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Dark Glass #1

Through a Dark Glass

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On her seventeenth birthday, Megan of Chaumont discovers she’ll be sold as a bride to the brutish Volodane family—within hours. Her father grants only that she may choose which one of the ruthless, grasping lord's three sons she weds:

~ Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
~ Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
~ Or Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?

As shy, horrified Megan flees the welcome dinner for her in-laws-to-be, she finds an enchanted mirror that will display how her life unrolls with each man, as if she were living it out in a breath. But there is no smooth “happily ever after” in her choices.

Deaths and honors, joys and agonies, intrigues and escapes await her in a remote, ramshackle keep, where these rough but complex men reveal one side and then another of their jagged characters—and bring forth new aspects of Megan, too. But the decisions of one teenaged marriage-pawn reverberate much farther than any of them have guessed . . .

297 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 9, 2018

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About the author

Barb Hendee

59 books1,145 followers

[See barbhendee.org]
Like most writers, I've worked at many jobs in my life, including teaching pre-school until I completed my master's degree in Composition Theory. Between 1993 and 2006, I taught college English while writing fiction on the side, some independently and some with my husband and life-long partner J.C.

Over the years, we've lived in Washington State, Idaho, Colorado, and now moved just south of Portland, Oregon. I love the Northwest, and it's a great place to write.

We have a lovely and talented daughter, Jaclyn, who lives in Houston, Texas along with our wonderful and talented son-in-law, Paul.

J.C. and I sold Dhampir in 2001, which changed our lives considerably. It was published in January 2003, and we've published a book in the Noble Dead Saga every year since. In May of 2006, we were both able to quit our teaching jobs and move into full time writing.

Recently, I've begun writing romance/suspense novels, beginning with: Alone with a Soldier. I am so glad my books have found an audience because I love to write fiction more than anything else in the world... and I'm not really good at anything else.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,040 reviews1,500 followers
November 27, 2017
Seventeen year old Megan of Chaumont has just lost her sister when she finds out that she will now have to take her place and marry one of the brutish Volodane brothers. Megan's parents are deeply in debt but still have their good family name and the Volodane's have offered to help to hopefully improve their standing by marrying into Megan's family. But Megan never intended to marry and has no idea what would be the right choice between the three brothers in the Volodane family.

Overwhelmed with the future she's being forced to choose Megan flees the welcoming dinner to find a quiet spot and gather her thoughts. As Megan hides in one of the places she used as a child she finds a magic mirror and is offered the chance to look into what her future would hold with each of the brothers to help her make the choice between them.

Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee is a young adult fantasy read. While this one is fantasy in the fact that the magical mirror shows Megan what would happen between her three different choices the story reads a bit more along the lines of a historical romance. Set in a world with lords and ladies, nobles and peasants and when woman were treated more along the lines as properties than people each vision of Megan's choices certainly had that historical fiction feel to them.

While I was quite intrigued with the idea behind this story and also found the writing to be quite nice overall I thought that this was began to be a bit too repetitive. The idea of getting to know where your choice will lead you before making it was a great idea for the story but with each of the visions the underlying events were all the same with slight differences to the outcome. I would have expected the visions to really veer off from one another to keep a higher interest level in the book so in the end I found this one to just be an OK read overall.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

Profile Image for Shali.
208 reviews45 followers
November 23, 2017

Why did I finish this? At the halfway mark I was ready to leave it, entirely.
I received a digital copy through a Goodreads giveaway, so here's a brutally honest review.

I was initially intrigued by the concept of multiple scenarios playing out, and Megan choosing between them, but by the third and final enactment it became quite boring with all the repetition. I mean, I got sick of reading the same scenes, the same descriptions, the same conversations, over and over again. If they'd been worded in a different way, even just slightly, I think I wouldn't have felt that the story was dragging as much as it did.
Besides that, there were many issues with the story that really ruined it for me. For one, there are numerous typos/mistakes throughout the book, some of which I highlighted on my Kindle (so you can verify, if you like), and it just lowers the overall quality when that happens. And while not graphic, I felt that there was too much detail in the bedroom scenes.

Anyway, moving on.
Helena dies the day she is to marry one of three brothers, so her younger sister, Megan, becomes the last minute replacement, and is told that she must choose who she is to marry.
By some chance or coincidence a magic mirror appears to her and shows her the outcomes of all three marriages, and tells her to choose.

The First:
She lives out her life with Rolf, the eldest. He follows his father's wishes to a T, and has his eyes set on power, recognition, and wealth. Megan must somehow turn the rundown keep into something worthy of nobility, help in whatever ways she can to raise the family on the social ladder, and perhaps thaw Rolf's heart with her efforts.

