OUT NOW – Mirror Image (Schooled in Magic 18!)

31 Oct

Years ago, Heart’s Eye, a school built on top of a nexus point, was attacked and captured by a necromancer.  The nexus point was snuffed out, the handful of survivors forced to flee and the once-great school turned into a forward base for a necromantic invasion.  All seemed lost, until Emily killed the necromancer and retook the school.  Now, she intends to lay the building blocks for a university, a place where magical knowledge and mundane technology are brought together for the benefit of all.

But dark secrets lie within the shadowed school.  What happened when Heart’s Eye fell? What were the tutors doing when the wards fell and the necromancer invaded the school?  And, as power flows back into the school, Emily finds herself caught between power struggles and a threat from the past, a shadow that has walked beside her for the last six years.  It might bring about the end of everything.

In a school full of mirrors, who knows what they reflect?

Download a FREE SAMPLE, then purchase the books from the links here (and purchase the audio version of Cursed here).

31 Responses to “OUT NOW – Mirror Image (Schooled in Magic 18!)”

  1. Ethir Nandor October 31, 2019 at 7:05 pm #

    Sorry, no meaningful reaction from me.
    My first thought tonight after checking your blog as simply: YES!!
    I have been waiting on this one for months. Thank you so much for all the hard work while battling a horrible illness.
    You will see at least one buy order from the Netherlands tonight 🙂

  2. Ethir Nandor October 31, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

    NB: it is actually my birthday today. Perfect timing….

  3. TINLA November 1, 2019 at 12:19 am #

    I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one all that much, but I think it’s the best installment since past tense. I’ve really been looking forward to the next three books.

  4. Fleeced November 1, 2019 at 10:55 am #

    Was just about to go to bed… Now I’m off to read, instead.

  5. Dani November 2, 2019 at 1:54 am #

    I was pleased to see another SiM novel, and look forward to the next. It was not, in my opinion, as strong as the previous novel.

    There was a pacing problem – what another reader referred to as “laying too much pipe”. The full first half of the novel is setup: They move into HE and there are personality conflicts. The conflicts are the focus of that part of the novel, but they have almost no effect on the second part. There is some seeding of clues, but it is sparse.

    The first part also seemed a missed opportunity for character growth. At its heart is Highland being wrong and Emily trying to explain to him and failing. There isn’t much awareness on Emily’s part that she needs to learn to work with a world full of Highlands.

    Spoilers follow.

    Dark Emily is a comic-book trope. When a character becomes evil, she becomes far more powerful. (She usually starts wearing more-revealing clothing too, but I digress.) If it’s a mirror-universe evil character, she generally winds up with mirror-universe versions of the original cast. To make this happen, we have a Dark Emily whose life has tracked that of Emily-Prime with uncanny fidelity until the past year, despite the differences being a Necromancer for so long would introduce directly or indirectly. (Caleb, for example. Emily-Prime’s relationship with Caleb had its roots in an accident alternate-Caleb did not have.)

    The trapped Faerie seems to have very little in common with the beings who built cities and fought multiple wars against humans. Any war this Faerie fought against humans would have been very short, if they could have gotten it to notice.

    Kudos for a truly out-of-the-box answer to “What are all these mirrors doing here?”.

    • TINLA November 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

      I was the one who mentioned “laying too much pipe” in a previous book. In this case, I don’t think the set up is too long. The story breaks into the second act when they get to HE and then the “fun and games” section is between that point and the midpoint where Emily has a “false victory” by discovering what the mirrors were used for. In the fun and games section, the B story is developed and the set pieces are performed. In a movie, the trailer would normally be made up of scenes from this section. Here, I think we just had a weak fun and games section. Imagine a movie trailer made up those events? Who would want to see that movie? It’s supposed to be more interesting than that. But the novel really becomes interesting at the midpoint.

  6. someone November 3, 2019 at 7:57 pm #

    I was somewhat amused to find that one of the more notable errors caught by Bar readers had actually been made worse!

    ““I’ve heard good things about you from Zed.” “He was interested in moving out here,” Praxis said. “But he thought he’d moved enough for the next few years.” And that was my fault, Emily thought. It hadn’t been entirely her fault that Zed had had to leave Dragon’s Den, but she’d been the one who’d started the ball rolling. He probably doesn’t want to stay close to me, even if he wants to give up Mountaintop.” (Chapter 4)

    So this now correctly identifies Zed as the guy in charge of Mountaintop. But Emily never got him booted from Dragon’s Den – only his post at Zangaria’s royal court (SIM2). It was Yodel whom Emily got booted from Dragon’s Den (SIM3), though he shows up again in Cockatrice (SIM6 and after). And though Zed did help Emily find someone to patch the cockatrice box, it would make no sense to have a reference about an enchanter like Praxis from him (an alchemist) and not Yodel (a prominent enchanter himself).

