark Devlin
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book!
Kerri Simpson
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was very interesting to learn about the Other. I ended up really enjoying the story the characters. Its a fun creative tale and I need there to be more.
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All About Fantasy!: The Bell Between Worlds 1 8 Oct 30, 2013 03:12PM  

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Ian Johnstone was brought up in Oxfordshire and he now lives in Oxford, which might suggest a man who likes to stick to what he knows. In fact, Ian makes an awkward habit of shifting between worlds. He grew up in a quiet English town but has spent much of his life travelling and working in Africa. He has a love of science but studied English Literature. He grew up in Oxford but received his degree ...more

Other books in the series

The Mirror Chronicles (3 books)
  • Circles of Stone (The Mirror Chronicles, #2)
  • Untitled (The Mirror Chronicles, #3)

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