The Second:
She is then shown her fate should she marry Sebastian, the second eldest. Though they begin their marriage with sympathy and understanding, and though he is gentle and kind to her, she realizes that her's is an unconventional marriage, indeed.
(I honestly am struggling to decide if I should tag this as a spoiler or not. I mean, I need to mention it, but it's supposed to be a pretty big plot twist... Oh, please, it was the most obvious element of the entire book. A blind man could have seen it. Ok, I'm just going to say it, and if that angers you, so be it. The fact of the matter is, what happens is against my religious and moral beliefs, so I feel obligated to mention it.)
Her husband never touches her, a kiss on the top of her head is as intimate as they ever get throughout their marriage.
There were little details that stood out; like his appearance, his attitude, his "close friendships" with handsome young men...

Spoiler Alert: He's gay.
Now, that bedroom scene, the one where she finally has her eyes opened to reality, I skipped over entirely, because --pained laughter-- no, thanks.
But that story doesn't end there, and I promise not to spoil it in its entirety, so I won't mention how it ends, but there's tons of drama besides that, and they must struggle to get through it all.

The Last:
Then comes Kai. Quiet, angry, proud- and resentful of their marriage. Though they may not like each other, together they must face the same crises as the last two stories, but with different reactions, and thus different outcomes.

While I have to agree that was beyond a doubt her best option, I was still dissatisfied as a whole.
Profile Image for Lexie.
2,073 reviews297 followers
November 2, 2017
So one of my absolute favorite tropes is the "What If...?" trope. I love dwelling on paths not chosen. I live for that sort of thing. So right off the bat this book's summary appealed to me.

It's by no means perfect; the events all, to one extent or another, are the same up until after the first formal dinner so it feels repetitive in the way Choose Your Own Adventure books could feel. Slightly different exchanges, such as how Megan handles meeting the kitchen staff, speak more to what will ultimately be the important theme for the life she could lead.

There is no WRONG choice here for her. As she sees each brother offers something she needs and something she wants. Rolf offers her respect, Sebastian offers her safety and Kai offers her acceptance. All three lives would be GOOD lives worth living, but whether they suit her is another story.

Technically you could call this an older YA/NA since Megan is 17 at the start and largely the book never verges beyond PG13 in terms of the romance. It's basically medieval fantasy, no real magic beyond the mirror itself evident.

And while it wasn't a detraction, Hendee's writing is better for the small details. Little things like how Megan responds to her new home (or whether leaning on Kai is a smart move) do more to explain how each choice shifts her thought process then the almost a bit too exposition heavy writing.

This all said it was an extremely quick read for me and one I was happy to stay awake past my bedtime for. I look forward to the next book quite a bit!
Profile Image for Under the Covers Book Blog.
2,818 reviews1,364 followers
January 9, 2018

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When Megan Chaumont's sister dies, it's up to Megan to take her place in a marriage bargain her father has set up. Three brothers will arrive and Megan has to chose which one she will marry. Megan was never meant to marry and she doesn't know how she is supposed to chose. It's serendipitous when a mirror appears which will show her the consequences of choosing each of the brothers. She will be shown the life she will have with each brother and then she will make her choice. Once she has made her choice her memory of the mirror and what she has viewed will disappear. So, which brother will she chose?

I've started 2018 off with a bang! I loved this book! I don't read much fantasy YA, but I like Barb Hendee so I decided to give Through a Dark Glass a try. I am so glad I did, it was such an interesting concept. The mirror shows the beholder the life they will live when they make a certain choice. 17 year old Megan sees the life she will share with each brother if she chooses to marry him and then once she has viewed them, she then has to decide the kind of life she wants to live. Each brother offers her something that she wants for herself; power, independence, love. She must decide what she wants most.

I admit, that I had guessed which brother she would pick before her futures were shown to her and I became especially certain as the book came on. However, that didn't mean that the book didn't hold surprises, each of the brothers showed some secret part of themselves that you wouldn't have known about if it weren't for the mirror. And, as each future held death, exile or both for someone it made the choice harder to make because of the consequences for characters you had come to understand and unexpectedly like.

This book was hard to put down, despite thinking I knew who Megan would choose that didn't make reading this any less enjoyable and speculating any less fun. This was a great book full of intrigue and romance and for any fans of fantasy and/or YA I highly recommend you pick it up and give it a try. I can't wait to read the next book where the mirror will once again show someone three different paths they can follow in a pivotal moment in their life. I can't wait to find out the dilemma and what they'll chose.

*ARC provided by publisher
Reviewed by Suzanne❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
Profile Image for Christa.
850 reviews67 followers
January 12, 2018
Our main character Megan is in a bind. Her sister was betrothed as a bargain her father made to pay off this debts. Her sister has just died, but the debts are still to be paid, so Megan is going to be the bride.

She does get the choice of which brother to chose.
~ Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
~ Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
~ Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?

This is where the mirror comes in. It shows her what her life will be like with each brother. While each story starts the same, Megan’s choices concerning her husband will lead her to a different place.

