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As we look back on it, it slips in behind us in orderly array, and, with all its mistakes, acquires a sort of eternal fitness, and even, at times, of poetic glamour. Jackson Brown, Jr. Photo: Paul Stevenson. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. They have no one around them to give them real, authentic reflection. In between, we stumble blindly from one place and life to the next. We try to do the best we can. There are moments like this, however, when we are neither coming nor going, and all we have to do is sit and look back on the life we have made. Jesse Jackson Photo: racingthesun.

Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people. Let it shine and be a reflection of what is possible. Wherever you go. About Advertise with us. Trending Countries. South Africa. Costa Rica. Trending Cities.

Mexico City. Buenos Aires. Dallas-Fort Worth. Photo: MikeBehnken. Angkor, Cambodia "Follow effective action with quiet reflection. Not going to lie it took me a few chapter to really get into the story but once I did I devoured it! I'm so freaking excited to learn more about the Ohanzee. I love that Nerissa is a bookworm and in training with her bow and is one of the best pupils. I am very excited for Nerissa's Mulan-esque training to continue with the boys! Shae is going to be interesting to learn about and there is clearly more to the seer than we know so far which isn't much!

I love the concept of the crystals as I am obsessed with crystals, rocks, gems, etc!! I also can't wait to see what else comes of them and to be able to see what else they can do. I'm seeing a couple ships in the future and I'm not sure which I want to sail yet.

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First of all, isn't this cover absolutely gorgeous? It was a bit difficult to get into the story at first. I was really confused between all the names of people and places, but it goes better as the book goes by, and during the entire second part of the book, I was completely captivated, wanting to know more and more The story is a bit slow at the beginning, and I found it a bit hard to follow at first, as there are many characters, and the narration goes from one to another without warning, bu First of all, isn't this cover absolutely gorgeous?

The story is a bit slow at the beginning, and I found it a bit hard to follow at first, as there are many characters, and the narration goes from one to another without warning, but once again, it gets better in the second part, all you have to do is be patient! What else can I say? As with the rest, it took me some time to become attached to Nerissa as a character, but she develops really well with the story, I can't even believe I didn't find her endearing at first. Raysel, Ildiko and Einar are also really great characters, not to mention Rian I would have loved to see more of him by the way!

Shae's plot seems rather interesting but we don't see much of her, which I regret a bit. This leaves open doors for the second book, but I would have loved to see a bit more of her quest in this book. I also think Charis' part was a bit underdevelopped, but hopefully, we will see more of her too in the second book! I know I didn't explore every aspect of the novel, but what you need to keep in mind is, if you start this book and are not convinced at first, don't give up just yet, and give it a second chance! Rachel Smith created such a fascinating universe, with great characters.

I need to get my hands on the sequel right now, I can't get it off my mind! I recommend it for people who liked The Selection or Red Queen. Rating 4 This story actually begins six hundred years in the past. Six hundred years ago Argina has a dream The dream was that the royal manor was up in flames by a blue dragon roaring fire balls upon the manor A Phoenix arises from the ashes and flies to the mountain What can this mean???

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Nerissa is Heiress of Chiyo. She is oblivious to the forces in p Rating 4 This story actually begins six hundred years in the past. She is oblivious to the forces in play of the future which have been foretold generations ago and have remained hidden till now. This is NOT another run of the mill princess story The dream prophecy had been preserved in books. These books must be found quickly before they fall into the wrong hands. And Nerissa, is she up to the task and challenge?

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I think so. I hope so. There are many characters in this book, both in the past and in the present and at times, it was difficult to keep track of. The point of view of the narrative changed often, sometimes in mid chapter; but I did not find this confusing at all because it flowed so well. Adults who missed out on a lot of good stories because they grew up. This book was great, for me a little slow going, but great. It was slow for me because there was so very much going on, and it was unlike anything I have read before.

