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Dark Mirror

(Dark Mirror #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,859 ratings  ·  388 reviews
At sixteen, Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life and her choice of mates worthy of her status. Then she makes a terrifying discovery that will ruin her life and disgrace her family forever. Tory's blood is tainted... by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to reveal her despised skill, she is
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published February 17th 2011)
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Kat What do you mean by "clean"? There is some romantic interest between characters, but so far all I've read is a kiss that got a little steamy. Nothing …moreWhat do you mean by "clean"? There is some romantic interest between characters, but so far all I've read is a kiss that got a little steamy. Nothing overtly sexual, so maybe ok for a 14 yo.(less)
Kat I would say that is good for a 14yo reader, so maybe 8th grade-ish. The language isn't too difficult, but there is a kissing scene, and the characters…moreI would say that is good for a 14yo reader, so maybe 8th grade-ish. The language isn't too difficult, but there is a kissing scene, and the characters are 16+ so maybe it's not great for a younger audience.(less)

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jv poore
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is such a neat little book. At a blush, I could say that this endearing 17th century story is about royalty, magic and time travel. While, indeed, we do get that; I feel that the story is about so much more. For me, it is about making choices. Throughout the story, there are reminders that everyone has the free will to make a cognizant decision: choose your own path, or comfortably follow the herd. Further, we are reminded that this doesn’t have to be a permanent, one-time-only choice. We c ...more
This could have been so good - and the beginning was indeed extremely promising: A young English Lady born into an alternative version of the Georgian era who is able to fly! A society which has chosen to shun gentryfolk with magical abilities, but embraces the "tainted blood" in commoners out of convenience. A gothic, prison-like boarding-school that is meant to un-magic the rich boarders, who represent a burden and a genetic embarrassment for their families. And finally ... a club of secret ma ...more
Feb 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
When I heard Mary Jo Putney, like many authors, had jumped on the YA bandwagon, at first I was skeptical. But after reading the blurb for Dark Mirror and seeing it was a YA historical paranormal, I decided to give it a read. Let me get this out of the way first and say that the first half of Dark Mirror is lovely. The heroine, Tory is wonderfully written and insightful. Mary Jo, or rather, M.J. has created a magic and mystical world. But then it was like someone threw a bucket of cold water over ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hesitate to rate the book because I didn't make it past the first chapter. For what it's worth, here's what ruined the book for me.

I am a fan of Regency-era books and the author seems not to have considered the period at all when setting her story in 1803 (just prior to Regency, really, but close enough for throwing hand grenades). Examples:
- Long-term fashions dictated by a secret cabal of nobles (secret cabals dictated fashion all the time, but never long term—this is how fads came to be so
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
M.J. Putney, a.k.a. Mary Jo Putney, is a well-known author of romance novels. In Dark Mirror, Putney makes her young adult debut. Dark Mirror is a blend of fantasy and historical romance set in an alternate history in which magic exists and is legal, but is considered gauche, fit only for the lower classes.

In 1803, young Victoria Mansfield learns she has magic and knows she must keep it secret if she is to make a good marriage. The jig is up when, at a crowded fete, she has to use her powers to
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Historical fiction.... magic... and time travel... and a love story! Is there anything this novel doesn't have!?!? Dark Mirror was a historical fiction, inside of a historical fiction!

The thing that I loved about this novel was the descriptions..... talk about being transported back in time, wow, I absolutely felt like I was there, in both instances. Even more interesting was the strangely similar parallels between Tory's own world and the Napoleonic war and the World War II battle she faces in
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I've read a few historical romances by Mary Jo Putney, and I think they're among the most intelligent and sophisticated of the genre. (Specifically, River of Fire and Dancing on the Wind... I think after she finished the Fallen Angels series, her work got significantly less interesting, perhaps [understandably] having exhausted most of her better ideas after 10+ historical romances.) So I think it's great that instead of writing more romance novels that are less unique, she decided to try her ha ...more
Small Review
I had been anticipating this book all the way back to when it had a different cover, so I was very happy when I was asked if I would like a copy for review. I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it, but I did not love it.

As a character girl, I had to subtract some stars because I just could not connect with the characters. They weren’t bad or annoying, but they never felt alive to me. When I did the WWMCD test (that’s the What Would the Main Character Do? Test) I find these characters did no
Erica (storybookend)
Dark Mirror was such a fantastic fresh novel! I loved it, and while it isn’t without its faults, I still found the story fascinating and the characters very likable. I believe that most fans of young adult novels will like this book, if not love. And I can say that I was very pleased with it.

