Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Excerpt from The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Water Mirror

by Kai Meyer

The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer X
The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2005, 256 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2006, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Brave girl," murmured Arcimboldo with satisfaction.

Merle broke through the mirror surface with a single step. She felt a cold tickling, like a gentle breeze at midnight, then she was on the other side and looking around.

She had once heard of a mirror labyrinth that was supposed to have been in a palazzo on the Campo Santa Maria Nova. She knew no one who had seen it with his own eyes, but the pictures that the stories had conjured up in her mind bore no comparison with what she now saw before her.

One thing was clear at first glance: The mirror world was a kingdom of deceptions. It was the place under the double bottom of the kaleidoscope, the robbers' cave in the Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, the palace of the gods on Olympus. It was artificial, an illusion, a dream dreamed only by those who believed in it. And yet at this moment it seemed as substantial as Merle herself. Did the figures in a painting also think they were in a real place? Prisoners who were not aware of their imprisonment?

Before them lay a room of mirrors: not like Arcimboldo's storeroom, much more a structure that from top to bottom, from left to right, consisted of mirrors and mirrors alone. Yet the first impression was deceptive. If you took a step forward, you bumped up against an invisible glass wall, while there, where the end of the room appeared to be, was nothing but emptiness, followed by other mirrors, invisible connecting passageways, and fresh deceptions.

It took a moment for Merle to realize what was really troubling about this place: The mirrors reflected only each other, not the two girls who were standing in their middle. So it happened that they could walk straight up to a mirror and bump against it without being warned by their own reflection. On all sides, the mirrors reflected themselves to infinity, a world of silver and crystal.

Merle and Junipa made several attempts to move deeper into the labyrinth, but again and again they bumped against glass.

"This is pointless," Merle protested and stamped her foot in anger. Mirror glass creaked under her foot without splintering.

"They're all around us," Junipa whispered.

"The phantoms?"

Junipa nodded.

Merle looked around. "I can't see any."

"They're afraid. My eyes scare them. They're avoiding us."

Merle turned around. There was a sort of door at the place where they'd entered the mirror world. There she thought she could perceive a movement, but perhaps that was only Arcimboldo, waiting for them in the real world.

Something whisked past her face, a pale flicker. Two arms, two legs, a head. Close up, it no longer looked like a patch of fog but rather like the blur caused by a drop of water in the eye.

Merle raised the glass ball, feeling a little foolish. "Intorabiliuspeteris," she cried, and immediately felt even more foolish.

There was the sound of a soft sigh, then the phantom shot right at her. The ball sucked him to its inside, which soon flickered and grew streaky, as if it were filled with a white, oily fluid.

"It works!" Merle gasped.

Junipa nodded but made no attempt to use her own ball. "Now they're terribly afraid."

"You can really see them all around us?"

"Very clearly."

It must have to do with Junipa's eyes, with the magic of the mirror pieces. Now Merle also saw other blurs at the edge of her vision, but she couldn't make out the phantoms as clearly as Junipa seemed to be able to.

"If they're afraid, that means that they're living beings," she said, thinking aloud.

"Yes," Junipa said. "But it's as if they weren't really here. As if they were only a part of themselves, like a shadow that's separated from its owner."

Copyright 2001 by Kai Meyer.  All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Clear
    Clear
    by Carys Davies
    John Ferguson is a principled man. But when, in 1843, those principles drive him to break from the ...
  • Book Jacket: Change
    Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.