I love this book so much. It was an excellent premise and it was executed so well. I loved the subtle differences with each timeline. My only criticism is that each timeline has similar plots, so by the time I got to the third timeline, it was a bit repetitive.

It’s got some fantasy elements, like the mirror. There are mentions of witches; the main character has a supernatural disposition for discernment and can use it to read motives and thoughts one person a day. Otherwise this reads like a historical fiction.

I’d recommend this book and can’t wait to see where this series goes. There are so many ideas and places this mirror can go.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Kensington Books for the opportunity to review this book.

Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews611 followers
January 26, 2018
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I always look forward to a good "what if" story, so I jumped at the chance to read THROUGH A DARK GLASS. Who wouldn't want to see the different outcomes a single choice could result in? This premise is a minefield of opportunity.

Unfortunately, THROUGH A DARK GLASS fell flat for me. The characters and the rules of the world are never completely fleshed out. Megan is special and capable, but she was overshadowed by her beautiful, older sister. The plot conveniently disposes of the sister, allowing Megan (who has a magical power, while no one else appears to have one) to encounter the magic mirror that lets her view three different futures. But we never really learn the how and why of it.

More importantly, Megan forgets the possible futures after she's lived through them. She has no opportunity to grow or to change any outcome. And because she's unaware that she's living through the same moments, entire paragraphs are repeated. I would have loved to read about Megan utilizing what she'd learned from the mirror to make a better life for herself. Instead, THROUGH A DARK GLASS relies on stereotypes and repetition to progress the plot, rather than motivation and character growth.

Sexual Content: Kissing, implied sex scenes
November 8, 2018
The glass of the [mirror] was smooth and perfect, and yet I didn’t see myself looking back. Instead, I found myself staring into the eyes of a lovely dark-haired woman in a black dress. “You are at a crossroad,” she said, “with three paths. I am bidden to give you a gift. You will live out three outcomes...to three difference choices. Then you will have the knowledge to know...to choose.” (Loc 244)

If you hate making decisions and always wonder “what if I had picked the other option”, Through a Dark Glass will be incredibly satisfying. This book was light, addictive, and YA age-appropriate (unlike Maas or high fantasy disguised as YA). I loved Hendee’s Noble Dead Saga (albeit most definitely not YA), so any of her works are a soft spot for me, and I ended up reading this cover to cover in one afternoon.

Set in a classic medieval-based fantasy world, Megan is the younger daughter of a high-powered noble family hiding an enormous debt incurred by the previous patriarch’s poor handling of finances (i.e. excessive drinking and gambling). After her older sister’s sudden (and untimely) death, Megan is forced to take her place as the promised wife to a lower-level nobility family offering a small fortune for a high-status bride. Her father demands the marriage go through to eliminate the secret debt and fortify her family’s status, but he grants her one “favor”: she can choose which of the three uncultured sons she will marry. In despair, Megan flees to an unused storage room where she discovers a large, ornate mirror. A woman appears on the surface and declares Megan will be given the opportunity to see how each marriage will play out before making her choice. The three subsequent parts of the book reveal how her life will go with each son, through every possible dramatic, scheming, romantic, independent, and murderous decision.

It’s hard not to say more about the political schemings and surprise twists throughout without ruining this book for future readers, so suffice to say each part forces Megan to face identical subsequent life-altering decisions, but the different choices she makes in each marriage create three distinctly different endings. Hendee’s writing is smooth and absorbing, and it was easy to get lost in this classic medieval world. Megan’s in-laws came with a great deal of family drama and each character had a strong and well-developed personality. While I was concerned there might be some character inconsistency among the three parts, each person stayed true to their nature (inconsistency is my pet peeve).

The mirror forces Megan to “live” each marriage as if she had already decided which son to marry (she is unaware that this is simply a future reveal or that she has already “lived” a previous marriage during each part), so we are able to see her experience three separate mini character arcs as well. While she starts out as something of a pushover, although fitting of a young woman in this period, we see her come into her own with every decision she faces in each of the three marriages. It is worth noting, though, that despite facing life-defining decisions, Megan does read as a young character.

The concept of seeing how one’s life would play out after a big life decision was fascinating. I would’ve loved this mirror at turning points in my life. However, I found at times that the three storylines became slightly repetitive. Occasional events (like Megan’s arrival at her new family’s estate) were written with nearly identical language between each marriage. Likewise, when I already knew the outcome of a decision Megan had previously faced once (or even twice) in an earlier part, I found myself skimming ahead.

Hendee gave Megan the ability to “read” a person’s intentions by seeing a vision of how a singular future event would play out if all went according to that person’s plans. While similar to the power of the woman in the mirror, Megan can only see exactly what the person plans to happen (the outcome, as we find out, does not always go according to plans). However, there hadn’t been much establishment of magic in this world previously, so this felt a tad out of place. Was this type of magic common? Did other people have similar or other abilities? This was one of a few unfinished subplots that forced the reader to pause mid-stride.

