I'm listening to "Mirror of Her Dreams" (for the second time) while writing this review. I love it so much that I want to listen to it until I have pi..Show More »eces of it memorized. Those familiar with Brick's readings of the "Covenant" series will understand why. For those who aren't familiar with those recordings, I'll try to explain...
Scott Brick is often an understated narrator (as at least one other reviewer has noted, though calling his voice or this reading boring is grossly inaccurate), but he is always, *always* committed to the story, the characters and (first and most importantly) the words. He's an ideal reader for any book with a strong emphasis on character development because his style is nuanced and complex, marked by small changes in tone instead of histrionics. That's not to say that he isn't capable of a nice loud bellow every once in a while, but (again) only when the text calls for it.
"The Mirror of Her Dreams" and its sequel, "A Man Rides Through," collectively called "Mordant's Need," is one of Donaldson's more peripheral works, a status that it deserves in a superficial way. It's more conventional (plot-wise) than either "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" (all three) and the Gap series. But its ideas, particularly regarding reality and identity, are as complex as anything in those two series--as complex as anything in Donaldson's oeuvre. But it takes a while to get to those ideas. You'll listen to about an hour of this audiobook before the plot *really* gets going, but after that it's a joy on multiple levels: for its story, intellectually, and for its truly stellar characters.
One character in particular may be responsible for Mordant's Need's (relative) unpopularity: Terisa Morgan. She's the primary viewpoint character and for the first volume (this one) she does some fairly unlikable things and behaves in very frustrating ways. She struggles with her own existence and allows other (obviously bad) people to manipulate her into harming other (much better) characters. Some (in Amazon.com reviews) have called it a sexist portrayal but this is untrue. Terisa does forge her own identity in the end, but (unfortunately) most of that happens in the second book. For this one, you'll have to content yourself with the loyal-but-accident-prone Geraden, the old dodder and his dastard, King Joyse and Adept Havelock, the hilarious Tor, the dreamy idealistic Myste...I could go on, but you get the idea. Every character in Mordant (the story's fantasy world) is either lovable or fascinating--occasionally both. Even the villain is well and compellingly drawn--a character who likes causing havoc just for the sake of it sometimes, but who is also a devious, careful planner.
I had bought the Mirror in Her Dreams so many years ago I can't remember, and it sat in my book case and I never read it. Once the books came out in ..Show More »audible I listen to them and kicked myself for not reading it way back when. I am a big fan of Stephen R. Donaldson and am very glad that I listened to this story. Very imaginative, like my review in the first book I would have like to see the two main characters have more fight in them. But in the end they kicked butt.
I really wish they would hurry up and put Thomas Covenant first two adventures in Audible, I don't want to listen to the last three books until I can listen to them.