Book Review: Damselflies by Jayel Gibson

November 01, 2008

Damselflies is the strongest of the first three books in the An Ancient Mirrors tale series by Jayel Gibson. As with the previous books, the main protagonist of this tale is a female. But different from the first two books is that the characters in this book are by far developed the best. The book is about the enchanted land of GrimmoirŽ and mainly of ArcinaŽ, the future sovereign of GrimmoirŽ.

The story starts off with a vivid depiction of the desecration of GrimmoirŽ by men whose minds have been corrupted by evil and who are bent upon destroying all enchanted beings residing in GrimmoirŽ. Many of the enchanted beings manage to escape into Revere (an enchanted land in Ǽdracmorǽ); but those were unable to are raped and brutally murdered. One of them who was left for dead, a damselfly is found by a bounty hunter, Ilerion who takes her to a healer in a bid to save her life.

This damselfly turns out to be AracinaŽ, the future sovereign (Ruler) of GrimmoirŽ. From here starts the struggle of AracinaŽ to change her non-violent, docile nature into a warrior so that she can avenge the murder of her family and her betrothed. This forms the crux of the story of Damselflies. The story of Ilerion and AracinaŽ is followed by the story of their daughters who have a very important part to play in an ancient prophecy.

As I mentioned, this book is by far the strongest and the most tightly written book among the three. The tale held my interest throughout the book. The story of the brutalization of AracinaŽ, her recovery, her struggle to change herself into a warrior for revenge is built up very well. And of course, there is the romantic element of AracinaŽ falling in love with, her savior and protector, Ilerion and vice-versa.

The second part of the book is about AracinaŽ and Ilerion's daughters, damselfly halflings who are part of a prophecy to destroy the heteroclites and subsequently rule all men. This part of the story starts very abruptly and is quite a bit rushed. Probably because the story was getting quite long. I felt that this should probably have been spun off into another another independent book because the tale is worth its own and has a lot of potential.

I also noticed a few disconnects between Damselflies and The Wrekening. Mainly related to what Cwen was touted to be in the second book and what she was portrayed in Damselflies. Whereas in The Wrekening, Cwen was to have resurrected the House of Lochalaen, here it is AracinaŽ who actually retrieves the "gryphonstone" which is important to Lohgaen to resurrect his dead house. But that is probably a minor plot detail.

Overall, I have very minor quibbles with the book and like it a fair bit more. I quite recommend reading this book. Though some parts of the book refer to the previous two books, his book can probably read just by itself.

AJ is a wanderer on the net currently working as a programmer to fuel those wanderings. He also blogs his personal thoughts and reads a lot.
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Book Review: Damselflies by Jayel Gibson


Author: AJ


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