While the prologue gives some very brief background on the creation of the mirror and the woman’s entrapment inside it, it is unclear why Megan is given the opportunity to see how each marriage would play out. I assume we will see more in future books on the mysterious mirror woman’s background, and for that reason, I will likely read the sequels. While this book is certainly not the most complex novel, all in all, I couldn’t put it down. If you are looking for a fun and effortless YA read, this book is perfect.

Disclosure: I received this book through Goodreads’ Giveaways. This does not affect my opinion of the book or content of my review.

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190 reviews1 follower
November 6, 2017
I have never read a book by this author before, but found it on NetGalley and found the premise intriguing: Megan encounters a magic mirror that plays out a set of "what if" scenarios based on each of her three choices of husbands.

The book does a good job of walking through each choice and showing the butterfly effect, how when presented with a similar choice, every time was changed by who her husband was. I liked seeing how Megan was both the same and different depending on where life took her. Her core self didn't change, but how she used it and expressed it did. All three showed very realistic paths and that none would be perfect, because life itself isn't perfect. All three paths presented a future that was satisfying but on different levels and it comes down to what Megan values above all else. I thought by the end it was very obvious what her choice would be as I felt I came to know her enough to understand what she'd want.

I will say that by the third time through, I was skimming past what seemed like non-essential details where there would be no decision or changes and focused on the true turning points as a couple of things are consistent in all stories. A bit of the repetition could have possibly been cut out, but it would have left the later stories feeling less complete. As it is, you could chose to read her three options in any order and nothing would be lost and I feel that was deliberate.

This was a fun read and I'll be checking out the next one in the series when it comes out.
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,730 reviews534 followers
February 16, 2018

4.5 Stars

When Megan Chaumont’s sister dies, it’s up to Megan to take her place in a marriage bargain her father has set up. Three brothers will arrive and Megan has to chose which one she will marry. Megan was never meant to marry and she doesn’t know how she is supposed to chose. It’s serendipitous when a mirror appears which will show her the consequences of choosing each of the brothers. She will be shown the life she will have with each brother and then she will make her choice. Once she has made her choice her memory of the mirror and what she has viewed will disappear. So, which brother will she chose?

I’ve started 2018 off with a bang! I loved this book! I don’t read much fantasy YA, but I like Barb Hendee so I decided to give Through a Dark Glass a try. I am so glad I did, it was such an interesting concept. The mirror shows the beholder the life they will live when they make a certain choice. 17 year old Megan sees the life she will share with each brother if she chooses to marry him and then once she has viewed them, she then has to decide the kind of life she wants to live. Each brother offers her something that she wants for herself; power, independence, love. She must decide what she wants most.

I admit, that I had guessed which brother she would pick before her futures were shown to her and I became especially certain as the book came on. However, that didn’t mean that the book didn’t hold surprises, each of the brothers showed some secret part of themselves that you wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for the mirror. And, as each future held death, exile or both for someone it made the choice harder to make because of the consequences for characters you had come to understand and unexpectedly like.

This book was hard to put down, despite thinking I knew who Megan would choose that didn’t make reading this any less enjoyable and speculating any less fun. This was a great book full of intrigue and romance and for any fans of fantasy and/or YA I highly recommend you pick it up and give it a try. I can’t wait to read the next book where the mirror will once again show someone three different paths they can follow in a pivotal moment in their life. I can’t wait to find out the dilemma and what they’ll chose.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,103 reviews458 followers
January 5, 2018
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
*Rating* 3.5


Through a Dark Glass is the first installment in author Barb Hendee's Dark Glass series. 17-year old Megan is the youngest daughter of the House of Chaumont. She has a special talent that has long provided an advantage for her father. But, after her older sister unexpectedly dies before the arrival of her suitors who she is supposed to pick whom to marry, Megan is shoved into the untenable position of having to choose between three brothers; Rolf, Sebastian, and Kai Volodane's.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Robin Goodfellow.
Author 3 books19 followers
December 19, 2017
-I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Through a Dark Glass, by Barb Hendee, is a dark fairytale about choosing between independence and love, and whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of a happy end.

The book begins with the introduction of a witch that had become enslaved to the very mirror she enchanted. Years later, a young noble girl named Megan Chaumont is going to have to go through an arranged marriage in order to save her family from debt, though she gets to choose from three brothers. As she tries to decide, she stumbles across an ancient mirror, whom reveals to her the consequences of her choices. As the mirror dives into the choices of each of the princes, she sees that the paths aren’t the same, and that though she achieves a happy end, each one carries its own sorrows and burdens.

I enjoyed reading through the different choices. At first, I preferred her to be with Kai, because he seemed to be the most passionate. However, through Rolf she became more independent, and while she didn’t have the love she wanted, she did attain the political power needed to change the world. With her and Sebastian, she doesn’t have any of her independence, and has to rely on her husband for nearly everything. It was only until the very end did she realize that she didn’t need any man to make her feel safe. I enjoyed Kai the most obviously, because while she does become a strong woman, she maintains that balance between love and independence, and realizes she doesn’t have to be alone in life, that she can rely on someone to keep her safe. I loved that dynamic.

