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Warrior and Witch by Marie Brennan

Warrior and Witch (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Marie Brennan

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498820,501 (3.72)8
Title:Warrior and Witch
Authors:Marie Brennan
Info:Warner Books (2006), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:High Fantasy

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Witch by Marie Brennan (2006)



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This is the sequel to Doppleganer (also published as Warrior). It was a well done fantasy and does a pretty good job of tying up all the loose ends from Doppelganger. I would recommend to those who enjoy traditional fantasy with a lot of magic and politics.

Mirage and Miryo have merged back into one soul known as Mirei. As a result of Mirei’s revelation the laws governing Starfall have been changed; no witch is allowed to murder a witch child’s doppleganger...instead both children are to be raised and trained and then rejoined. Unfortunately there’s a faction of witches that disagrees with the overturning of tradition and they have left Starfall and started hunting down any surviving doppleganger children. Mirei is sent on a quest to find these warrior doppelgangers and bring them to Starfall to keep them safe.

However there is another matter of concern that is close to Mirei’s heart; her long time partner Eclipse has gone missing and is assumed kidnapped by the witches. Can Mirei save both the doppleganger children and Eclipse before it is too late?

I really enjoyed the idea behind this story but I thought that this book was a lot more wandering than the first book. The story is told from a number of different POVs and I really don’t think it needed to be; all these POVs just slowed down the story a lot.

I enjoy Mirei and Eclipse as characters but didn’t enjoy the surrounding characters as much. Unfortunately we hear from the surrounding characters a lot more in this book than we did in the first book. The story wanders quite a bit and at times it feels like Brennan isn’t quite sure where the story is going.

In the end everything is wrapped up pretty well. I did enjoy the idea of the dopplegangers and thought what we saw of the world was interesting. I think Brennan has potential has a fantasy writer, but that this story could have been tightened up quite a bit.

Overall a decent conclusion to this series. The story wanders some and feels very long at times. The multiple POV’s serve to draw the story out longer rather than add more interest. Still I did enjoy the main characters and I thought the concept was interesting. The story is very traditional fantasy and I enjoyed the writing style. I do have the first book in Brennan’s Onyx Court series, so I will probably check out that series and see how I like it as well. ( )
  krau0098 | Feb 19, 2016 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

I picked up this book because Marie Brennan is a graduate student at Indiana University where I also went to grad school, so I felt a connection there. Overall, Doppelganger is a good debut.

At first the story follows the separate lives of Mirage, a kick-butt warrior who has recently graduated from warrior school and makes her living by being commissioned for various dangerous tasks, and Miryo, a witch who has been in school and has just failed her "final exam" because of the existence of Mirage, the doppelganger. Every witch has a doppelganger who is supposed to be killed while they are babies so that the magic power can be controlled by the witch. Because Mirage was not killed, Miryo must hunt her down and kill her.

Meanwhile, Mirage and her friend Eclipse (he's also a warrior), have just taken on a murder investigation that ends up uncovering the plot of some rogue witches to let the doppelgangers live. Eventually, Mirage's and Miryo's paths cross as each woman sets out to meet her own goals which end up colliding with the other's.

Doppelganger was well-written and Marie Brennan has a good ear for dialogue. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of both Mirage and Miryo in their respective school programs. It was obvious to me that Ms Brennan is using her own grad school experience because I've been through the exact same thing. The way she talked about Mirage and Eclipse, as year mates, being like brother and sister was right on; I likewise had a male year mate who was like a brother to me during that ordeal. I could totally relate to that, and to the other aspects of school (advisors, qualifying exams, studying) that she described.

The story was interesting, but I had some issues. First of all, it annoyed me when characters didn't ask some obvious questions of their advisors or the people they worked for. As one example, why didn't Miryo ask her advisors why she had to kill the doppelganger herself? She had no travel or fighting experience and the witches had the resources to hire others to do this sort of job. At first I thought this was a plot hole and was surprised at what seemed like a graduate student's lack of logic. But, later this question was answered logically and reasonably, but I still wondered why Miryo didn't think to ask it at the beginning.

One other thing that I felt needed improvement was the description of the major characters. I had been assuming, based on the cover of the book, that Mirage had long hair, but I was surprised to find out half way through that she had "cropped" hair. Also, Eclipse was never well-described which disappointed me because, as the only "good" male character in the novel, I would have liked to have been able to visualize him. The villains (Ice, the bad witches, Wraith) could have been deeper and more impressive characters with a bit more description of their looks and mannerisms.

Lastly, the issues between Mirage and Miryo were too quickly overcome. I would have liked to have seen them hunt each other for a while (or at least distrust each other more), but nearly as soon as they met they decided to work things out. That was a bit anti-climatic. And though I did like the ending, it all seemed a bit too easy.

Despite these issues, I think Marie Brennan writes well (which is more than half the battle won) and therefore, this is a good debut from a promising new author.

Read more Marie Brennan reviews at Fantasy Literature ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
A very compelling read. As a sci-fi geek, I normally shy away from fantasy, as odd as that may seem. However, this is somewhat atypical of the fantasy genre in my opinion.The story has a lot of intellectual content, as does the earlier book of this duology (Doppelganger, now published as Warrior). Moreso than other fantasy works I've read, there is a lot of theoretical and ethical discussion. I really liked that.
  Esquiress | Jun 21, 2011 |
A different kind of warrior that was split at birth to learn magic as one and war as the other. A strange tale... ( )
  DriderQueen | Jul 5, 2009 |
I really liked this book. It was a good follow-up novel to Doppelganger, and I do still like the world she’s created. I’m not sure if she plans a third in the set, but I hope so - I would love to see what’s in the Epilogue expanded upon into a novel. The witches have to shake up a lot of their traditions in this book, and exploring the ramifications of those changes would make an interesting tale.

What to say about the book without giving things away… I like the interplay between the characters. Not just the main characters either, but I like the way the secondaries react as well. There are lots of good pieces of character development, yet the secondary characters are able to stay secondaries and not take over the plot. (Some readers will disagree with me, but I like having it be obvious who the story is about.)

The only bit of bad that I really would complain about is the number of POV shifts. These shifts were a lot more understandable in Doppleganger, as the main character was in two bodies, and the POV shifts followed both halves. In this case, we follow multiple different people. It works fine for the story, but there were occasional moments of confusion while I figured out who was the POV character. It does still work, but not as smoothly as in the first book. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Dec 10, 2008 |
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For eight days, Mirei thought she could relax.
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Warrior and Witch was republished under the title Witch.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446616974, Mass Market Paperback)

When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. Forthe witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. Or so itwas believed for centuries . . . Once Mirei discovered that mergingwith a doppelganger gave a witch more power than killing them, thewitches at Starfall have been in an uproar (Doppelganger; 4/06). Herheresy goes against centuries of teaching-and the accepted practice ofmurdering their doubles.On a quest to collect the survivingdoppelgangers, Mirei is unsurprised to discover that there are stillwitches at Starfall who side against her and her unorthodox ways. Butworse, her fellow hunter and closest friend, Eclipse, has beencaptured by these same witches-and has no choice but to swear a bloodoath to kill Mirei. If he fails his blood oath, he will die. With thewitches divided, and Starfall itself in the middle of a civil war,Mirei will have to choose between saving her friend and figuring out away to unite Starfall before it's too late.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Once Mirei discovered that merging with their doppelgangers gave witches more power than killing them, the witches at Starfall have been in an uproar. Now she has to choose between saving her friend Eclipse and figuring out a way to save Starfall from its own civil war.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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