Dark Mirror is the story of Tory who finds at the beginning of the novel that she has magical powers. She is a mage. After a happenstance that forced her to reveal her powers, she is sent to Lackland Abbey t
Steph Su
DARK MIRROR is a doozy of a novel. It seems to cover a little dash of every genre—fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, romance—and while it doesn’t fully develop the possibilities that these multiple genres allow, and used quite a few YA tropes to push its nonstop pace along, it was still overall a rollicking good read.

DARK MIRROR focuses on plot over characterization. The book’s synopsis says practically nothing about the plot, which made it an interesting reading experience for me bec
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Let me count the ways!

Tory was an amazing protagonist. She’s smart, strong, and yet still vulnerable. In the beginning she was so brainwashed by her society, that she didn’t even consider the idea that magic could be good.
The main idea of high society considering magic as disgraceful was very creative. I loved the short prologue that revealed why magic was decided to be a lower class thing. In most any book concerning magic, it is usually the coveted thing. If peo
Dec 18, 2010 rated it liked it
It seems that some novels have a hard time deciding what genre they fall under. A hybrid of historical fiction with a touch of fantasy, the first few pages of Dark Mirror had me thinking I would fall head over heels for this book. Unfortunately, by the time I finished, I was left feeling that the story had too many elements that didn’t fit with one another.

As I said, this novel is a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy, and while I wasn’t fanatical about the writing at first, I was quick to
A friend received an ARC at ALA midwinter and sent this book my way. I am glad that she did. Lady Victoria Mansfield is exiled from her family when it is discovered she is a mage. At Lackland, the school nobles send their mageling children for the "cure," Tory learns that her magic just might not be a curse but a tool given to her to help save Britain for invading forces, both in her time and beyond.

Tory is spunky and likable; she both loathes the fact that she has magic, since it makes her an o
As the book opened, I wasn't certain that I'd enjoy it. As an adult reader of YA books, I tend to like my books to have a certain level of sophistication in writing. Roughly, I tend to like books aimed at older teens. This book was clearly set for younger audience than I'm used to.

However, once the plot got moving, I got sucked into the story. It's a fairly straightforward plot--a young noblewoman is identified as a magic user. Magework is socially unacceptable, so her father sends her away to a
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Eh. I didn't enjoy this one. I found the writing to be incredibly simplistic. This is YA, but it felt like it was written on a 10yo level. The story just really wasn't plausible to me either. I mean, she SAVED the life of her nephew and NO one can see that that's a good thing besides the kid's parents? Really? Meh. ...more
MV Mariani
Mar 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on

Minus: the writing.

So, if we don't include the prologue, the book begins with our main character dreaming of flying and then waking up floating; her mother standing by her doorway watching everything. Let's just ignore, for a second, how extremely overused that scene is (Hello, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch!). This is how it's depicted:

She shrieked and crashed down on the bed, her breath whooshing out as she flopped onto her stomach. Shaken and afraid, she pushed herself up with her arms. She could
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate McMurry
Exciting start to YA historical, time-travel adventure series

Lady Victoria Mansfield is the youngest daughter of an earl. Hers should have been a life with every social privilege and free of care, but she has a shameful secret—she can fly! In her world, the aristocracy considers magical ability to be a taint in the blood that is a very low-class attribute, on a par with engaging in “trade” or even madness.

Unfortunately, a life-and-death situation arises that leaves Tory no choice but to reveal h
 ♥ Rebecca ♥
This review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven

I feel this deserves a 3.5/5 but I will go with 4 so not to give the impression I didnt enjoy it with a 3.

I really enjoyed the writing in this, and the pace was so fast which I think had something to do with why I finished it so quickly. Every chapter starts right in the action and there is no time wasted. The story was very unique and like nothing I had read before, although rather short. And I really enjoyed the female lead, Tory.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: teenbooks, romance
I'll confess up front that I was a bit worried that this new YA novel from romance writer M. J. Putney would be full of bodice ripping, rippling pecs and other romance novel tropes. But I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a satisfying romance/fantasy that kept the pages turning.