I loved the overarching concepts present in this book. I know a lot of men and women who would prefer to put their careers ahead of their love life and family life. It’s resulted in a lot of heartache, pain, sadness, but most often, loneliness. On the other hand, I also know a lot of people, mainly conservative, who would choose their family and love over their careers, and while this can be a good thing, it can also blind a lot of people to morality. Much like the other end of the spectrum, other values such as morality, independence, peace, and ambition become null and void.

As such, I would give this book a 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. I loved reading through the different choices. The words and thoughts are familiar, but Megan’s reactions were different. With the turning points and with lives on the line, Megan realized that she made best with what she had. While I would’ve personally chosen Rolf, simply because no one dies, in the end, Megan still decided to make decisions based on her happiness. Because of this, I would recommend the book to fans of Gail Levine Carson.
Profile Image for Sasha Knight.
60 reviews11 followers
February 9, 2019
I enjoy “What if?” stories, so this worked for me. What I highly disliked was the large amount of line editing and proofing errors, so many missing words, wrong word use, verb tense issues... Made me wonder if a copy editor was used at all. If the story hadn’t held my interest, I would’ve stopped reading because of the sheer quantity of errors. I want to get lost in a book, and constantly getting jarred out of a story because words are missing isn’t the way to keep me engaged. 4 star read, 2 stars for line editing issues.
Profile Image for Alexandra G..
646 reviews1 follower
November 11, 2018
3.5 stars

What a story! Couldn't put it down all day.

Unfortunately, I could tell from the beginning which one she will choose. She described each of them and I just knew. (or had my suspicions about)
I would have also liked it more if the choice wasn't so obvious or easy in the end. Because while all three choices have good parts and bad parts, I feel like one of them is made better by the author.

Anyway, the book was good and I hope the next one will be too.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,124 reviews56 followers
March 4, 2019
This is the perfect read for anyone who likes a dark twist on the classic fairytale as well as romance. I actually read this series out of order, but it doesn't matter since each is a standalone. You can grab any of the books depending on the fairytale world you are interested in.
Profile Image for Kathryn G..
238 reviews4 followers
March 1, 2019
Everything about this book was just yes. I LOVED it. It's so unique from anything I've ever read before. And I just picked this up at random! Best bookish discovery since Jackaby, for sure. I'm now SUPER curious about the next book.
Profile Image for Tandie.
1,465 reviews213 followers
May 19, 2020
2.5 stars, barely finished. The writing was good, so I’m rounding up to 3 stars on Goodreads. The story repetition could’ve been shortened A LOT. By the third brother, I was kind of done. Also, third bro was too emo for my patience. MC was a Mary Sue martyr.
Profile Image for Alana Bloom .
419 reviews39 followers
February 1, 2019
Whisked away to a Faraway Land with the roll of the dice, I decided to read this book that was on my shelves. Sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure, Through a Dark Glass shows readers what each of Megan's decisions could mean for her future. I enjoyed it for what it was as a YA book but the repetition started to make me feel like it was Groundhog Day. I enjoyed that Hendee altered Megan's growth according to her decisions. The relationships needed to be fleshed out more. The only one that was ended up being my favorite. Overall, I would read the next in the series, but I'm not rushing to get there.
Profile Image for Deborah.
949 reviews4 followers
December 25, 2017
Megan finds out on her eighteenth birthday she is to marry one of the Volodane brothers after her sister dies. Her family is heavily in debt but are still a family of standing. The Volodane's have wealth but no standing in society. The match will improve their standing in society and help Megan's family with their debt. Her only saving grace is Megan gets to choose which of the three brothers she wants to marry.

During dinner, Megan becomes flustered knowing she's being forced to do this and she has to get some fresh air. Once she flees, she goes to a cellar she frequented as a child for comfort. There a lady appears in a magic mirror and offers Megan a chance to see her future with each of the brothers, thereby helping her make the right choice for her.

Through a Dark Glass was an unexpected read for me! The blurb intrigued me, but I usually do not read Young Adult. I was pleasantly surprised! This book was very interesting and definitely held my interest. It has a historical feel because of the rules of society and how women were viewed during this period of time.

The idea of getting a glimpse of one's future when faced with a difficult choice leads to quite a story! Although some of the events still happen with each brother, each vision has a twist. Each vision was different enough though with each brother having their own way of treating Megan. I had my favorite brother, and in the end I knew which I would have chosen. I was pleased when Megan chose the same path!

If you are looking for a fanciful romance, this is not that book though. There are romantic elements, but that is not the main focus. This story was well-written and moved along at a good pace. Being the first book in the Dark Glass series, I see subsequent books having bigger variances in the visions of the choices to make. I enjoyed it, and all and all, it was a good start to Barb Hendee's new series!

