The Missing of Clairdelune

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This is a spellbinding sequel to the series. I don't think I could put into words how much I adored this book. I am ecstatic to read the next installment. Christelle Dabos' storytelling just swept me away.
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This sequel met all of my expectations and then some. I am absolutely looking forward to reading the third book in this series when it is translated to English.
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A Winter's Promise was one of those rare books that stood at the exact intersection of nostalgia and innovation. It had the feel of a 20th century classic of children's literature, but invested with the insight and maturity of more modern YA. I was beyond excited to get my hands on the second installment (of four) now that it’s been translated from the French, The Missing of Clairdelune. 
  
The "missing" of the title are various odious people snatched from the seemingly inviolable sanctuary of Clairdelune. They each have opposed various reforms aimed at greater inclusion and protection for the non-aristocrats—all except for one.
 
Ophelia has been getting letters, too. 
 
Yes, our plucky and klutzy heroine is in greater danger than ever before, now that she is openly participating in the Pole Court. Her engagement to Thorn, the sullen and meticulous head of the Treasury, makes her more of a target, not less, and her being a foreigner…well. In a place where courtiers hate their own families only slightly less than other families, someone with no family at all is as vulnerable as she is despised. She’s easy prey, to be sure, but all the other victims were taken from locked rooms and guarded suites. She’s not a threat and she’s not even a challenge. So why does the writer hate her enough to declare that “God doesn’t want you here”?

The letters claim to be speaking for God, but few people even recognize such an entity. If they think of higher powers at all, they think of the Familiar Spirits, massive immortals of great supernatural power. They might be the progenitors of their Arks, but their long years have wrung out any benevolence, leaving them capricious and obsessive. Each not only has a magical domain, but a peculiar range of interests from which they will not deviate. But whether consumed by astronomy or transmutation, they are united by their fascination with their Books and with their dim recollections of the cataclysm.

Farouk, the Pole spirit, has an amnesia so profound that he must rely on written records for even the most fundamental details: “your consort is Berenilde,” “you promised to protect Ophelia,” and so on. But it is another Book that consumes his intermittent attention, the Book each Familiar Spirit possesses but cannot read or understand. These Books are artifacts of the cataclysm, powerful somehow but written in an unreadable language. They are dreadfully important, but no one—not even the Familiar Spirits—know how or why. 

Ophelia might be able to “read” Farouk’s Book with her psychometry, but she becomes concerned about what she might find. The threats on her life may be in line with a wider, more insidious conspiracy that might span multiple Arks. Many powerful people are dead-set against exploration of the pre-cataclysmic past, whether that means investigating records or artifacts. Clearly there is something terrible hiding in the past, something that is related to the unknown God and to the “missing.” 
 
The interlocking mysteries and threats are carefully handled, never overwhelming the narrative and never dumbed down, either. Ophelia is both thoughtful and capable, and fortunately Dabos never pushes her to be anything other than what she is, namely, a shy archivist. She gets tongue-tied and is no real help in a fight, but she never gives up her curiosity and she learns to stand up for herself against even the worst bullies. I appreciate this kind of consistency, since it makes Dabos’s characters more real. Some of the supporting cast tend toward wackiness, much like in Alice in Wonderland, but the major characters (Ophelia, Thorn, Berenilde) keep that touch of surreality from overwhelming.

Ophelia and Thorn’s stilted, awkward relationship is now in its second book and, after almost a thousand pages, I can’t say I’m entirely thrilled with the speed at which it has progressed. It would, however, make an excellent anime, since the two are absolutely devoted to the idea of not talking to each other and instead letting little misunderstandings build up. (Actually, given the combination of incredible visuals, understated magic, and slightly wacky circumstances, this would make an excellent Miyazaki movie.)

The constant sense of menace is punctuated by moments of humor or wonder to keep it from becoming overwhelming, but the book still overall has a strong urgency that drives everything forward. It feels far shorter than its rather hefty 540 pages, although the middle portion of the book drags somewhat, as we are constantly distracted from the central mysteries—the Book, the missing persons—by other dramatic interludes. Burlesque owners, disgruntled family members, assassins, guards, and seemingly the whole and sundry of society pop in and out of Ophelia’s life, but very few provide the details necessary to keep the main mysteries moving. Ophelia also does little deduction of her own, and so the book is a bit overstuffed and underfocused as a single volume. 