The novel toggles back and forth in time between the early 1800's and the beginning of WWII. It is set in the town of Lackland, home of a boarding school for wayward sons and daughters of the British aristocracy. Thes
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this book much more than I thought. At first it was difficult to read the snobbish attitudes towards those with magic and the beliefs about women but much of the story's action takes place outside of that world. I really admired Tory. At first I couldn't relate to her desire to return home to a cruel and stifling society that didn't accept her but I began to think differently once I realized what a difficult decision she had to make. Once she begins to study with the Irregulars she grows ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found the first half of this book enjoyable. I felt it set up the story well and I was really anticipating what was to come. I liked the idea of how people viewed magic, and I felt that Lackland Abbey created a mysterious and eerie atmosphere that was exciting. But it fell flat for me during the second half.
This book had a lot of potential since the plot and how the society acknowledged magic could have created an interesting and complex story, but personally I found it didn't live up to this
This review was first posted on

When I found out that Mary Jo Putney was joining the ever-growing list of authors writing for the YA adult market, I practically did a song and dance. You see, Thunder and Ashes just about tops my list of favorite romances. I haven't read much Mary Jo lately, but I was one-hundred percent behind her getting into the Teen action. Um...that came out wrong. I meant--aw, forget it.
Dark Mirror begins with a group of socially influential men
Alexandra Bayer
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Lady Victoria Mansfield has been prepared her entire life to live in luxury, and to make a match with a man of equal prestige. Everything is flipped upside down, however, when it is discovered that Tory has magic. Magic is forbidden in Tory's era, so she is sent to Lackland Abbey to be reformed. At first, it is Tory's greatest desire to learn to control and hide away her power so that she can be sent home, even if it may take years. But once she discovers an underground resistance of teachers a ...more
Hafsah Faizal
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Originally posted on IceyBooks

I expected great things from MJ Putney's YA debut - magic, history, and of course, action. It provided me with the first, the second, but not enough of the third.

I was mostly drawn to Dark Mirror because of its cover and the fact that its both historical fiction and a debut. I read mixed reviews, many that mentioned loads of action. I felt pretty disappointed by the lack of it.

Tory, or Lady Victoria Mansfield, is the youngest daughter in a wealthy, aristocrat
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This book had a great premise, but poor execution. The writing quality in this book is only so-so, but when I first started reading, I could let it go because I really love fantasy set during this time period, and I was intrigued by the set-up. Our main character, Tory, is sent to a school for upper class mages where they attempt to basically stamp the magic out of the students. Tory discovers that some students secretly train to enhance their magical ability, and joins a sort of magic user unde ...more
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was interesting. There were things I liked and things I didn't like, which made reading it a bit annoying because I kept going back and forth on how I felt about it.

I liked that the summary on the back really only covers the first few chapters, but at the same time this bugged me a bit. We're thrown right into the story without much world building or character development and in just a few chapters Tory has discovered her magic powers, revealed them and is being shipped off to school.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Set in the 1800’s, Dark Mirror tells the story of an aristocratic young girl gifted with magic. Victoria (Tory) Mansfield saves the life of her nephew and outs herself for having magic in her blood. Soon after Tory is sent off to Lackland Abbey so she can learn to suppress her magic. At Lackland Tory soon learns that there are three types of students, the snobs, the girls that want to blend in, and the girls that embrace their talents. Tory just wants to blend in so she can go home sooner, but i ...more
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Tory has possessed magic her whole life, and she's fought to keep it hidden for the sake of her future and for the reputation of her family. Magic isn't a gift in her world, but rather a curse. Unwillingly forced to use it one day though, Tory is shunned to a school with others like herself where she will, hopefully, be taught to control it and learn to manage her powers so she can rejoin her family and rightful place in society. But Lackland Abbey is a whole new world of hidden doors, different ...more
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was ok

This book was almost horrible. Dark Mirror was intriguing at the first glance (and though everybody tells you not to judge a book by its cover, I certainly did) and afterwards, I regretted it.

Dark Mirror is about a girl named Lady Victoria Mansfield, a young lady eager to enter into society. The book takes place in 1803, when Napoleon was preparing to invade England. Victoria, or Tory, in the beginning of the book, is still somewhat oblivious to the happenin
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:57AM  
The Young Adult H...: The Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney - June Group Read 10 30 Jun 26, 2012 11:21AM  

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This is a pseudonym for Mary Jo Putney. ...more

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