5 Stars/2 Flames
This book was gifted to me and I chose to leave a voluntary review. The review and ratings are solely my opinions.
Profile Image for Tina.
93 reviews14 followers
September 9, 2018
Monotonous. 2/3 of the book was copy paste... I felt the characters were flat, no choice of the mirror reveal created substantial growth. Further roles of gender/social status/ etc were made very clear and I felt irritated throughout. Her husband watches his new wife be injured by father that's cool... Oh and this story arc is respect. Are you serious?
Profile Image for Rebecca.
210 reviews36 followers
August 1, 2018
This was not what I was expecting at all. Two stars is verging on "dislike" even though technically the tagline for the rating is "it was ok." I thought there would be more of a struggle between Megan's three choices as described in the book blurb...I didn't expect the novel to actually be just three separate stories. It only took me a couple hours to finish reading but I was skimming a lot because let's face it, reading the SAME THING three times with variations is just really boring. Yes, the stories veer off toward the end of each but most of the same events happen in each and the dialogue and plot are essentially the same, word for word. I actually ended up liking Rolf's story the best, most likely because it was actually interesting at that point since I didn't know what was going to happen yet. Too much of the second and third stories were just a copy/paste of the first.

Let me give a better summary than the book blurb, for those deciding to read this...

Each story ends abruptly and the ending of the book is even more abrupt, you get a quick rehash of what each brother "offers" her and bam, she makes her oh-so-obvious choice, which just so happens to be the most boring one. The End. Yes, really, that's how this novel was written.
Profile Image for Emily.
128 reviews9 followers
November 26, 2017
Title: Through a Dark Glass (Dark Glass #1)
Author: Barb Hendee
Format: Kindle (Goodreads Giveaway)

[ Enjoyed ] Mostly yes.
[ Last Read ] Finished last night.
[ Reread ] Probably won't.

[ Cover Lust ] No.
[ Intriguing Title ] No.
[ Interesting Premise/Plot ] At first, no. After paying attention, yes.
[ Preview Impressions ] Did not preview. (Unavailable at the time.)

[ Kept My Attention ] Yes.
[ Got Bored / Mind Wandering ] No.
[ Skimmed/Skipped Scenes/Chapters ] No.
[ Reread Past Scenes For Fun ] No.
[ Reread Past Scenes Cause My Memory Sucks To Clear Confusion ] Yes, but only to compare how much stayed the same or changed with each path.

[ Stayed Up Late ] Yes.
[ Took a Long Break Midway ] Nope.
[ Ending Left Me Feeling ] Really Megan? You made your choice that easily?

[ Easy Light Reading ] Yes.
[ Turn Brain Off ] No.
[ Guilty Pleasure ] Not really.

Other thoughts I'm throwing in: (Might contain spoilers; I fail at identifying them.)

When I first skimmed the blurb on what Through a Dark Glass is about, I was like, "Is this another girl forced to marry but can't decide which dude she loves kind of thingy...?" After paying more attention, realized this is not romance, but it still made me think of otome/dating sim games with the different paths and wanting to see each ending. (Reading it does not feel like an otome game though.)

What I like most about Through a Dark Glass is how it feels like three stories in one, and together they combine into one the whole picture. It is interesting seeing how Megan's personality/self-esteem/confidence changes depending on who she marries, making each path not so redundant and obviously changing the outcomes. But I cannot decide if omitting repeating details/descriptions in the second and third paths is to reduce redundancy (on us the readers) or because Megan did not take notice (despite her memory being wiped each time).

Some things were predictable, some things surprised me. The ending disappoints me, because each choice has its pros and cons--none being the best--and I would rather be left not knowing who Megan picks, so that I can imagine her picking whoever (and change my mind as I want based on my mood.) But I guess she picked what made her happiest, even though she never consistently desired that aspect. (Or I simply missed it.)

Profile Image for Ruthsic.
1,763 reviews12 followers
January 5, 2018
Warnings: homomisia, murder, domestic abuse

The story in this novel is a unique one in that it's three similar stories with the same characters. The opening sets up the stage - the MC is told she has to choose between the three sons of a lower Noble family (who she is being sold to by her higher Noble father) and while she is panicking over the choice, a magic mirror offers to show her the different futures she will have with either of them.

Then the story shows is the three different paths her life takes. In one she ultimately gets respect, in another she receives safety and ultimately Independence and in the last, she gets love and belonging. Neither of the choices are bad, in fact, in each she goes through a series of ups and downs to get a happy ending. The choice is in what she wants for herself, and trusting herself to that decision after she makes it and loses memory of the precognitions shown to her.