This author moves and speaks in an unique language that is fun and exciting to follow. I did feel like this book ended prematurely major cliffhanger , and really nothing was resolved… but oh well, I guess I will have to read the second one : I am speculating, but I think this book is mostly background and set up, and I believe bo This book was great, for me a little slow going, but great. I did feel like this book ended prematurely major cliffhanger , and really nothing was resolved… but oh well, I guess I will have to read the second one : I am speculating, but I think this book is mostly background and set up, and I believe book two will be all action.

I liked the characters and can't wait to see what happens, if anything with the romance that was hinted at in the middle of the book, as well as a deception that may be taking place. A lot of characters seem like they could be playing dual roles… very exciting. The whole plot had shadows of danger and intrigue. The one thing that was hard for me was the names. The names were so close. Casimer and Caeneus. Rian and Raysel, etc. But like anything worth having, it is worth the read. Visit blog for more book review: Hanna Banana Reads "If you know who I am, what is the poin of a disguise?

This does not affect my review in anyway. This book revolves around two lands, an heiress and a prophecy that will change Renatus and its people forever. It is definitely uni Visit blog for more book review: Hanna Banana Reads "If you know who I am, what is the poin of a disguise? It is definitely unique from other fantasy books that I have encountered. One of its unique feature is the idea of secret guardians of the Royal family called the Ohanzee.

Besides that, this book also talks about crystals and how they are used in many different purposes and not just jewelries or decorations. It also has a lot of characters and is told in multiple point of view which can be confusing at first but along the way, I got used to it and was able to differentiate each character from the rest.

I got very attached to the main character, Nerissa. I can see myself in her and relate on how she want to escape reality and responsibilities even just for a night. The other characters that I liked are the couple, Einar and Ildiko. Besides that, they also respect the decisions of Nerissa and supports her no matter how crazy some of her decisions may be because they strongly believe in her. As I have said earlier, there are a lot of characters in this book and I hope they can be seen more in the other books in this series.

For example are Rian and Raysel who I adore so much because of how funny but intellectual the two are. Lastly, I really admire how beautiful the author writes. It seats between easy to understand and sometimes technical which is good when you want the readers to have a depth understanding of the world the characters are living in. It really captivates me because she sets the mood very well in every scene whether it should be happy and jolly or lonely and sad.

I also appreciate how each character have their own strong personalities that I know many people would relate to. This book was also able to make me feel all sorts of emotions but the most amazing aspect of this book is how it made me laugh which is very unusual for me when reading. Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror gives a great start for this series. It is not only entertaining but it is also an intriguing read with complex characters and remarkable plot that any fantasy enthusiast would enjoy.

Oct 12, Rojean rated it really liked it. First, I want to praise the book cover and who ever the illustrator of the book is, I salute you. This was just so refreshing! Reading it brought me to my happy place and we just all need books like this once in a while. I don't know what to say other than I loved it. The pacing is just enough to understand every single detail clearly.

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I love how the twist works and how it was uniquely played in every character's role. Honestly, I find it hard to write this review because as much as possible I d First, I want to praise the book cover and who ever the illustrator of the book is, I salute you. Honestly, I find it hard to write this review because as much as possible I don't want to spill even a single sentence because this book is just great and every reader worth its time to spend with this one. The characters is the biggest factor why this book is just so good. Nerissa, the main character, is strong, intelligent, loving, kind, and flawed all in good measure.

I never really felt she was overdone. She knew she had limitations but she wasn't afraid to test her bounds on anything. And since I am in her head I get to see a lot of what has shaped her. Sometimes, with first person narratives the other characters falls somewhat flat. I did not find that to be the case here at all. Each character offered something and we got to see several different sides of their personalities.

There are plenty of questions surrounding many characters, but I never felt that any of them were forced or introduced without reason.

I gave four stars for this because I'm interested more to see where the story goes and what will happens next with the characters. I'm reserving my five stars for this Ohanzee series and let's see which book will get that. I'm looking forward to the next books. This novel was a great read. The world and the characters introduced within its pages is just so beautifully crafted.