However, the whole quartet seems to be one of those series that is really one large book, subdivided, rather than four individual installments. It’s unfortunate that these are released on an annual schedule, since it gives the impression that they’re much more distinct than they really are, and gives us time to forget. Really, this is more of a huge epic, Game of Thrones meets Alice in Wonderland, and now that there are two volumes out, there’s no better time to jump in.
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Having read and loved the world created in Christelle Dabos' first book of the quartet, A Winter's Promise, I was delighted to dive into The Missing of Clairdelune. This book is a strong sequel that also leaves room for growth moving into the back half of the series. Ophelia is a fantastic protagonist, who is the best kind of heroine - both bookish and brave. This book has love and adventure and fantasy. It's an import from France, and we're lucky to have this translation in English.
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I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

4.5 Stars. 

The Missing of the Clairdelune is book two in the Mirror Visitor quartet. The series is being translated into English from the original French. This is a fantasy series about a woman called Ophelia. In book one she is forced into an arranged marriage, on a completely different world, with a man called Thorn. At first one might think this book is a set up for a trope filled ride but nothing could be further from the truth. 

The world created here is fascinating. The idea that the Earth has “Ruptured” into hundreds of pieces or Arcs is very interesting and original. Ophelia has to go from her world Anima... kinda like our Earth but with more of a Victorian feel, to Pole which feels like a cold, turmoil filled Russia. In Pole the constant backstabbing and political intrigue makes it hard to believe you can trust anyone. In book two we continue Ophelia's journey in trying to survive and find her place in this world. Then she receives some threatening news and people start dying. 

The mystery is great. I kept speculating who was the murderer and was wrong so many times. The last 20% of this book I flew through, which caught me by surprise because I normally find the book slow most of the time. The pacing is slow but still totally enjoyable. 

The characters are ones that I can't help but love. Ophelia is strong in this quiet way. People tend to think she is harmless but they are completely wrong. She has to learn to be tougher in this novel and I love her character growth. Thorn is so fascinating in a way he's like every other stoic brooding hero you read but there are these tiny glimpses of more that drive the reader to want to know more. He's like Spock, you just keep waiting for him to drop that wall. I also love all the secondary characters like Archibald, Berenilde, Fox and more. 

My favorite part for the novels are the fragments. Where we learn just a little bit more about Farouk and the the other head spirits past lives before the Rupture. I kept wanting these parts to be longer but I understand why there weren't. Also the ending was so good! The cliffhanger has me dying for the next book which I will have to wait so long for, but will totally pick up the second it is published. This series is great for anyone who wants to read a truly unique fantasy novel. I'm so happy I did.
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A wonderful fantasy book with an amazing world building and a great cast of characters.
I'm sorry I didn't read the first book in this series because it could have helped to better understand this plot but it was a great read anyway.
Everything is great: the style of writing, the plot, the relationship between the characters.
I look forward to reading the other installment in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Europa Editions and Netgalley for this ARC
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AS I WRITE these words I am sitting down to write my thoughts on a very special book I have just read. One that I could barely put down, and yes, I am in school... And I read this rather than doing my homework. And I will tell you why. 

**Readers' note:

The Missing of Clairedelune is no ordinary book. It has been animated, so that makes reading it very tricky. Unless one wants to read the traces and feelings, thoughts and emotions of the previous owners. I would advise you to read with readers gloves. Ah! I know it can be very tempting to read the book, without, the gloves. As I once was quite tempted to do. But one must be strong. After all, one needs permission to read. 

But you may not. IN fact I hope you do not need permission to read, The Missing of Clairedelune. 

After immersing myself in the world of Arks after the Rupture, the land of Anima, Ophelia's family and the wonders contained there. I found it very hard thinking that I wouldn't be able to meet Ophelia again for a while longer. I couldn't get this world out of my head. I sincerely think that A Winter's Promise, the first book in the Mirror Visitor series has become one of my favorite books. Its unending charm and unapologetic nerve, the way it spins a tale so dense and dark around you that you really have lost all thought to where you sit. Is absolutely enthralling! I cannot remember the last time I completely lost myself in an epic tale of this magnitude - and then found myself in Ophelia. 