But the uniqueness of the book is also its flaw - the stories are repetitive. There are some minor differences according to which choice was made, but some scenes are the same and play out similarly across all three scenarios and are being repeated on text, too, despite the reader already reading through two iterations of the former. Some were pivotal, I agree, like when she first arrives in the manor to how she takes charge of the household but some others feel pointless - like her writing to her father about Allemond (and of which nothing comes about) or the preparations for the first dinner or even what dress she wears during that dinner!

And there isn't much character development when you think that these four men behave differently in each scenario. Kai doesn't seem like a good soul until like Sebastian's scenario or passionate until his own. Also, the fact that in different scenarios they behave differently to their father bullying her. On the whole, as an experiment in storytelling it works out well, but if you think deeply about it, it is just the excitement of which choice she's going to make that keeps the story going. The writing is okay, but not impressive

Shortly, it's an interesting read and if you like romances it is for you. But it can also be repetitive and bland at times.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Rebel Base Books, via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Ashlyn.
60 reviews
February 14, 2019
What an intriguing idea! To have a magic mirror show you the outcomes of your choices. I was hooked right when I started reading this book.
Helena was betrothed to one of three sons (that she could choose), but on the day of their arrival she died! (holy cow!!!???) Thus bequeathing the betrothal to Megan, our MC. After first seeing the three suitors in the dining hall, she fled to her secret hideout to quench her nerves. A magic mirror appeared and offered to show her the life she would have with each of the three sons. Then she could decide. How cool is that beginning? How could I stop after that?
Rolf's story was pretty good. I liked how things turned out, but Megan wasn't truly happy. She had power and was able to use her secret skill so that they would have success, but it was one of those sad political romances.
Sebastian's story wasn't a surprise to me. I could see it coming. The fact that she went off to live with Miriam and two servants in their summer home made it seem okay, but I'm a hopeless romantic and I was sad that the love interest was gone.
Kai's story was by far my favorite and I'm so happy she chose that one! It felt more real; the miscommunications, the small acts of love, the declaration of love, the trust and friendship, the arguments, the forgiveness, and everything in between. It was so fun to see her life turn out wonderfully :) Team Kai!!
**end of spoilers**
In the end, I loved this book. The writing style was easy to understand, but still had a flair of olde english, the characters were relatable and different, and the way the story flowed was perfect. I was interested the entire time. There was nothing inappropriate written, but it does reference marital intercourse. Nothing in detail. Can't wait to read more of Hendee's work!
Profile Image for Leanne.
121 reviews30 followers
June 6, 2019
I love the premise of this book. A young girl needs to make a decision that will affect her future and a magic mirror turns up to show her the different outcomes. It all sounded so intriguing but the execution of it all fell flat.

First of all there is no world building. Megan has powers, magic, but no one else has them and they're not explained. They're just...there. There is a council and nobles but I have no clue where this novel is set. I'm assuming the normal medieval England fantasy land.

Her sister dies in the very beginning but Megan never mourns her and we're never told anything about their relationship before hand. Did they not get along and that's why Megan's not upset at her dying?

The men are just horrible. Every single character is horrible really with the possible exception of Miriam. Even Megan. There are times I wanted to throttle her because she has zero spine. And because every time things reset she has no character growth either. You have to read over how she basically makes the same mistakes every time.

The repetitiveness was the most annoying aspect of this book. Paragraphs seemed to be copied and every part followed the same sequence of events with only tiny variations. Megan would have the same conversations and reactions every time because she didn't know better. I would have loved to see how knowing about the other times affected her new decisions but the story didn't work out that way.

And there were so many mistakes, mostly missing words or grammar mistakes. The book could have done with a good editing.

I know I'm focusing a lot on the negatives but I did really want to love this book because the idea behind it is so intriguing and I was so disappointed when it was mostly just ok.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sherry.
725 reviews11 followers
January 23, 2018
2.5 stars

The idea behind this book is unique. By her father’s order, a young woman named Megan must choose one of three brothers as a husband. A magic mirror appears and shows her the future consequences of each marriage. Megan then uses that knowledge to make her choice, after which she forgets the other two possible outcomes and lives out the life she chose.

In practice, the book is a bit repetitive, and because it’s essentially three stories in one book, the character development isn’t as deep as it might otherwise be. Each of the three sections starts in the same way, although the further forward in time the narrative goes, the more they differ as events play out. It’s interesting to see how the alternate futures diverge over time, even if it’s harder to get invested in the characters and really care what happens to them.

The biggest weakness in the story for me was that I had an idea early on which brother would be the eventual choice, just because of how he was described. I did like the fact that there’s no perfect future; somebody dies in each scenario, and Megan can’t alter events, since she forgets what she’s seen. Still, even though the author tries to make the outcome of each choice have something attractive about it, one of them clearly has more positives than negatives, which diluted the impact of the ending.