    TLDR: it should be Yodel, not Zed, and Cockatrice, not Mountaintop.

    • G November 23, 2019 at 10:01 am #

      I think that Chris and the editors are beginning to forget some of the people and events from earlier in their own series…

      • chrishanger November 30, 2019 at 10:51 am #

        That’s always a problem when a series gets too long.


  7. Rex November 3, 2019 at 11:45 pm #

    Great job! Anxious for the next one… Thank you!!!

  8. salvochi November 4, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

    This book is the 4th most sold in the German Amazon website (better than some Harry Potter installments!). I thought few people (including me) were reading this series, but I seemed to be wrong. Congratulations to the author! When is the movie coming out? 😉

    • salvochi November 4, 2019 at 12:57 pm #

      4th most sold in the category Fantasy, to be precise… but still quite impressive!

    • chrishanger November 30, 2019 at 10:47 am #

      I don’t know – tell them you want it?


  9. Tarun Ramakrishna Elankath November 5, 2019 at 8:14 am #

    Really enjoyed this one – it was one of the best in the series for me. (Cursed was terrifically boring – a short story elongated to a book). I just wish some loose story threads like the exploded area in the school and the 3d runes are clarified later.

  10. William Ameling November 6, 2019 at 10:53 pm #

    So what happened to alt-Void? He could have stopped alt-Emily. I have to assume that he got the nuclear spell used on him as well as the rest of the White Council, and all of the other Lone Powers.

    I still do not see how alt-Emily concealed that she was a Necromancer until well into 4th year. Could she really conceal what she was for several months in close company with Lady Barb in the summer following 2nd year, i.e. Book 4, which is when the original Emily first (and only) time used the nuclear Spell?

    Since she was a necromancer, she should have been killing other people for power on a regular basis, and those missing people or dead bodies would be impossible to conceal in a school environment. The events of 2nd year with the Mimic (Book 3) would have been different and much harder to conceal her power levels, when she had to expend all of her power during the test to try to find the Mimic. etc, etc.

    Did alt-Emily go back into the past to the founding of Whitehall (Past Tense) so that she would know what a Manavore is? Probably not, she would have behaved differently and created a different time line, while we know that the timeline was the same until end of Book 1, because that is when the timeline split apart. If she did not go back into the past, then she would not have known as much about the spells to control the Nexus points, because she was not there when the Whitehall School was created and the Nexus Point was tamed.So she would not have the same control of the Whitehall Nexus Point and of the Heart’s Ease Nexus point (alt Emily killed alt-Dua Kapla with the nuclear spell rather reigniting the Nexus Point, etc. as Emily recognized).

    Alt-Emily may have had the greater power levels from necromancy, than our Emily, but because of considerably different experience chains would have less skill in controlling Nexus Points, fighting Mimics,and all of the other events that our Emily had and learned from.

    Our Emily has spent spent years with many people (friends, teachers, and enemies) watching her closely because they thought that she might be (or in danger of becoming) a necromancer. If she WAS a necromancer, that should have determined a lot sooner than it did for alt-Emily.

    • chrishanger November 30, 2019 at 10:49 am #

      There are things I don’t want to set in stone yet


  11. William Ameling November 6, 2019 at 10:58 pm #

    At least we finally know what happened to cause the fall of the Heart’s Eye School, some of our speculations were fairly close, but we all missed the hint about Manavores in the past of Heart’s Eye. Also in some respects our speculations about using Mirror Magic. I expected that the students would have been doing more with using Mirror Magic in their classes.

  12. William Ameling November 7, 2019 at 11:30 am #

    I expected Mirror Magic to be more and do more than we saw in the Book, outside of the parallel timeline connection.

  13. mark November 8, 2019 at 2:20 am #

    Enjoyed story thoroughly!!!! Gave it 5 stars on Amazon.

    Potential Spoilers follow:

    Evil Em was a bit stereotypical, but that was a quite legitimate plot point for her descent into necromancy. I even recall thinking at the time I read it, that she was extremely fortunate that Shadeye had picked the victim that he did, not the other.