In much the same way that she finds herself in these books. The Missing of Clairedelune which is yet to be released and will be published in April of this year. After leaving her family on Anima to marry Thorn, and is thrust into court life at the Pole, on an Ark where she has little friends and nearly no allies. She struggles in the limelight of the court setting, where gossip and frenzy follow her everywhere she goes, watching her every move. She is an outsider, and she does not even try to fit in. With her animated scarf as her familiar, her rectangle glasses, her blatant disregard for the ways things are done and her reader ways. She is odd and even odder than people expect. Ophelia surprises herself and everyone on the Pole when she does what they least expect her to do - she survives and begins to find her place, against all the odds. She has more spunk and voracity than even she knew. She finds herself standing up and reading stories to the ever forgetful Family Spirit, becoming Miss Vice Storyteller, and even to find herself noticing odd goings on about the Citaceleste. It's all pomp and circumstance in court, until the illusions wear away to reveal something altogether sinister. Ophelia is left to discover an ancient and hidden power on the Pole. When courtiers start to go missing, she and Thorn discover that they make a pretty unstoppable team. As they begin to piece together the missing pages of a book that was written oh so long ago.... 






A big thank you to Europa Publishers for letting me read an Advanced Reader Copy of this lovely book, it is indeed a treasure. 

**Readers note is written partially in the style and theme of the books of which I speak, I am by no means the author of this style or of these books. The author is Christelle Dabos, she is the creator the Mirror Visitor series.
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Dabos continues to expand the complexity and richness of the Mirror Visitor quarter with "The Missing of Clairdelune." Ophelia continues to have a quiet courage that is admirable. Her interactions with Thorn continue to delight. I really liked her interactions with Farouk, but I still find the overall mystery of the Poles confusing and obscure. I will continue to read the series, but I wonder if some things are lost in translation from the original.
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I read the first book in Christelle Dabos' Mirror Quartet last year and it immediately became one of my favorite books of the year. I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of the second book, The Missing of Clairdelune and dove into it immediately. I was not disappointed. The sequel to A Winter's Promise is even better than the first. While the first focused on world building and characterization, the second is more "action packed." We are already familiar with the characters of Thorn and Ophelia, yet we get a better understanding of the roles that they play and how their relationship is effected with the second book. It's hard to say more without getting lost in the details or giving away the plot, but suffice to say you should grab this book immediately. You will not be able to put it down, and like me, eagerly await the next installment.
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Spoilers for A Winter’s Promise.

Christelle Dabos’ The Missing of Clairdelune is the second installment to her The Mirror Visitor Quartet. Ophelia’s adventure continues in The Pole. Her and Thron are set to be married, so that Thorn can share Ophelia’s ability to read the history of objects. Finally revealed to the court and the politics that come with it, Ophelia requests from the Family Spirit, Farouk, a job. He assigns her to be the Vice-Storyteller, a job that will have her telling stories from Anima to him and other members of the court. Thrust deeper into court politics Ophelia finds that her fiance is the only one that she can truly trust. When people in the court hierarchy begin disappearing each has some kind of connect that leads back to Ophelia. She must find out what is happening to them before it’s too late. Even if it means disobeying Thorn’s orders.

 The Missing of Clairdelune is more fast paced than A Winter’s Promise. While it still has the political intrigue of it’s successor, it has so much more action in it. Something is always going on. Mostly because Ophelia is a strong headed character and refuses to listen to anyone when they tell her that something isn’t a good idea. For the most part I like this about her, but sometimes you just want to shake her because you know it’s a terrible idea for her to go off alone or decide to investigate something the Thorn specifically tells her not to stick her nose in. This is just a flaw in her character and who doesn’t like an author that actually gives their characters flaws?

 Dabos’ is consistent with her characters. Ophelia is clumsy as ever, but not to the point of being obnoxious. She does have points of being a klutz durning important things but Dabos uses it cleverly and it’s often hilarious because it’s relatable. For instance at one point she trips on the stairs going down off of a stage. Thorn is still telling Ophelia not to get involved in things and not draw attention to herself. He is still socially awkward and withdrawn. I love that she is able to be consistent with her characters. Often times authors will say that someone is clumsy or withdrawn but they lose their characteristics by the end of the book unless it’s convenient to the story progression.