I’m curious about the next entry in the series, though, and whether it’s possible for the author to balance the benefits and costs of each outcome more evenly, making the choice between them less obvious. I think I’m going to give it a try and see, even if this book was only so-so for me.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Sue's Romance Reviews.
292 reviews80 followers
January 24, 2018
The premise of this book, in my opinion, is ingenious.  For 1 heroine to live out 3 different lives and at the end, having to choose but not remember why she made the choice... I love it.  This book is riveting.  It kept me up late to find out what happened next.

The one thing about this book that readers may not like is the repitition.  However, I believe it is necessary.  For Megan to choose wisely, she would need to live through the same experiences with all the brothers.  Then based on how they react or don't react, she now has her own decisions to make.

When I was first introduced to the Volodane men in the book, I did not like them.  Their father, Jarrod, is brutish and demanding.  The eldest Rolf seems grasping and hard.  The middle brother, Sebastian, seems to be vain but friendly.  The youngest, Kai, seems angry, petulant and brooding.
Throughout the 3 scenarios Megan lives through, my opinion on each of them changes vastly.  My assumptions are put aside to realize the fact that one decision can affect others in a positive or
negative way.

There is love, alliances, death, murder, intrigue, happiness, sadness, conflict and everything in between.  Every life she leads in engrossing, you end up loving and sometimes disliking the same characters.  I didn't want the story to end. This one should definetly grace your TBR list.

 I can't wait to read the next instalment.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington-Rebel Based books for the ARC.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sarah.
68 reviews3 followers
January 19, 2018
This book was provided to me via Netgalley.

The premise of this book had me hooked immediately - who doesn't love to think about how a story would've turned out if a character made just one decision differently? A book that actually shows you the different possibilities? Sign me up!

Beside that, I was also curious to see how the author managed to make each possibilitiy new and fresh, and not repetitive. Short answer: She didn't. There are long parts where everything is exactly the same, and even the wording doesn't change. By the time I reached the third possibility, I was skipping paragraphs at a time, reading only what was different to before. It was a relief when I finally reached the part where the storylines started to diverge more strongly.

That being said, it is a good book. The characters especially are very well-written, and you get to know them quite well while reading about the three possibilities. The premise is intriguing and once you get past the repetitive parts, the different possibilities are interesting.

If not for the repetitiveness, this would probably have been a five star book. As it is, I can only give it three and am left feeling oddly dissatisfied.
Profile Image for Ozsaur.
701 reviews
January 15, 2018
I was intrigued by the idea, and I wasn't disappointed in the execution. A young woman of noble blood is forced to marry one of three brothers from a lesser house: Jarrod, Sebastian, or Kai.

After fleeing the welcoming party, Megan finds herself in a room with a magic mirror. The mirror lets her see each life she could have depending on who she chooses. They are all very different from each other, and will bring different joys and challenges.

What I found most interesting was what kind of woman Megan became depending on which brother she chose, so the story is more about Megan than the brothers. Who does Megan want to become?

The story has a Groundhog Day format with the basic framework being repeated three times. There were some subtle changes in each iteration, but I found myself skimming the beginning bits by the third repetition. I did enjoy how each part was so different while maintaining the basic structure.

I also liked Megan. No matter which brother she chose, she remained a smart and strong young woman who grows into herself.

I enjoyed it and will probably read the next book in the series.
426 reviews3 followers
June 24, 2020
An interesting way of storytelling, by showing the lead character three choices and then walking her through each of them. She grows and develops a little differently in each one, which is nice. There's also a lot of dramatic irony and dramatic tension because of things the reader knows from previous paths the character has walked, but that the character does not know, so there were a few times in the second and third instances where I found myself cringing away from the book because I knew what was going to happen and it was about to be Bad. One flaw to this approach is that because some of the events are the same, there's repetition and samey-ness to some of the stories that I think could have been handled better, perhaps through tighter editing and review.

In the end, I would have chosen differently than Megan does, but she and I value different things, and I can appreciate why she chose what she did. I can also appreciate that each path contained core themes that were similar while being meaningfully different, and I liked that as well.

An enjoyable read, if not the best thing I've read this year.
Profile Image for Laura Larson.
287 reviews11 followers
February 28, 2018
Whew! What a rollercoaster! Megan has 3 choices, and none of them are ideal. Marrying Rolf means she can have great power (albeit behind the scenes) to ease the suffering of many people... but she will never have true love and she will never have a child. Marrying Sebastian gives her Independence, a dream she had better considered possible, but she will still never have a child or know love. Marrying Kai (is anyone else annoyed by this name?) means she will know love, have children, and ease the suffering of her people... but only after Rolf dies, Sebastian is banished, and both Jarrod and Kai are terribly injured. I see a lot of reviews seeing this choice is too simple, but I don't agree. For a girl who never expected to be ANYTHING- not powerful, not independent, not happy, not a wife, not a mother- this must've been very difficult at best. With Kai, she can help the villages nearby, but with Rolf she can influence the entire country. In all 3 scenarios she will be content with what she has, and she will never know what might have been.
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