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El espejo oscuro

(The Bridei Chronicles #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  9,004 ratings  ·  499 reviews
En el misterioso mundo de los pictos, en la Escocia del siglo VI, el pequeño Bridei es enviado a casa del druida Broichan, que se encargará de su educación. El consejo de ancianos tiene grandes planes para él, llamado a suceder a su padre, el rey Malecón de Gwynnedd, en el agitado reino de Fortiu.
Paperback, 623 pages
Published 2010 by Maeva (first published September 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  9,004 ratings  ·  499 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Come with me now, now, I need you . . . Showing her with his hands, his mouth, his body just what this need had become, a thing that seemed fit to devour him unless it were satisfied . . .
Said girl is 13 years old. DO. NOT. WANT.

I love Juliet Marillier, but this series is not among my favorites. It was a confusing book. It's set in a Pictish 500 AD or so era, with some magic and druidism, and tbh I have no idea wtf it is that a druid does and what the main character (Bridei) is meant to do.
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I rounding my rating up to a 3, but only because it's Marillier.

I'm a huge fan of her Sevenwaters trilogy; after reading the reviews, I ended up buying The Dark Mirror used. I agree with a lot of what has been said here: this book may not be bad as far as general fantasy is concerned, but for Marillier it's lackluster. Worth reading if you're a fan, but not her best effort.

The Dark Mirror, written in third person, mostly follows Bridei, the hero. There is a "heroine," Tuala, but her entire lif
Admittedly, I have not read many epic fantasies so I have very few works to compare The Dark Mirror to (I’m fairly certain this would constitute as an epic fantasy). I was worried when I began that I was not going to like the book but I stuck it out and am glad that I did. Once involved in the story I truly enjoyed it and it had absolutely no problems holding my attention. The reader is introduced to the characters and the world in such a way that it is easy to understand the complexities of the ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
~4 and a half stars~ (I can't go any lower for a Marillier book)

This review and more at
Before even starting this book, I knew I would like it. It's written by one of my favorite authors - one that never lets me down. It's another amazing tale of twisted fate and Otherworld influences. I loved the two main characters, Bridei and Tuala (although Tuala kept reminding me of Sorcha, my favorite Marillier character from Daughter of the Forest). Bridei is courageous a
Sotiris Karaiskos
I first learn about the author and appreciated her very much - as most do - through the Sevenaters series. I really liked the combination of historical context and fantasy, this innocent romance and this beautiful look at female nature, without the usual very popular exaggerations. In this series she does something similar, taking us to Scotland of the sixth century - before it was called thus - at a time when it was still under the control of the Picts, and by taking events from history and add ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually rating 3.5 stars

Like always Juliet Marillier amazes me with the rich words and complex characters as well as original plots.

This book follows Bridei and Tuala , two children that are bound by gods to be much more then they expected from their lives.

I had only one problem with this book and that was the little time Bridei and Tuala spend with each other, I mean they fall in love after they grew up together as best friends/brother and sister but the transition was so weird that I felt n
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Midwinter Eve, a devoted, lonely boy finds a baby, left on his foster father’s doorstep by moonlight tucked in a soft, down basket. Raised strongly on Druidic belief; Bridei promises the Shining One to be this child’s protector, knowing too well how the folk of a Druidic household will take to a baby, clearly left by the Good Folk (Realm of Fey).

554 AD Bridei, King of the Picts (Priteni) led his people against the Gaels of Dalriada; this story was so deftly told, I kept forgetting that it was ba
Ashley Daviau
Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A firm nope from me after 100 pages. I can already feel my brain turning to mush and I’m not putting myself through another 412 pages of torture.
The Dark Mirror is a strange read. It's artistic, it's artsy, it's character-strong and character-weak... Early on I thought I might give it 4 stars, but now I can't bring myself to give it 3...

Pros: Prose; lots of nice prose, though not amazing. The supporting characters offer a lot to the book as well, with a variety of interesting and unique personalities. The plotting varies, sometimes moving very quickly and sometimes quite slowly, but it is mostly strong and compelling.

Cons: Very weak main
This is a good book. The writing is fairly good, the world well researched and evocative, the action well paced, and the story resolves well emotionally while leaving the larger plot open for the next two novels. Its main flaw is that it seems so terribly familiar. It is an imaginative chronicling of Bridei, son of Maelchon, who ruled the Picts in Scotland in the 11th century, but it could be any number of historical fantasy novels. There is the requisite young boy destined for greatness; his di ...more
Amelia, free market Puritan
Okay, I *love* this book!!! like, incredibly love it!!!
Excellent blend of history and fantasy in a quite unique timeperiod: writing about the 6th century Picts is no easy feat, since most of their culture has been lost. I will caution that this is a very "wordy" book: Juliet Marillier is very good about drawing readers into her story through vividly descriptive passages. In other words, she spends a lot of time, I think, on details, and sometimes that can seem overwhelming. Fact and fiction may
This took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish considering I had Spring break. This wasn't because the book was difficult or boring. It was well-written and moved at a good pace. Bridei was nicely developed (though I do have some difficulty imagining a 5 year old with his maturity) and likeable. He was not unnecessarily described to be toughest and the best of the lot, he was just the most worthy to become king. Tuala was the other protagonist, described to be selfless, loyal and true. She i ...more
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
Dear Juliet Marillier,


For this story.

And I:


This story was epic. I swear, I think I've nearly read every single on of Marillier's books and each of them I loved.

This one was so filled with action, with intrigue and with ancient religious practices (some that was severely creepy to me!)