 This novel is much better than the first. This may be because there is more action in this one because there isn’t as much world building that has to occur. I have some problems with how the novel ended because I’m not sure where the next two books are going to go, but I will be reading the third book when it is translated. It certainly does make me wish that I could read French so I wouldn’t have to wait!
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I received an arc from Netgalley. Thank you Europa, Christelle Dabos, and Netgalley for the privelage to read this book. This review is my honest review. 
Rating-5/5 Stars
The Missing of Clairdelune is the sequel to A Winter’s Promise, which one of my favorite books of 2018. This book, the sequel was one of my anticipated reads of 2019. And man, it did not disappoint. 
The novel picks right up from where A Winter’s Promise and there was a bit of a mystery in this novel, which kept me wondering a guessing on why people were going missing. Christelle Dabos writes a beautiful masterpiece. Her writing pulls me in and feels elegant and different from any fantasy novel I have ever read. I love her world building, the character development, and definitely her writing style. I cannot wait until the third book is translated into English and has a release date. I need more.
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The Missing of Clairedelune is the second book in a series. I wish I had read the first book because I think it would have made this book better. I still enjoyed it though. Ophelia is an awesome character. I like her a lot. Thorn is also likeable and engaging. The relationship between them is great and obviously going somewhere. The magic and mystery and description is beautiful. It's vivid and alive. I was a little confused with the religious elements of the story but not enough to make me like it much less. It's well written and lovely. I have to go back now and read Winter's Promise. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Magic,mystery and intrigue abound in this beautifully imagined fantastical world. It’s like a merge of the best elements of  Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and Hunger Games. You’ve got your insane and creepy villains, dark and nonchalant heroes and bookishly smart  heroines, surrounded by an ensemble cast of whimsical and unforgettable characters. All supporting a wildly intricate plot that will keep you guessing until the very last page. Bravo
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Brilliant! I have to thank the owner of my local bookstore for pointing out the first book in the series, A Winter's Promise. If not for that, who knows how long it would have taken me to discover this series. I did read some mixed reviews, which to be honest, makes me want to read a book even more. Some people love it, some people hate it. That usually means I'm going to be one of the people that loves it. And did I ever! The pure imagination that went into this book is astounding. I loved every minute I was reading this book. The story has so many twists and turns, mysteries, twists, its awesome. The characters are very well written and I adore the heroine, Ophelia. I liked her immediately. Her apparent mousiness and clumsiness, her actual complete strength of character. She did what needed to be done, no matter what. Love her! So happy I got to read this book. The only downside is that I have to wait forever for the third one to be translated and released here. But I guarantee I will be purchasing it on release day.
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Love this series and this book is an excellent follow up to the first book. Ophelia and Thorn have great character growth and the author manages to create such interesting concepts while interweaving the religious details around the existence of the people.
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I totally devoured this book! What an immersive reading experience. I love Dabos's world-building — much like the world of Harry Potter, you can tell the world of the Arks is sweeping and detailed. But Dabos is able to tighten her focus when necessary, focusing on the most important characters while hinting at how the universe might expand in future. This is a well-plotted sequel that wraps up many lingering plot threads from book 1 while leaving some dangling for the rest of the series. 

The romance between Thorn and Ophelia is developing slowly, which feels realistic and welcome (if slightly torturous as a reader), and I really liked how gradually Ophelia came to the realization that there's something there. The ending opened up a lot of interesting possibilities. I can't wait for book 3!
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Oh man, this was excellent, being an emotional ride that never lagged as a second book in a series. Instead, it expanded the scope of the narrative, moving beyond the interpersonal dynamics established in A Winter's Promise to the more encompassing mechanics and mythos of the post-apocalyptic setting. With that shift, the stakes are made even higher and the simmering emotions are intensified. What I loved was that this book neatly resolved many of the lingering threads from the first book but also laid foundation for longer plot arcs that extend through later books. It didn't waste space with unnecessary filler or stagnate character arcs for later books. The religious aspects of this novel were wild but certainly fascinating, as the God character seems cruel and yet limited as opposed to being typically omnipotent. I'll really look forward to seeing other arks in the future novels to see more of this worldbuilding and origin story come into play. 

Also, the romance is SO GOOD, you guys. I know that Thorn's been percolating in his feelings since the first book but it was so interesting to see Ophelia regularly recalibrate her own feelings as she renegotiates their relationship at various points in the narrative. Their slowburn romance has been delicate and agonizing, but it was so great to see it culminate properly. Thorn and Ophelia are both fiercely loyal but also introspective, both being willing to admit error in judgement and rise above their fears to help others, and theirs is an exquisitely tender relationship to watch unfold. My one complaint to Dabos is to only ask how could she contrive to separate them yet again, after all that they've been through??? But yeah, I'm hyped for the sequels whenever they will come out!
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