    The Fae that Emily was dealing with is totally of a different order of magnitude than the ones in the world’s past.

    Mirrors being Manavores was a great twist. The old mage’s heroic self-sacrifice didn’t ring true for me, because of his actions in this story, as well as in Graduation Day.

    If I have one complaint about the SIM Universe novels, it is that Emily MUST be suffering from PTSD by now (if she wasn’t already from her life on Earth), yet she keeps getting flung into adventure after adventure without any time to settle into being an adult mage in that world. The contrast between her life and Caleb’s was quite jarring.

    Now Void has summoned her…everyone has kept telling her she needs to be fresh, rested, and on top of her game for her apprenticeship, yet she is most decidedly NOT.


    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 8, 2019 at 2:32 am #

      Spoiler Space

      IMO it is very possible that just as the Manavores were part of this Greater Fairie, the Faire that infested the Nameless World in the past were just part of the Greater Fairie. Perhaps, part of this Greater Fairie. 😀

  14. G November 11, 2019 at 3:53 am #

    I enjoyed the series, but I have to admit I love the sorcery in the dark ages stories better than the developing science to bring the nameless world into the modern world stories…it’s ironic for me that Chris has taken so long (18 books) to allow Emily to develop into a powerful sorceress, but he’s advanced the nameless world about 500 years in 6-7 years (swords to cannon to revolvers)…I’m looking forward to a return to straight sorcery and Void in The Artful Apprentice.

  15. Alexey November 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm #

    I loved Mirror Image!

    I’d love to see a continuation of the alternative reality. From the novel I understood that you plan to leave it as is without continuing. But I’d really love to see how it evolves at some point – once Emily figures out how to travel between dimensions and transfer Nexus’ Power to her command at will.

    • wazman1930 November 22, 2019 at 4:10 am #

      Lately I have been thinking about the somewhat distant future of the Nameless world after Emily’s University is fully established and cranking out new tech and magical concepts never before recorded in that worlds history. Imagine that you are a magical historical researcher looking into the events that changed the world

      “The first defeat of a Necromancer in single combat by the legendary Necromancer’s Bane.”

      We already know that Emily has traveled in back in time to the founding of Whitehall and she did via the nexus point. Couldn’t the future researchers at Emily’s university make a practical time travel. If anything the history monks would be salivating for a means to witness history unfold.

      Recall just after Emily had defeated Shadye she thought she saw a tall man in monkish robes carrying a huge book who was looking directly at her and when she looked again he was gone or the odd state of the dozen orcs waiting just outside, Then later the young man who carried her out of the chamber before walking away allowing the shadows to swallow him up.

      I think they were both from the far future and they were present for that historical event.

    • chrishanger November 30, 2019 at 10:50 am #

      We’ll see


  16. Bryce November 22, 2019 at 9:56 am #

    I thought this was one of your best book. I hope we get the Artfull Aprentice soon then later.

  17. PuffinMuffin December 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

    Hmm, just read it after ploughing through a ton of research for my projects. Yeah, I would have wheeled the Alt-Emily on earlier. Perhaps even have other Emilys, including one who had worked out the spell to get home but needing Emily no 1 to power it.

    In short, at one point I was expecting the TNG episode “Parallels”, one of my favourites.

    When’s she going to get a boyfriend again?

  18. Sherrie December 27, 2019 at 9:43 pm #

    When is the audiobook for mirror image coming out?

    • Chris March 25, 2020 at 5:15 am #

      I was just wondering the same thing. Any details on when we might expect the audible version to come out. I enjoy reading this series, but other times I like to hear it. Waiting for the next book.

      • chrishanger April 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm #

        I don’t know – there were delays before the current crisis. I’ll let you all know as soon as I hear something.


  19. Daniel Johnson May 16, 2020 at 9:16 pm #

    Where is the audiobook? I’m dying here Chris I generally tend to listen to most books these days as I’m on the road a lot and it makes the trips more enjoyable. We need this one and the Artful Apprentice on Audible. Call up Tavia Gilbert and get to it. Chop! Chop!

    • Sherrie Kahn May 17, 2020 at 5:58 am #

      I completely agree- what is taking so long? Maybe try a different audiobook publisher? I’ve contacted them twice- once recently- and still no release date! For me, it is about preference and convenience. But there are quite a lot of people who NEED audiobooks!

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