The romance was sweet, i swear Marillier is a form of 'word-wizard' she just draws you into her tales dashed with mesmerizing intrigues and bittersweet conflicts!

She makes the characters so loveable!

We begin th
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pagans and Picts
Shelves: fantasy
This was my first read by Juliet Marillier and I found it captivating. Bridei and Tuala were easy to like and identify with. I especially appreciated Tuala's struggle with finding her place as a woman in this society. In fact, the theme of a woman's role and the pagan vs. christian religions reminded me of The Mists of Avalon (one of my all-time favorites).

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Marillier's descriptions of the scenery, gods, pagan ceremonies, etc. Usually I get bored by that kind
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
The Bridei chronicles have been a wonderful series. I can't wait until the next one is releases in the US. One thing I have always been impressed about in Marillier's work is her absolute shamelessness in making religion a huge part of her storyline. The bridei Chronicles are an amazing example of this. Of course, the religion is pagan, and they are battling the Christians, but they are very tireless in their worship. It's a nice change from author's who refuse to even acknowledge how important ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witches-magic

“Tales within tales. Dreams within dreams. Pattern on pattern and path beyond path. For such short-lived folks, the human kind seem determined to make things as complicated as possible for themselves.”
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thinking of giving this 3 stars as it was too slow but I did really enjoy the last chapters (opening interesting options for what might come next) so I am giving it 4 stars.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this a long time ago, but for some reason could not remember what it was about (you know how it is) and so I read it again, because I wanted to read the next two books in the series. I actually found out, I have read the next one, but didn't know it until I saw the name Faolan in The Dark Mirror. But I don't know if I 've read the third one, so I'll continue in my re-reading journey-it's always worth it with Juliet Marillier.And this is saying a lot for me, because I don't ever re-read bo ...more
I'm done with Bridei and his stupid druidic adventures. Done. I'm glad the next book is not based on him and Tuala, because if I have to read about him one more time, I will scream.

This book was so slow. There was no plot whatsoever in the first half of the book. Things began to pick up later on, but I was already too bored to even be engaged. There were many times where I wondered if I DNF this or not, but then I thought to myself, I loved Marillier as a kid, and pushed through. I probably shou
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Bridei's destiny is to one day become king, the druid Broichan and his secret council have worked hard towards this even before Bridei was born. They planned every step and every aspect of Bridei's life, save one.

Tuala was a gift from the gods, a daughter of the goddess and a child of the Good Folk. She and Bridei grew up together, much to Broichan's dismay, but even he would not turn his back on what was seen to be the will of the gods. But neither would he trust her, especially with Bridei.

Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always wanted to read this book series, but somehow the story about the growing up of a druid's foster son and the strange little girl he finds one morning on his doorstep did not seem interesting enough to me.
After the first few sentences I was completely captured by this book and the story.
I really enjoyed the point of view, which made it possible to be everywhere from time to time, looking into Bridei's thoughts as well as Tuala's, and even some of the Good Folk.
Also, I usually do not reall
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite a very slow start (it took me some months so get through it) I ended up really enjoying this. I shipped it.
Luna Logan
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juliet Marillier is my favorite fantasy writer. Over ten years ago, I picked up Daughter of the Forest and read the entire series voraciously. She specializes in Celtic fantasy and historical fiction, flourishes in natural rhetoric, and borders the fairy tale format. As a whole, her writing tends to follow female protagonists faced with incredible odds during times of structural change.

The Dark Mirror is very distinct from her previous works, but still follows themes and veins characteristic to
Jul 03, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Why can I not read this book? I usually love Marillier, and I can tell the writing is fine, but I've tried to start this a couple of times and it never seems to "take." ...more
Elizabeth Tai
When you bought an entire series only to realise you can't stand the main characters. Sigh. -_- ...more
Sandy Lender
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, history fans
Excellent Fantasy Story

When Bridei arrives at Pitnochie as a four-year-old, Juliet Marillier lets the reader see the unsure thoughts of the druid Broichan who will mentor and educate him. We get to wonder if this little child will be able to handle all that Broichan has planned for him. And the mystery just keeps piling on from there. Marillier reveals little pieces of the puzzle as the story unfolds, as Bridei takes lessons in magic, in history, in battle, in strategy, etc. Marillier lets Bride
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Bridei is only 4 years old when he arrives at Pitnochie, his new home with foster father Briochan, a druid of power and influence in the kingdom of Fortriu. Although there's little time for play, Bridei comes to love his sheltered, disciplined upbringing. He knows he's been uprooted from his family and specially tutored for a purpose, but he's not sure what, and he will learn nothing from calculating Briochan. But Briochan will learn quickly that not everything is under his control when Bridei, ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great well written start to this series! I've read her Sevenwaters books and loved them so I couldn't wait to start this and was not disappointed. The one issue I had was Bridei and tuala spent too much time apart, BUT that being said, there aren't a lot of authors that can do that and STILL hold my attention. It's a testament to how great a writer she is that not only do you care about the story and characters, but you are never bored even when not much is happening or when the MC's are apart. ...more
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I love Juliet Marillier's books and kept comparing this one to her others. This is a complex story of 6th century Scotland, and Marillier brings it alive beautifully. I love learning about the Druids and the old religion and life in that era. This story is a tale of a a boy who is, unknown to him, destined to be King and a clandestine group with a plan to span 15 years of preparing him. At the same time the beings of the Otherworld have their own plan with the same goal but with many twists and ...more
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Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and Bachelor of Music (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a majo ...more

Other books in the series

The Bridei Chronicles (3 books)
  • Blade of Fortriu (The Bridei Chronicles, #2)
  • The Well of Shades (The Bridei Chronicles, #3)

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