I think this would definitely appeal to the fans of fantasy who enjoy female leads. It's a very compelling read. May 29, Christina rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed the world Really enjoyed the equalization of women and the mulan retelling aspects was really fun. Liked the different perspectives However not a lot of action lot more talking about action than action. I also loved the crystal use in this book I am a fan of crystals so when hearing all the descriptions of the gems and jewelry makes me want to make some like the book.

The characters were cool however a couple of them have made me mad at the current moment cough Rian cough Raysel I really enjoyed the world Really enjoyed the equalization of women and the mulan retelling aspects was really fun. The characters were cool however a couple of them have made me mad at the current moment cough Rian cough Raysel I also loved the names how unique they are and the history of the world is really awesome to learn about however putting the history in the prologue made it a bit confusing at first but then it was resolved.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars just because of these points I am absolutely looking forward to reading the rest of this series in paperback!!!! Jun 30, Elizabeth Buckner rated it really liked it. Other then the Crystals in the Beginning, Interesting Story I had a hard time in the beginning with all the characters, and the crystals at the beginning were not my favorite, but once it hit the masquerade, I started to enjoy the journey and see what would happen to the characters.

I love the idea of the hidden town, the learning of combat, and just the different characters. I am ready to read the next book. Jul 20, Nia Sherwood rated it it was amazing. I have fallen in love with this book! Such a great plot! Can't wait to read the next ones!!!! Sep 12, Leah Feltner rated it liked it. I liked Nerissa, and the characters but I think the story got too spread out. We had points of views from so many characters and then never got back to some of them.

It is, however, a clean story with minor violence and some deaths. Jul 21, kathryn houseman rated it it was amazing. Thank You for the Phoenix Books. Jul 02, Eileen Carter rated it really liked it Shelves: books-read-in Intriguing story This book will have you on the edge of your seat. There is so much action and adventure that you will be hard pressed to lose interest. The plot and characters are well developed and interesting. Great book especially if you like books similar to lord of the rings series.

Feb 17, Heather rated it liked it Shelves: cover-love , net-galley-review , assassins , third-person , pov-switching , read. You can also find this review on my blog: Wings of Nephilim Favorite Quote: "Remember that Chiyo may be in ashes, but the phoenix will rise again. Reflection, does not read like a typical book. It doesn't have the usual climax and ending. It is meant to be read as a continuing story into the next book so there is no climax at all and kinda just Now this was new to me and I kind of li You can also find this review on my blog: Wings of Nephilim Favorite Quote: "Remember that Chiyo may be in ashes, but the phoenix will rise again.

Now this was new to me and I kind of like it. A lot was left unsaid so I definitely want to read the next one. My biggest problem is that we just follow too many people. Now I love a story with a lot of side-plots and characters but I don't always need to know what they are doing. It kind of takes out the mystery of all the subplots twining together beneath the story. This story swaps POV's like nobodies business. On top of that it will change POV mid-chapter from paragraph to paragraph.

One paragraph Nerissa, the next Charis then back to Nerissa. It makes the reading rather muddled. It takes out all the surprises completely. We always know what everyone is thinking or doing. I would have liked it to be more subtle I guess. The romance is Rian comes across as a love interest for all of a chapter and a half before we don't see him again until the end of the book at all even though he is technically there.

Which is convenient considering she has memory loss of meeting him, which is also convenient considering she is royalty and he is an Ohanzee. There is the possibility of Raysel which I hope not, because then we would have the horror of a love triangle. Please don't do this to us Rachel. Then we dive into the cliches. It's then "explained" that women don't WANT to be warriors and they are the ones that chose to not allow women to be warriors anymore. Of course by "explained", I mean this mysterious "reason" is conveniently mentioned but not given. Probably because there isn't a good one.

It's total bs I'm sorry. If you don't want women to be allowed to be warriors for the plot I understand why she did it but don't give me that nonsense reasoning. If these cliches aren't enough let's throw in a prophecy with "the chosen one" for good measure. I liked a lot of the elements like the crystals and the prophetic dreams. I can tell we'll have more of Shae and the prophecies. While I'm not all that interested in the overarching prophecy of the story, I fail to see why it is necessary other than to make Nerissa "special" but I am interested in her role as having foretelling dreams and how those could be used in the future.

