The Water Mirror

I picked up this book in Junior High or High School. I don’t know. A long time ago. And I haven’t read it since, but I remember thinking I should read it again—I remember thinking, “That was a great book! I want to buy the sequel!” ….and not finding the sequel in Barnes and Noble. And since it was a new book at the time, the used bookstore was not an option.

Turns out, this book was written in German—which might be why it was harder to find? I don’t know. Anyways. I digress. The Water Mirror, by Kai Meyer:


Isn’t this cover art beautiful? Isn’t that mermaid creepy?

This book is great. If you’ve read The Golden Compass series by Philip Pullman, this has a similar feel to it. It’s a little more…watery, though. As in, the mood is a little different, because The Golden Compass has a lot of running around in London and the Arctic, while this entire book is set in Venice. But Meyer has the same style of writing, where he takes a real place, a real time, and then seriously screws with history and the way science works generally. Also there are live stone lions. And creepy mermaids. And messengers from Hell, which is a real geographical location.

Another similarity between Meyer and Pullman is that neither of them tell you any more than you need to know. I can tell that Meyer has a lot of history and politics in his head, and I still don’t know what’s going on—because the main character, Merle, still doesn’t know what’s going on. He explains just enough, then gets back to the story. And he’s good at telling a story.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is that it leaves you needing to read the sequels. But now I have an excuse to buy myself a Christmas present, right?

If you like fantasy—and especially if you like fantasy with a very real-life emphasis—pick it up. It’s good. ♦


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