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REVIEW

"A time travel you won't want to miss."

Thrown back in time through a magical mirror, Emiko Maeda finds 19th Century Japan a hazardous place for a modern outspoken Japanese-American, where just being female in that strict era was dangerous enough on its own. Add to that, she drops right into the broiling conflict between Shogans and Shinsegumi and must learn to maneuver her way through a myriad of political intrigues and manipulations all the while keeping her head on her own shoulders -- literally.

Kaemon Nakagawa doesn't know what to make out of the little beauty he pulled from the mirror. Is she a demon? One of his enemy's spies? Or is she what she claims, a woman lost from the future? And in any case, what should he do about her? Emiko has an uncanny ability to not only get herself in trouble, but drag him into it, every time he leaves her to her own devices.

The author's tone throughout is a pleasure to read. She is able to convey several light moments, such as accidentally dropping a full chamber pot onto a powerful vice commander, while at the same time, demonstrating the difficulty of navigating through the strict social structures such as walking on the wrong side of a man. The undercurrent of how dangerous this time period and place really was for a woman is masterfully woven in without dominating or weighing down the flow of the story.

What charmed me most about Mirror, Mirror is seeing the Shogans and 19th Century Japan through Emiko's eyes and sarcastic wit. This passage shows just how vivid the writing style is. "It was strictly a movie-type maneuver they said a "real" swordsman wouldn't use since a "real" swordsman wouldn't be stupid enough to invite an open attack from a dozen guys. And still think he could come out on top. Of course, Kaemon Nakagawa hadn't ever seen a movie to know any better. "

At first glance, Emiko and Kaemon don't make a likely couple. I mean, really, a samurai prince who not only demands to be obeyed, but by his upbringing, expects it as his due? However, thanks to peeks at his kind heart beneath the stern exterior, and their forceful wills, they are able to withstand all the intrigues and turmoil surrounding them to become a couple to cheer for and hope they get that happily ever after.

Mirror, Mirror is a fast-paced delight with unforgettable characters thrown together in an unforgiving period of Japanese history. Readers of time-travels won't want to miss this one.

Reviewed by Clover Autrey
Posted May 27, 2007

SUMMARY

I didn't plan to spend my last summer vacation before college kidnapping the future Emperor of Japan. And I didn't expect to be chased, attacked, or seduced by sword wielding samurai or put on the marriage market by an ancestor who died a century before I was born, but I was. And it all started with a shabby old mirror I found after publicly humiliating myself...

Buy From Publisher

 

Mirror, Mirror
by Chloe Michelle

Mardi Gras Publishing
May 1, 2007
ISBN #1934329568
EAN #9781934329566
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