#20BooksOfSummer 7: The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

#20BooksOfSummer is an annual event hosted by Cathy Brown of 746 Books and runs from 1st June until 1st September With the aim to clearing a target of 5, 10 or 20 books from your TBR but with very relaxed and fun rules.

Here is my joining post & List!

The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

illustration by Rodrigo Adolfo

Jake Wilde is angry and petulant and when he draws blood he is finally expelled from the Swiss Alps Boarding School he was sent to by his godfather the mysterious polymath explorer Oberon Venn whom Jake suspects is responsible for his father’s disappearance. Tasked with taking him home, army officer turned Humanities teacher George Wharton is wary but wearily glad for a break.

At the same time a young woman is fleeing a dark stalking enemy to the gates of Wintercombe, Venn’s estate, but she is more than just a runaway, she has a quest that may save worlds.

Their journey to darkest Dartmoor will uncover a perilous world of dark Fae, changelings, age-old betrayal and a futuristic nemesis as the truth of the Chronoptika comes to light.

5 key words

Time-Travel, Fae, Dark Magic, Loss, Determination

Wow. Wow. Wow. Catherine Fisher is known for her darker folklore & pre-medieval history driven tales, she has written extensively for children and teens before, though it is through her most recent Middle Grade Clockwork trilogy with Firefly that I have come to adore her folklore driven fabulist writing and I’m eagerly awaiting her upcoming collection of magic mythic tales The Red Gloves: and Other Stories.

I picked this book up on a recommendation from Catherine herself when speaking of a love for dark or ‘folklorish’ faery tales as opposed to twinkly Fairy tales. And I’m so glad that she did because my goodness, this is incredible.

If I could sum it up in the briefest of ways imagine Terminator style bad guys with dashes of Bladerunner set within a world between worlds with twisty dark Fae and that doesn’t even come close to how incredible this is.

Rusty bells and crosses, knives, even a broken pair of shears clattered against each other like some bizarre charm bracelet. He stared at them, noting the iron strip hammered down across the threshold.

What was Venn keeping out?

With its speculative-fabulist-folklore drenched tale it appeals across many genres and even though it’s nearly 10 years old the novel feels incredibly current and thus it marks a shift in children’s literature that allowed the thematic space for middle grade phenomenons to come like Brightstorm, Cogheart, Rumblestar and The Star-Spun Web. If you enjoyed those books then you will be swept into The Obsidian Mirror.

It’s dark and thrilling yes with mid-teen protagonists but certainly ‘safe’ enough for upper middle grade readers too in the way that Steven’s MMU appeals across the MG-Teen chasm.

Honestly, The Obsidian Mirror could be reprinted tomorrow and find a legion of new fans. I finished the book with my mouth wide open and immediately ordered the next book.

The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher is published by Hodder Children’s Books

3 thoughts on “#20BooksOfSummer 7: The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

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