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Warrior and Witch by Marie Brennan
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Warrior and Witch (edition 2006)

by Marie Brennan

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469722,298 (3.74)8
Member:Kassilem
Title:Warrior and Witch
Authors:Marie Brennan
Info:Warner Books (2006), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:High Fantasy

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Warrior and Witch by Marie Brennan

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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 |
Warrior and Witch by Marie Brennan is the second novel in the Doppelganger series. Just so people don’t get confused, this same novel is also known as Witch. Why the change…

My publisher wants them to have continued life; the reissue is timed for two months after the release of Midnight Never Come, to attract new readers from that book. The change in title comes about because they wanted to redesign these two to more obviously form a pair, the change in cover because everyone agrees Warrior and Witch (now Witch) has the much more arresting image.

In Doppelganger, Mirei has just told the Primes the true purpose behind the doppelgangers and that their ancestor had it all wrong. They weren’t meant to be destroyed, they were meant to be cherished and then once a witch comes of age, the two halves pray together in order to become one again. This is the only way for a witch to truly harness the power of the Void. Needless to say, not everyone is ecstatic by Mirei’s revelations and as such, there are some dissidents in the ranks of the witches.

This is a series I have really been enjoying, however, I will say that it was a little off compared to Doppelganger. I don’t know what it was, but something seemed off. Towards the end of Doppelganger, after Mirei was formed, she was still having conversations with Mirage, but that all seemed to go away in Warrior and Witch. Don’t get me wrong, she was still there in her memories and she still had some deja vu going on, however, I don’t believe that her character was developed as well as it could have been. I also wasn’t a fan of how they downplayed Mirage to the point where they kept saying she didn’t exist anymore and that Mirei needs to remember that she’s a witch and not a Hunter. Personally, Mirei is both and to say she isn’t one would be saying Mirei doesn’t exist. Afterall, she wouldn’t without Mirage, she would still be just Miryo. Although, the development of all the other characters was just as good, so I really can’t say the character development was off. We learn more about each supporting character and the book doesn’t focus primarily on Mirei.

I think that was probably the other reason it seemed off. Doppelganger focused on Miryo and Mirage, two sides of the same coin, yet this one also focused on Satomi and the brewing rebellion of the witches who don’t exactly follow Mirei. The writing was just as fabulous, so that definitely didn’t catch me off guard, but I have to say that I’m glad there was some time between my reading of these two novels. I think I would have felt cheated by not having all the focus being on Mirei. Although, it didn’t not hurt the story at all. I was still engrossed in it and kept reading when I knew I should be cleaning my office. What can I say, I can’t help it when a good book keeps drawing me into it’s story.

Overall, this is another great novel that I will be eagerly waiting to add to my personal collection. The world is still exceedingly well written; the characters have such depth to them that it’s hard not to form an attachment; and the plot kept you chained to the book to see what was going to happen. My only real problem with the whole story, it ended all too quickly. It just seems like there should have been more and I’m curious if Brennan has thoughts on adding a third novel. I know the series ended with the second one, but you get to the final battle and then it’s over and the rebuilding occurs. It was very abrupt and left me wanting to know more, wanting to continue reading what wasn’t there. To me, that shows what a great novel this was. I’m mad that I couldn’t continue reading it. So I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a good fantasy story without any romantic elements.

http://www.literaryescapism.com/2008/07/27/258/ ( )
  jaxon | Nov 25, 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:30 -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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