There is so much to do and I'm quite interested in the plot. I like Nerissa as she is strong and not overly annoying. She didn't grow all that much in this first book but we have a lot to grow and she isn't that terrible and already a pretty strong character. From here I'd like to see more romance and some action. Jun 20, Alex rated it it was amazing. I grabbed this book for free on my kindle. The blurb was interesting and I had heard good things about it from some friends. I must say it did not disappoint. Smith's writing is well thought out and informed while still delivering the lightness of a great fantasy!

I immediately bought the next three in this series upon finishing this one! Definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre! Dec 17, Imogene Dacanay rated it liked it Shelves: books-reviewed. I admit, The Reflection's cover is the sole reason why I requested for it. It's just so enthralling, so beautiful. The abstract idea of the story is superb! The Reflection is different from any of my other fantasy reads. It was one of a kind. The book has a slow pace, yet there are many things going on, that's why I held on to it.

This one was really hard to set aside. The main character, Nerissa, has been my new favorite this She's fearless, I do admire her strong characteristic, her determination and compassion to everything she does. I highly respect Smith for making such beautifully written book. The writing, same as the world she built were foreign to me. She made a world with both magic and high technologies. It was substantial. I'm disappointed at how the book ended in just a snap. Like how the hell it happened that suddenly, it's finished. There are still questions in my head, unanswered. I just need the book 2 immediately, I know that a lot of things will happen next and I don't think I can patiently wait for it.

I'm hoping that there will be a lot of action! Feb 19, Angela Street rated it liked it. First of all I want to say that I absolutely loved the cover of this book-it was very eye-catching. I also liked the premise and the characters. In the beginning there seemed to be a lot of characters which made it a little confusing but I adjusted as the book continued. I thought the second part of the book was more interesting. The book in some ways almost seemed more like a prologue rather than a complete book in that just when there started to be some action the book ended.

There was more ti First of all I want to say that I absolutely loved the cover of this book-it was very eye-catching. There was more time spent world building than hard action. I did find myself wanting to know what happened next in the series but found myself a little frustrated that it seemed to end "just when the good stuff" started occurring. If the second book moves into action more quickly and maintains it, the series could be great.

I also agreed with a reviewer below who stated that it almost seemed the book opened in the middle of a story which was a little confusing. Overall the book has promise but I think that it would have been better to have had more actual action in the first book with a less abrupt ending.

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I received this book free for an honest review from Netgalley. Nerissa is heir to the Kingdom of Chiyo. Chiyo is the more mystical of two divided kingdoms. The Kingdom of Marine followed a more technological path. They have been unquiet neighbours since a thwarted assassination attempt on the rulers of Chiyo twenty years earlier. Nerissa is a strong minded young women who finds the strictures of being the heir suffocating.

She decides to create double masquerade on the night of the ball celebrating the failure of the attack twenty years before. It will be o Nerissa is heir to the Kingdom of Chiyo. It will be one last night of anonymity, and a choice which will change the course of Chiyo's history. The world created in Reflections is fascinating with hints of magic and technology. It is the beginning of a series so I expect we will learn more in the next book. This novel does a good job of setting the stage, introducing the characters and setting, and creating the essential conflict for the series.

Nerissa is a strong and engaging character with good back up cast. I heartily recommend the book to fantasy readers. Dec 18, Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves: series-to-finish , rar. Entertaining story. Oddly intriguing for me. I usually don't enjoy slow books but this was written so well and held my attention the entire time.

I gave it 4 stars not because of the slow journey but due to the ending. It didn't feel like a complete book. I understand there will be another or possibly 2 more in this series, however it still felt unfinished. The main character was interesting and respectable. I appreciate a strong female character with inner strength, compassion and perseverance. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Jan 21, Cindy rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy.