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Manifest Delusions #2

The Mirror’s Truth

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This is the Advance Reader Copy edition. The final published edition can be found here

Bedeckt defined himself by the list of crimes he was unwilling to commit. It was such a short list. How could straying from it have gone so wrong?

Bedeckt must undo the damage caused by wandering from his precious list. The Geborene god seeks to remake the world with his obsessive need for cleanliness and perfection, but Bedeckt is going to bring him down. Nothing can stop him. Not even death.

The two friends he abandoned in the Afterdeath chase after Bedeckt, bent on revenge. Psychotic assassins hunt him. Something cold and evil follows, lurking in the clouds above, shredding reality with its delusions. Madness and sanity war, stretching and tearing the very fabric of existence.

The dead shall rise.

500 pages, ebook

First published December 1, 2016

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About the author

Michael R. Fletcher

38 books1,086 followers
Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author, a grilled cheese aficionado, and a whiskey-swilling reprobate. He spends his days choreographing his forklift musical (titled "Get Forked"), and using caffeine as a substitute for sanity. Any suggestions that he is actually Dyrk Ashton in disguise are all lies.

Blog (kinda): http://michaelrfletcher.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFlet...

Twitter: @FletcherMR

Instagram: fletcher_michael_r

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Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews45.9k followers
February 12, 2018
This is why I love grimdark fantasy. The Mirror’s Truth is grimdark fantasy at its best and it deserves only the highest of praise from me.

This is one of those books that will be engraved in my hall of remembrance. If you’re afraid of trying grimdark fantasies, remember, a road less traveled can make all the difference. Who knows? Maybe this could be one of your best reads, too.

Somewhere in the middle of my read through Beyond Redemption, I knew I had to drop any planned reading in my schedule and continue to the sequel immediately. I’m glad I did because this was one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had in the genre. When I stumble upon a fantastic book, I always try to savor and stretch my reading time as long as possible. If I fail to do this, it means that the book is so good that it ended up overpowering my will. I ended up finishing The Mirror’s Truth in less than two days, so go figure.

Fletcher has improved upon all the groundwork he established previously in Beyond Redemption. The plot is a direct continuation of what happened at the end of the previous book. Bedeckt, who defines himself by his list of crimes that he’s committed to avoiding, strayed once from that commitment. The Mirror’s Truth revolves around the aftermath of that decision and the chaos it spawned. While the scope of the plot isn’t as epic as before, it’s equally amazing; maybe even more so in a different way because this time, the plot is more character driven. Even with the changes in the narrative direction, the book is still filled with a myriad of madness, manipulations, violence, and intriguing philosophies. It’s also more brutal, engaging, and surprisingly, more poignant than before. Combined with a well-balanced pacing and the growing tension that accumulated with each page turned, the story eventually reached an intricate, unforgettable, emotional tornado of clashing delusions that left me completely breathless. The conclusion of this book is one of the best conclusions to a book I’ve ever read; the sheer brilliance of it is simply indisputable.

One of the biggest challenges in grimdark fantasies is to create lovable characters despite their morally gray code, especially in cases like this series, where characters tend to be evil and sociopathic. I believe that no one in this world is completely good: not me, not you, not anyone. We have all done some bad things and made mistakes we wish we could take back. The same goes for 'evil’ characters; I believe that deep inside them, there could be still a sliver of goodness. I’m not trying to be pessimistic. That’s humanity, and it’s realistic. In a way, that’s the point of grimdark fantasy and why I love the genre. Fletcher nailed this situation with the accuracy of a sniper. As the book shifted its narration to a character-driven style, we get to explore more of these deranged characters thoughts and sense of longing, especially for the main trio.The stupendous characters' development is one of the aspects that truly made this book superior from its predecessor.

The world-building also significantly improved. If Fletcher had stuck with what he made in Beyond Redemption, honestly I would’ve been okay with it. However, he instead made it even better with more Geisteskranken (The Delusional) appearances — I mean c'mon, there’s even a DRAGON! Look at the book cover, a dragon! — and exploration of Afterdeath. The exposition of Afterdeath and how it influenced and affected the real world is truly amazing; it’s like we have two worlds to explore rather than one. Don’t even get me started on the Mirror elements, which I could gush about, but I strongly believe it’s something that you have to truly experience for yourself.

From my past experiences in the genre, a lot of grimdark authors tended to have prose that’s more flowery than flowers themselves. I personally dislike that. Sometimes, the words aren’t even necessary other than to make the sentences sound ‘cooler’. It ruins the flow of the book for me when I have to think “what the hell is the author is trying to say?” or looked at the dictionary repeatedly. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing at all; I just feel that there should be a line on this because anything that’s too much isn’t good. Fletcher’s prose isn’t like that all. No words are wasted, everything is crucial, and yet it’s addictive, immersive, and easy to access. That said, considering that The Mirror’s Truth is indie, I did find some typos throughout my read. Typos never bother my reading experience unless it’s out of control, and that’s why it won’t affect my overall assessment; I’m just letting you know that there are some here. I also love how each chapter almost always starts with a philosophical passage that’s essential to the atmosphere and background of the mad world. This one, in particular, is my favorite:

“We are each living a story. What many of us are too afraid to admit is that we are the authors of our story. You are living the life you chose for yourself. You are living the result of each and every one of your choices. If you are letting others make decisions for you, you are allowing them to write your story. Do they have your best interests at heart? If you are unhappy, whose fault is that? Don’t like your life, go write yourself a better one.”

Finally, I want to address the aesthetic factors and production value. Unlike Beyond Redemption, The Mirror’s Truth is self-published, there’s a reason for this but it’s too long for me to explain here. You can read about it in the acknowledgment section, or even just ask the author about it. Don’t let this fact discourage you, though. Beyond Redemption has a cool cover; it was drawn by one of my favorite artists, Richard Anderson, but, it honestly didn’t capture the madness of the world. The Mirror’s Truth book cover was done by a different artist and let me just says that it’s pure badassery and it fully captured what Fletcher envisioned in the world he created.

Picture: The Mirror’s Truth Book Cover in all its glory by John Anthony Di Giovanni.

Click here for HQ version: https://static.wixstatic.com/media/94...

Then we also have the matter of materials. Self-published trade paperbacks somehow seem to have better materials than what big publishing companies use. The Books of Babel from Josiah Bancroft — which I possess — along with this book justify my reasoning. The papers used are smooth and thin. The ink glistens as if it was just printed, which made my reading experience even better. They also look wet under the light if you’re looking at it from the right angle. If all books published by big publishing company were the same superb quality, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be reading from e-books, ever.

To do a tiny bit of comparison in overall quality: this series, just judging from the two available books, are in my opinion better than all books written by Mark Lawrence, Brian Staveley, and I’ve read all of them before saying this. The fact that The Mirror’s Truth is self-published makes this even crazier and is why I will do everything I can to make sure everyone notices and reads this book. You can thank me or send me hate mail later but please, give it a try first.

Honestly speaking, grimdark fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially in manga. However, I’ve been disappointed a lot with grimdark novels. There are some great ones for sure, but none ever made it into my "favorites of all time" shelves so far except for Abercrombie’s books; however, Fletcher did it twice in succession with this series. Joe Abercrombie has always been one of my favorite authors, and he still is. I crowned him as the best grimdark author of all time (but do note that I haven’t read Malazan yet at the time of writing this review so I can’t say anything for Steven Erikson). Now I finally have someone on my list that can share that throne with him.

There will be more standalone novels taking place in the same world, like Swarm and Steel which was just released yesterday and which I’ll be reading next; there will also be one more book to conclude this series. This means the Manifest Delusions main series will be a trilogy. Whatever the future holds, Fletcher will have my full support not only because I need more, but because the world of fantasy needs more of the originality that he can deliver. I know everyone who has read this series will agree with me that if there’s an author that deserves our support, Fletcher is that author. With The Mirror’s Truth, Manifest Delusions has already cemented its quality as one of the best grimdark fantasies series I’ve ever read, along with The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie, and at the same time, is the number one most underrated series I’ve ever read. The Mirror’s Truth is a sequel manifested from a mixture of superlative imagination and genuine talent that every fan of the genre must read. I absolutely recommend this book with all my heart, brain, and delusions.

There’s no excuse here. The only reason you should not read this book is if you’re dead, in which case you’ll still find me enslaving everyone to read this book from the Afterdeath. Mwahahahahaha!! Pardon me, that was my doppelganger speaking, I’ll shut him up now. Seriously though, read this book.

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,233 followers
July 11, 2017

"Self-loathing is the natural state for humanity. We know there is something wrong with us. We are at war with ourselves, and it’s a war we are doomed to lose."

Buddy read with my fellow delusionalist Jody

This book needs to be accompanied by some crazy epic death metal & head banging. I used to be a metal head, but in my old age I find it pretty hectic, however if you read this novel whilst listening to death metal (the real growly shit), I guarantee your experience will be enhanced. Mine was anyway.
Actual footage of me rocking out lol jokes If I did this I swear I'd pull the muscles in my neck & have to wear a neck brace, I'm too old for this shite.

Anyway, sorry about the rambling my mind is in out of space lately, so expect a ton of word vomit & fangirling, come to think of it.. I think I'm Fletcher's first squealing mess of a fan, I crumble like a teenage girl at a one direction concert over his shite.

Seriously folks what a goddam rutting mess. Once again I am left wondering why I'm so goddamn morbid?! How can I love something so gritty, warped & twisted? Actually I lied, I don't love this novel. I actually adore it. If I could cuddle the novel for being so incredibly fucked up I would, but I won't because that would be awkward. I love the grit, I love the darkness & most of all I loved all the violence. I am now labeling Fletcher the king of grimdark. He definitely knows how to bring the grim to the dark. Like my body wasn't prepared for the feels and grimness that this book delivered. IT CRUSHED MY SOUL. I RUTTING CRIED. Seriously I never thought I'd cry over characters I hated with a passion or even feel any remorse for them. But I did. Michael is an extremely talented author, he made us hate the characters in book one & in book two we felt empathy for them. FEELING EMPATHY FOR VILLAINS IS SACRILEGIOUS, ITS NOT RIGHT... Thanks for sucker punching me in the jaw.

“Sometimes you don’t talk like the kind of man who slams another man’s head against the floor until his skull breaks.”

Basically this book is about all the good shit normal authors don't explore madness, death, chaos & violence. Bedeckt has a list of crimes he won't commit, however he has already broken those rules and caused more damage then he ever thought he would. The Geborene God seeks to remake the world. He wants it perfect and clean. However he is having trouble in a world full of the insane. Bedeckt wants to put an end to the madness he has created. But he is being followed by his two best friends who he abandoned, Wichtig the greatest swordsman in the world & Stelhan a kleptomaniac (this chick is crazy, like beyond redemption, she would cut your throat in your sleep for fun). Who will reach the God first? Or will Bedeckt die before he gets a chance to redeem himself? What happens when the only sane person in the whole world is the craziest of them all? The dead shall rise & with them they will create a war that will tear the very fabric of existence. Sanity wasn’t real. It was a myth, a delusion. In a mad world, in a reality governed by faith and belief and delusion, what was sanity? It’s madness. Fletcher has once again surpassed all my expectations, this book was incredible. And I'm not just saying that lightly, people were telling me "it's so much darker then Beyond Redemption" of course I didn't believe them because let be honest that book was just a black void of darkness.. however it's true. This book is so much darker then BR. This novel just like its predesscor was a slow burn, the first 25% could be considered boring, however the concept is interesting enough to keep you engaged, at around the 30% mark you won't be able to put the novel down as it gets really intense & keeps that pace until the last page. AND THAT ENDING WAS THE BEST ENDING IVE EVER READ, seriously it was fucking crazy. But the main thing that drew me in was Fletcher's ability to make the vile characters so much more deep and likeable... Maybe even a tad loveable? they have regrets, they want redemption, some of them even want to be better people, so the character development is extremely well done and quite frankly some of the best I've read in a long time. But they are all still insane villains and as the saying goes It’s a shite world. Shite things happen. Fletcher has a way with words, his writing is flawless and it's actually full of words of wisdom. I saved so many quotes from this gem because I just adored nearly every sentence. If I were to compare his prose to another author i would say it's very similar to Abercrombie's writing style, however for me I think Fletcher is just that little bit better, like a tiny smidgen and that's just because of his creativity, he has created a terrible spit and phlegm filled world with terrible characters where everyone is ugly, so for me this is one of the most unique and imaginative stories I've read in a long time and contains one of the most different plot-lines I've had the pleasure to read. Another thing Fletcher does well is he has you on the edge of your seat while your reading. It's a very unpredictable read, anything could happen at anytime and he definitely doesn't give a shit about killing his main characters so expect the unexpected. I also love the fact the story is told in multi person POV, there's a lot of story lines going on but they are all wrapped up neatly with a big blood, vomit & phlegm stained bow at the end. It's definitely another one of those thought provoking novels that has you questioning your own sanity and wondering if the person in the mirror is actually a part of your delusions and secretly wants to choke the life from your body for fun, remember if the person in the mirror starts talking to you “The mirror ever lies,” , so you can't trust them..

The Mirrors Truth also brings some refreshing themes to the typically tropes your used to in fantasy novels, with some mind blowing differentness included in the mix, so if your sick of boring books, you should definitely check out Fletcher's work. My prior complaints I had with book one were definitely sorted out, the word shite is used less and the German names are becoming easier to handle, plus don't forget to use this saviour as a reference if you decide to pick up his work, it's an absolute must; Beyond Redemption Wiki

"I love that moment when you see it in their eyes, the dawning understanding that you have absolutely and utterly rutted their lives. It is the most delicious meal you will ever taste. And the more complete the betrayal, the better the flavour."

I feel like everyone on earth whines for diversity in books, this authors work is so diverse it's ridiculous. It features every type of crazy, every skin colour, it also explores lesbian relationships. But in saying that, if your someone who likes those things but are overly sensitive to violence and triggers eg rape, murder, torture. Don't touch these books, seriously, They are incredibly twisted, gritty & disturbing. If I see someone read and trash these books I may have to stab them with a blunt object & I'm not even joking. I will feel personally wounded by your hate. I love these books like a child.

"Who could love this? No one. No one could love such a vile person."
“Our scars are reminders of the mistakes we’ve made,”
"Sometimes the most unpredictable people were the most predictable."

all fanart by Quint VonCanon

Another Warning just in case you didn't read the last one.. you should not read these novels if your overly sensitive, they contain child abuse, rape, disturbing themes, animal abuse and quite possibly the most cringiest torture scenes ever, seriously one had me cowering in the corner and I honestly felt truly ill while reading it. Also there's some weird rutting shite going on. "Erdbehüter watched as he eyed a scab, licking his lips. She watched hunger and disgust do war. Hunger won. He ate the scab" so if your a Squeamish petal, stay away.

"Poets and story tellers always went on about how terrible that first kill was, how it haunted people. Bedeckt laughed every time he heard that. Such utter shite. Murder was nothing."

Recommended to all fans of grimdark and anyone with a harden heart whose looking for something different. Fletchers stories are a hidden gem that should be on every hardcore fantasy fans favourite list.

Ps. Just realised I wrote a novel on a novel..

Pss. Michael sorry to be an annoying pig rutter but can you seriously hurry up and write book three? Please & thank you.

Review for series so far;
Beyond Redemption - 5/5
The Mirrors Truth - 5/5
Total rating so far: 100/10
Review for Beyond Redemption

You can find this review and my other reviews at Booksprens.
Profile Image for Bookwraiths.
698 reviews1,065 followers
March 24, 2017
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

It is damn difficult to top perfection. And in my opinion, Beyond Redemptionwas just about as near perfect a grimdark as anyone can write, one of the most demented, darkest, and diabolical grims ever penned. But, somehow, Michael Fletcher did just that with The Mirror’s Truth. The mad man in the glasses and black cowl delivering a stunning sequel, one that sets a new standard for what a grimdark has to deliver in order to be considered great.


It all starts where Beyond Redemption ended: with Bedeckt and his two friends, Wichtig and Stehlen, dead in the Afterlife. Of course, our tragic trio has grown bored of the hereafter. Hell: there is only so many things one can do while there. So, these guys escape back into the land of the living.

While the Sanest Man Alive, the Greatest Swordsman in the World, and the Keptic Killer have been “living” it up in death, back in the real world things have changed. Their former captive, Morgen, has taken up the reins of godhood, busily remaking the Geborene people into a near perfect race. Every thought of the young god focused on perfecting the dirty, brutish habits of his worshipers, refining them and make them into immaculate, clean pinnacles of his vision of mankind. Only problem is that Morgen is a damn lunatic like everyone else in the world.

Well, Bedeckt is going to put a stop to Morgen’s madness. The crazed god is his fault (in his mind, at least), so he is going to fix the mess he created. Doesn’t matter that those two friends he tried to abandoned back in the Afterlife have found a way into the real world and are bent on hunting him down and killing him. He won’t be stopped by the other, even more psychotic, assassins Morgen has sent after him. Nor will his own slow descent into the madness and sanity he has always risen above deter him. Bedeckt will not fail, because he is the Sanest Man Alive – which might mean he is also the most damn crazed shite in a world full of lunatics and sociopaths.


From start to finish, this is one of the smoothest, most disturbing, and most compelling grimdarks I have ever read. From the near perfect pacing of the narrative to the engrossing storytelling, Michael Fletcher crafts a masterpiece and makes it look easy. Whether it is internal contemplation, savage torture, or scheming machinations, Michael Fletcher nails it, sells it, and makes a reader buy it whole-heartedly. Demented and crazed characters actually develop before your eyes, becoming understandable, even in their deep, dark madness. The fresh, inventive and intricately detailed world building brings to life a reality where madness and delusion creates the world around the characters, helping to mold them into different beings. The violence is visceral, always present, and horribly described when it finally finds it victims. And the ending . . . it is just pure Michael Fletcher madness, people. Great stuff. Can’t put it any more simply than that.

The only negative I will mention (So I can appear to be fair and hide my absolute fanboy feelings for this book/series.) is that the plot in The Mirror’s Truth is more narrow, less epic in feel than Beyond Redemption. Everything in this tale revolving around our protagonist Bedeckt, even though the other characters have their own stories going on simultaneously. While this didn’t bother me in the least, I could see many readers feeling bothered by the more focused plot line.

If you love grimdark and have not tried Michael Fletcher’s series, I have to go ahead and ask you to please turn over your grimdark fan club membership card, because you do not deserve to keep it. I mean, this series is a hidden gem of creativity, dementia, and pure violence, which grabs you by the throat and will not let go. It is 100% proof distilled madness delivered up by the Master of Grimdark Madness, Michael Fletcher. And you, my patient reader, need to go buy Beyond Redemption and read it already, because the bandwagon is leaving the station and everyone on board gets first choice at the bar.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank him for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.
Author 1 book360 followers
February 28, 2017
If you called The Mirror's Truth a masterpiece, you wouldn't do it justice.

Bedeckt made a terrible mistake. By abducting Morgen, he destroyed Konig's life work. What was pure and determined and worthy is now cunning and corrupt and full of self-doubt. The mad boy-god is now ascended and loose, and he wants to enslave humanity with his delusional dream of a perfect world. Bedeckt is the only one who can stop him, and in order to do so, he has to betray his only friends. But can you really escape the desire for revenge of the most powerful Kleptic and The Greatest Swordsman in the World?

“We are each living a story. What many of us are too afraid to admit is that we are the authors of our story. You are living the life you chose for yourself. You are living the result of each and every one of your choices. If you are letting others make decisions for you, you are allowing them to write your story. Do they have your best interests at heart? If you are unhappy, whose fault is that? Don’t like your life, go write yourself a better one.”

One of the greatest challenges an author will ever face, is to create a setting as powerful as his characters. Fletcher makes it look easy; not only does he deliver, but he also excels on every front. The enchanting and delightful prose, the thrilling yet smooth pace, and the exotic and compelling storytelling come together to wave a tale of shocking but wanted violence that would put every other grim tale to shame.

Fletcher's fantasy debut had but one problem; the dull and tiresome POV of an unwanted character. This problem is not present in the sequel, and there are virtually no others. The characters are fascinating and well developed, the already established world is further expanded and explored, and the magic system is beautifully structured and enthralling.

All in all, The Mirror's Truth is one of the greatest fantasy books I've ever read, and I urge you to drop anything else you are currently reading, and pick this one up instead.

You can find more of my reviews over at http://BookNest.eu/
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,071 reviews2,631 followers
December 5, 2016
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/12/05/...

The Mirror’s Truth is a sequel that builds upon everything that made the first book so great and all-consuming, featuring storylines and characters that are grittier, twistier, and even more insane. In other words, it’s even more fucked up than Beyond Redemption…and I loved it.

“War isn’t insanity, it’s the base state for all reality. Plants war for sunlight. Animals war for food and water. Wolves battle to decide who leads the pack. All life is struggle.

Peace, now that is insanity.”

You didn’t actually think it was over for our protagonists, did you? In the world of Manifest Delusions, death is only the beginning. Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig are back, following the complete and utter bloodbath that was the end of the first book. Only now, they’ve emerged even more brutal, bloodthirsty and psychotic than ever before.

It all started when the old and wretched Bedeckt, filled with the sudden horror of his actions, decided that he could not go through with the plans he had made. Now he must undo the damage caused by his weakness and do whatever it takes to stop Morgan, the mad child who has become a god. And if it takes abandoning his companions to the eternal greyness of the Afterdeath, then so be it.

Not surprisingly, Stehlen and Wichtig react none too kindly to that idea. Livid at being left behind, the murderous Kleptic and the self-styled Best Swordsman in the World decide to make clandestine deals of their own, returning to the world of the living in order track down Bedeckt and make him pay—slowly and painfully.

With friends like these, who needs enemies? At the same time though, it would be a mistake to dismiss these characters so casually. They may be insane, but they are deep. Beyond Redemption would not have been such a wildly successful book in my eyes if our protagonists had merely been the vile, monstrous degenerates they appeared to be on the surface. Instead, Michael R. Fletcher drew me in with the complexity of their personalities and relationships, and I was glad he continued to build upon these in the sequel. While Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig spend much of this book apart, we are still treated to the fascinating inner workings of their deep, dark scary minds.

In fact, with the chapters basically alternating between their POVs, each of the three are essentially given their own storyline thus giving way to a lot more character development on an individual level. The Bedeckt we used to know has become transformed, no longer just an old jaded thief looking to end his financial troubles once and for all with the score of a lifetime. Now he is a man wracked with guilt and grief, struggling to keep what morals (and sanity) he has left. We also get to see a softer side of Stehlen—and if you’ve read the first book, you’ll understand why I just burst into incredulous giggles while typing that—but believe it or not, it is true; the psycho kleptomaniac woman actually has feelings that go beyond wanting to slit your throat and steal your shit. And finally, there’s Wichtig, perhaps the most complicated of them all. Of the three protagonists, he’s the only one whose past is explored in depth, and I also find the story surrounding his delusion of being the world’s best swordsman to be extremely compelling.

And of course, I am once again floored by the originality and excellence in the world-building. People always complain about the same tired old tropes in fantasy and the lack of fresh ideas when it comes to magic systems and powers. To them I say, “Take some Manifest Delusions and call me in the morning.” Fletcher has done an incredible job creating this world where magic is madness, and those who are the most powerful are also the most unhinged. It’s a premise ripe for all kinds of ruckus and mayhem, and this sequel pushes the envelope even further.

Plot-wise, The Mirror’s Truth is simpler in some ways, but it is also stranger, bloodier, and more violent. The conclusion, however, was the best part. With that ending, Michael R. Fletcher might have just single-handedly redefined the word “insane”. Seriously.

I think it’s safe to say those who enjoyed Beyond Redemption will also love this sequel, and after all this waiting and uncertainty, I’m glad that The Mirror’s Truth has finally found its way into readers’ hands. Manifest Delusions is not so much a hidden gem, but rather an absolute treasure trove of a series to fans of grimdark. By the end of this one you will be begging for more.
Profile Image for Orient.
255 reviews210 followers
March 1, 2018
“There are no monsters that did not spring from the minds of men.”

A dirty BR with my fave Geisteskranken Mirrorist and an awesome Queenof the Cheese Stew, Mili 💜

Oh my god, what a book we’ve read! It was as dirty, twisted, insane as the first book, even more. After liking book one I just fell in love with book two, it is funny, creepy, emotional and full of delusions more than ever! Absolutely amazing 5 million 🌟 worth read!


Ohhhh, Mr. Fletcher doesn’t fear to get dirty and once again, the grimdark world in this series is well-written with precision. All the scenes feel alive, entwined with emotional, detailed narrative and splattered with all the crazy ugly stuff a living being can produce! The story follows several POVs giving us a chance to see the same scene from various angles. I loved the pace, there’s no time to get bored while I rolled with the characters in the mud when watching the battles or followed them in their journey to finding themselves or losing themselves in the corrupt world with no possible HEA. Writing is engaging and just so you know guys, this book is perfect! 💜


I loved the trio in book one and was happy to find and follow them in book two. Quite the same but also changing, becoming softer, more emotional, sharing more and revealing the talents they thought were lost, Stehlen, Bedeckt and Wichtig won my heart again. Also I couldn’t stop laughing as they got so much fun like for example
There were many touching emotional moment which melted my heart and some which made me sad, too.

The pain and worry of mine, my precious boy. I was worried and angry because of what he got to experience in book one. And now I got a different take on him, his darker side was revealed and IDK if I will forgive Mr. Fletcher for doing this! Aww, my precious boy is gone 🙁

“I think the reasons people do things should matter,” said Morgen. “Maybe, if I knew those reasons, I might make different choices of my own.”
“Basing your own choices on the whims and needs of others is foolish.”

“In a truly perfect world there is no need for a god to tell everyone what to do. They’re perfect, they’ll do it on their own. But you don’t want to lose your power. You like playing god, moving men like toy soldiers.”


Side characters is the part I really enjoyed. Some had a huge role to fulfill! They are well-written and give a great addition. Also the names, omg 😂Sacrifice lamb? 😂 A**hole? 😂 Would like to know more about the other trio of assassins


Oh my, various types of delusions, creatures, geisteskranken, original magical world is unforgettable. Soo excited to learn about the new creatures stalking it! Oh and lets not forget freaky magic places, like an oasis with grass! 😱 But don’t worry, I sent my two best agents to investigate 😎

One agent down, one agent down, abort mission, retreat to the headquarters! Ah well, until next time!

TOTAL: 5 million 🌟

“Self-examination is pointless shite.“

Can’t agree more and eager to continue my adventure in this world!

Profile Image for Anthony Ryan.
Author 67 books8,600 followers
November 20, 2016
Michael R. Fletcher’s The Mirror’s Truth is a dark delight. Our trio of appalling but still somehow compelling protagonists - possibly sane aged warrior Bedeckt, kleptomaniac murder addict Stehlen and manically self-interested ‘greatest swordsman in the world’ Wichtig – return from the Afterdeath to find a world brought to the brink of all-out war by the mad boy-god Morgan. The pitch black humour, magically enhanced insanity and brutality that distinguished Beyond Redemption as a remarkable fantasy debut are present in full force, and often cranked up to eleven. Highly recommended, and not just because my evil reflection told me so.
Profile Image for Jody .
202 reviews141 followers
July 26, 2017
Full review now up!

This was a BR with the lovely lady Sarah a.k.a. Luna.

‘Sanity and sense were delusions, and dangerous delusions at that.’

The Mirror’s Truth was a great sequel that, for me, was even better than the first book. I enjoyed Manifest Delusions because it was different than anything I had read before, and it really took a different turn into the grim dark fantasy genre. This second installment, while holding onto those same traits, put a different spin on the tale. These characters that we see in the first book as vile and cruel sociopaths are put under a different light. We get to see how vulnerable they are. While tough and self-assure when they were together. Apart we get to see a side of their personalities we haven’t seen before. They are still cold blooded killers that are delusional as hell, but their weaknesses and how they struggled with those weaknesses were really brought to the surface for the reader to see.

‘If reality is delusion, everything is an illusion. We are not what we think we are.’

The story has a kind of mixed time line to begin with. While it has only been a couple of weeks for Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig in the after death since the end of Manifest Delusions. Time has passed by a lot faster in the real world. The Geborene Damonen god Morgen is planning to wage war against the kingdom of Gottlos to try and extend his power. Bedeckt feels guilty for how they damaged the boy before his ascension and decides he wants to make it right. His decision sets off a chain of events that leads to a journey of blood, betrayal, and a search for absolution.

‘People use any excuse for laziness. Including death.’

I really enjoy Michael Fletcher’s writing style. He has a real talent for shaping a scene and showing the reader what makes his characters tick. While Manifest Delusions got us familiar with the world of the Geisteskranken and its delusional characters, The Mirror’s Truth took us inside the minds of those characters and showed us this world through their eyes. There were some scenes that would have made the writers of The Twilight Zone show proud. It was an intense read at times and definitely made for an emotional ending. Making a reader feel empathy for characters such as these has to be a hard thing for an author to accomplish, but Mr. Fletcher has done an amazing job.

So, if you’re looking for a read that is different and isn’t beholden to the usually grim dark fantasy genre. Then look no further. I recommend for all fantasy readers to give this series a try. Warning: This book could make you start challenging people do duels, and telling everyone ‘I’m the greatest swordsman in the world’. Or maybe that’s just me!

5 stars *****
Profile Image for Jonathan.
740 reviews91 followers
December 20, 2021
I was wondering how Fletcher would up the "grim dark" ante from the amazing first novel 'Beyond Redemption' but boy did he deliver.

This novel much like the first, starts a bit slow but once the pieces are set up it's pretty well pedal to the metal until the very end.

The dialogue and world works perfectly and is incredibly original, the twists and turns make you second read the lines but somehow make plausible sense at the same time.

Beyond that I really appreciated the level of philosophic thought there is to this world building and how much a lot of it applies to us in the real world. Fletcher is able to convey these observations without resorting to being preachy and blends them perfectly as part of the Manifest Delusion world and story.

Looking forward to the next volume.
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews234 followers
December 9, 2016
I think the greatest compliment you can pay an author is they drew emotion out of you. I think of all the emotions empathy being the greatest and thus hardest to deliver. Beyond Redemption was so epic in it's originality and mind games it was going to be hard to recapture that. The author did the right thing and didn't write a carbon copy. This version stands on it's own and did something the first didn't, it drew empathy out of me for these so flawed characters.

The last 20% of this book was cannot put it down deluded action that ended in a crescendo of gore and tragedy. If the first book was the one which made you laugh at the characters delusions the second was the one that made you feel for them. This one still had plenty of laughs but Fletcher definitely grew as an author.

I cannot wait to see where the mad genius takes us in future volumes.
Profile Image for Gavin.
883 reviews397 followers
April 18, 2017
This was a fantastic sequel to the excellent Beyond Redemption. Fletcher's Manifest Delusions series is like nothing else in the fantasy genre. It is best described as original, inventive, grimdark fantasy. Fletcher does grimdark to perfection. The characters are are all insane villains and the happenings are monstrously dark but the genius in Fletcher's writing is that it never gets too bleak or depressing. Quite the opposite in fact as reading this was a ton of fun! The story has a very cynical but humorous tone that helps mitigate the horror and Fletcher is fantastic at inspiring sympathy in the reader for his evil characters. You know they are crazy and capable of all sorts of evil stuff but you just cannot help rooting for them anyway!

The world building and the magic system were quite creative. In this world reality is defined by belief. Which makes the insane very powerful mages as they can bend reality to their will. Obviously this makes the world a fairly twisted one but also a super cool one.

The story picked up where the last book ended. Morgan has now Ascended to become God of the Geborene. He wants to make the world clean and perfect and to spread his new religion all over the world. The city state of Gottlos will be the first place to fall. As Morgan prepares to march to war he has to worry about enemies within his own sphere of influence. His Reflection, Natch, has his own idea on how the world should be and Konig, and his Reflection, Failure, continue to try and manipulate their own way back to the top of the Geborene religion. To make matters worse Bedeckt has escaped the Afterdeath and may be plotting against Morgen. Dare he call upon Bedeckt's old friends Wichtig and Sthelen, who Bedeckt abandoned in the Afterdeath, and send them to stop the only sane man (self-proclaimed) in the world?

The story was a lot of fun. Most of the best characters from the first book were back in action and as entertaining to follow as ever plus we got to meet a bunch of fun new characters as well.

All in all I really enjoyed this one and cannot wait for the next instalment.

Rating: 5 stars.

Audio Note: Still no audio which seems a total travesty! On the plus side reading this one is worth a few migraines:)
Profile Image for Michael Britt.
171 reviews1,992 followers
June 24, 2017
"That first kill taught him how easy it was. It taught him violence wasn’t the final refuge of the stupid, but rather the final refuge of a man unwilling to lose.”

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Actual rating: 10 shite stars/5

Full disclosure, this is my second book to read in this universe and I still don't know how to pronounce most of the characters names/cities. Now, on to the review.

I thought the first book, Beyond Redemption, was really good, but this one blew it out of the water. It was such an improvement of something that needed very little improving. The one aspect that I thought BR lacked was making me feel something for the characters. I liked a few of them, Bedeckt mainly, but I really didn't care if any of them lived or died. I lacked empathy for them, but they were interesting. In this installment he did a really great job in making me feel for the characters. Stehlen had some of my favorite chapters. In the first book it's made known that she is a cold, calculating, deadly assassin. She's still the same in Mirror's Truth, but we get some great POV chapters that made me feel a lot of empathy for her. And I loved that! If you can make me feel sad for someone as shitty as Stehlin, then you've got skills. We also get that with a few of the other characters too. Bedeckt is badass, as always. Well, .

The plot wasn't nearly as epic as BR, but I actually enjoyed this one a bit more. I can see how it might be something others might be bothered by, though. I was so caught up in the character development that I didn't realize it until I sat here and thought about the plot. A lot happens, so it's not like a Wheel of Time plot, but it's definitely less epic.

This series is so beautifully fucked up. I just can't help but love it. Fletcher has officially secured a spot on my "buy whatever he puts out there" list, which only has 3 other authors on it. This series is a must for anyone who claims to love the grimdark genre.
Profile Image for Matthew.
381 reviews138 followers
February 10, 2017
They're baaacck.....

And this time... it's personal!

Yes, that enthralling trio of characters who blew me away in Beyond Redemption have returned, and this time around they've brought with them an even bigger sack of mayhem, insanity, and destruction.

I must admit I was a little hesitant going into this book. Follow-ups tend to either be flat, or downright disappointing. I also had some reservations about the fact that it was going to be self published, with images of bad covers and poor layout from other self published titles fresh in my minds eye. So I was delighted when Fletcher blew my brain right out of the water with this incredible sequel to his cult hit. The Mirror's Truth incorporates everything that was brilliant about Beyond Redemption, and then injects it with a concoction of steroids and uppers before releasing back upon the world.

The world building is truly wonderful in The Mirror's Truth. The darkness is there again in spades, and the insanity and madness that reigned supreme in Beyond Redemption have been significantly increased for this book. Fletcher also has done a magnificent job capturing the tone and mood of this horrible world, a world that has been pushed even deeper in the abyss by the looming threat of total war. This book is not for the faint of heart. You really need to gird yourself whilst reading it at times. It can be uncompromising and truly bleak, but it is in those sorts of moments that Fletcher's razor sharp wit and black sense of humour truly shines. Paired with formidable moments of violence, this fucked up formula of darkness is truly breathtaking to read.

What takes The Mirror's Truth to an even greater level of achievement is it's intense characterisation. Fletcher switches things up a little by shining a light inside the minds of characters like Stehlen, and fuck me it's terrifying what the reader finds in there. This insight into the protagonists and antagonists of the story make's The Mirror's Truth feel more relatable to a reader, and it really deepened my bond with the mad hatters that are Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig. This emotional investment in turn meant that when shit hit the fan (a Fletcher speciality) I was on the edge of my seat fearful and enthralled by what was unfolding before my eyes. The Mirror's Truth rockets along at a frenetic pace, and before you know it you've reached the epic conclusion and been dumped unceremoniously back into the real world yearning for more.

For a self published book the cover is also truly outstanding. Artist John Anthony Di Giovanni has captured Bedeckt and the mood of the world perfectly, and the type and layout by designer Shawn King is both wonderful and incredibly professional. All of this elevates The Mirror's Truth to the point where it becomes the complete package for a reader and book lover.

Just when you think things can't get any darker, they do. And just when you think it can't get any more fucked up, it does. Darkness incarnate, and fucking enjoyable beyond words, The Mirror's Truth is one of the most outstanding grimdark novels that I've ever read.

Buy it. Buy it now.

5 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Kristen.
167 reviews77 followers
April 12, 2018
5/5 stars

The Skinny: Our favorite fucked up trio is back, this time in the form of a chase…or chases. Bedeckt, is on a quest to undo some of the damage he is done. Stehlen and Wichtig are bent on revenge. When the three star players are morally ambiguous and insane (or not?) though, things don’t always play out as first intended.

My Thoughts: One of my favorite series, I’m talking like top five, is The First Law trilogy (by Abercrombie). There are definite echoes of that series in this one: both books are of the grimdark genre, and some of the characters share similarities (Wichtig/Jezal, Stehlen/Ferro). In regards to plot and extras though, this book skyrockets off into a different direction. Because of this, I can say (as long as book #3 isn’t a total dud) that this series has now earned a spot in my top five as well.

One aspect of the book that makes it wildly different from anything that I’ve read is the inclusion of all of the delusions/delusional. It takes some time to get all of them straight, but there is also a glossary in the back that is pretty useful in case of confusion. The delusional are fascinating characters that are at times grotesque, and are frequently morally corrupt. There is an abundance of different, and new, “delusionals” that crop up in this book, which kept things interesting.

Another beloved, and kick-ass, aspect of this book is the ambiguity of many of the characters. The amount of times I went from hating a character, to loving a character, to hating them again, kind of gave me whip-lash. I loved it though. I feel like I’m drawn to characters that are more than just the simple black and white, and this book definitely delivered in that regard.

Nit-picks: Also, there were a few typos, but they didn’t detract from my enjoyment and appreciation of the book.

Overall: I’m really looking forward to book #3. I’m hoping that certain characters, or just a particular character, dies a horrible death. Even if he doesn’t, I can almost certainly count on more of the disgusting, twisted, fuckery that I’ve come to love and expect.

If you are a fan of the grimdark genre, and you haven’t read this yet, you are definitely missing out.

Oh yeah, and, ALL THE FEELS!
Profile Image for Adam.
390 reviews170 followers
March 23, 2018
“War isn’t insanity, it’s the base state for all reality. Plants war for sunlight. Animals war for food and water. Wolves battle to decide who leads the pack. All life is struggle. Peace, now that is insanity.”

The hardboiled crime author Jim Thompson was known for writing novels in which his characters begin the story in dire circumstances, and the situation only worsens with each passing chapter. An overwhelming sense of dread envelops the characters to the point where it seems like death is the only easy way out. In Michael Fletcher’s excellent sequel “The Mirror’s Truth,” Fletcher doubles down on Thompson’s lead: our heroes start the book dead, and somehow it only get worse from there.

Fletcher’s “Manifest Delusions” is a world of responsive reality, where belief defines the environment, and the insane and delusional wield the most power. It is a world that digs at the boundaries of grimdark; it uses every descriptive passage to visualize the worst circumstances imaginable. Instead of having a character spit on the ground in disgust, the character would ‘raise an eyebrow at the black-flecked yellow phlegm,” or “(cough) dry racking heaves and (spit) bloody phlegm and shards of teeth.” In describing the coming of a rainstorm, “the heavens vomited torrents of wind-driven rain” or “the dark clouds went from looking like bruises to something closer to a swirl of bog water stained with dysentery,” or “lightning shredded the sky, lighting the world in strobing white and the red and brown of commingled mud and blood.” These darkly poetic descriptions painted this book in broad strokes of disturbing imagery and unrelenting doom. As uncomfortable it is at times to read these passages, it is admirable at how far Fletcher drags the reader into this nightmare without quarter.

“The philosophers say that, in this responsive reality, we are the authors of our own fate. Could there be a more damning curse? I look at the choices I have made and I see that I have carefully constructed my own failure.”

Only two weeks have passed since we last left Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig at the end of “Beyond Redemption,” but much more time has passed in the real world above. The mad god Morgen has tightened his grip on his city-state kingdom, and his delusions for creating a “clean world” grow stronger. Morgen turns his gaze towards invading the southern land of Gottlos before his Reflection and his former advisor launch their coup to either kill or control him. Due to the events at the end of the last book, Morgen has unfinished business with Bedeckt, so he sets plans into motion that will free Morgen of his debt while also removing Stehlen and Wichtig from the playing field. The plot tends to twist and change every couple of chapters, as the actions of the insane are unpredictable, and the motivations of our characters often change on a whim. Nevertheless, they endure scenes of vengeance, torture, revenge, love, and doubt while heading for an inevitable confrontation with creatures who can shred the fabric of reality itself.

While much of “Beyond Redemption” had our heroes travel together, “The Mirror’s Truth” separates them for the majority of the story. We spend a lot of time inside the heads of each of our main characters, and even though they are vile and reproachable human beings, they are so damn compelling to read about. The plot of this book is more of a straight line that the scattered journeys of Beyond Redemption, and the renewed focus and singular mission both helps and hinders the story: we know where everyone is headed, for better or for worse, but there’s plenty of stomach-churning surprises along the way. Wichtig in particular has some memorable scenes where he might take blame or responsibility for his idiocy and poor choices. Perhaps not. But it’s certainly fun to watch him struggle through these “tests,” as Fletcher can make even the most heinous of characters relatable.

“Talking has nothing to do with lying. I never lie. Or I always lie. I don’t know. I can’t decide. And if I don’t decide, I’m not lying.”

“The Mirror’s Truth” solidifies Fletcher as one of the most extreme and interesting grimdark writers in the game. For those who enjoy a long walk through a hellish landscape while reflecting on the nature of sanity and truth, you can do no better than spending some time in the world of Manifest Delusions.
Profile Image for Twerking To Beethoven.
391 reviews66 followers
February 6, 2017
Well, what can i say about this book? What can I say about its author?

I'm beyond stunned. This is sheer brilliance, utter awesomeness, total lust, absolute grimdark rapture.

And the characters... let's see... Stelhen's not what she wants everybody to think she is; Wichtig's not what he wants everybody to think he is either, and Bedeckt? Well, he's probably the only WYSIWYG character of the lot, and oddly enough, possibly the only one equipped with something resembling moral values.

Mind you, "The Mirror's Truth" is a self-published novel, and that usually leads the average reader to think "Oh, look, another talentless twat giving it a go, I'm not wasting my hard-earned money on this load of wank!"

Right, only now that I've finished this novel, I am forced to (partially) change my mind. Serioulsy, folks, support this Canadian gentleman, buy his books, because he REALLY deserves it, especially considering the tons of wasted paper littering the shelves of every bookstore.

Now, as for the book, let me try to explain what it's like...

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So, yeah...

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Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
811 reviews139 followers
November 12, 2021
Absolutely phenomenal follow up to Beyond Redemption. Fletcher's Manifest Delusions world is as brutal and bloody as ever, literally full of madness that drags everyone to an inevitably devastating conclusion.

Horse entrails. Be ready for lots and lots of horse entrails. Maybe some other species' too, you'll have to read it for yourself to find out.

This book picks up our beloved trio a short time after the ending they experienced in the prior book, which I will not spoil here: Wichtig, the handsome self-proclaimed Greatest Swordsman in the World; Stehlen, the greatest kleptomaniac and murder hobo in literary history; and Bedeckt, that most fiercely sane man in a mad world—or is he? He's the wielder of that monstous double-headed battle axe on the book's incredible cover art. All three are fascinating to read; the flawless way that Fletcher exposes their self-protective delusions, their ego defense mechanisms, the lies they tell themselves, all the more horrifying because you know you do the same in your own lives. I cannot pick a favorite character out the three. Whichever one's POV was on current display, that was my favorite. Yes, boy-child-god Morgan is back too, and Bedeckt has picked up a new friend, Zukunft, a young Mirrorist who I found fascinating as a character only revealed through Bedeckt's perspective.

The language is a treat for non-German speakers. I don't get many opportunities to practice saying words like "Geldangelegenheiten" out loud. The back-matter list of Geisteskranken is a treat to read. It also provides insight (which I advise pursuing with great care) into the mind that would take the most rare and discomfitting delusions, usually never to be encountered outside of a psychiatry textbook's case studies, and craft these into a full fantasy world. It has my now-absolute favorite glossary entry of all time (emphasis mine):
Wendigast: (Wendigo Psychosis): An insatiable craving for human flesh. Typically the person will become a demonic monster, but still recognizable from human origins. This is more common in the tribes to the far north where every winter starvation becomes an issue. In appearance they combine the emaciation of severe starvation—along with open sores—with demonic strength. They also stink of death and decay. Some turn into massive giants, growing in strength and size as they eat. These guys having nothing to do with Chuck Wendig. I have no idea if he eats human flesh.

The folks at "Big Five" publisher Harper Collins put out Beyond Redemption, but declined to do the same for this sequel (I think they simply marketed it inadequately and have only themselves to blame, given the critical praise it received). Thankfully, Michael R. Fletcher opted to self-publish it, and aspiring fantasy novelists had better take note, because he did it the right way, with multiple beta readers, a copy editor, a cover artist and a cover designer, an interior designer, a mapmaker, and likely more. His subsequent book, Swarm and Steel (also set in the Manifest Delusions world but not a direct sequel), was picked up by Talos Press, an independent SF/F imprint, and Fletcher has opted to self-publish again with his latest work. I am as hard as anyone on the quality of most self-published fantasy, and if that is ever going to shed it overall poor image, more authors need to put as much work, wise attention, and investment into their books as Fletcher does. In fairness, I found five grammatical errors in this text. It's still one of the most awesome things I have recently read.
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
580 reviews219 followers
April 14, 2017
I probably need some time to process.

"There are no myths or monsters, just things people haven't hallucinated recently."

Well, that was fun. It's actually a bit disturbing that I get these books so well. Does that mean I'm sane, or quite the opposite? Perhaps my own delusions help me understand how this world works. Perhaps the mirror knows, but will it tell me truth?

As a concept, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it, and it's so perfectly executed. I'm being a bit vague, I know. But really these books are better experienced without too much knowledge going in. There is just so much to discover.

Let's just say I'm a fan.
Profile Image for Seán.
113 reviews21 followers
February 5, 2018
Manifest Delusions has easily become one of my top-5 series, and The Mirror's Truth is a sequel that in my opinion improves on every element that I loved about the first book. The writing is tighter, we get even more detail about Fletcher's fascinating world, and the characters develop in ways that prompt far more emotion than I thought possible from the series. The main criticism you could make about the first book is that the over-arching plot isn't all that complex or important - this is even more the case in the second book. However, this is somewhat of a moot point as the plot isn't where Fletcher's focus is; the characters are. With a tightening up of the writing and more character development, the plot this time round is pretty bare-bones. This was not an issue for me as I loved the exploration of the characters and their individual stories, and it seems that this is where Fletcher's writing really shines so I am happy with his decision.

The series was already fascinating and darkly hilarious, and with the second book there has been an additional emotional punch added which I feel really rounds things out nicely. This is a series I definitely want more of, but I have a feeling I may grow to appreciate the story as the duology it currently is as time passes. If you enjoyed the first book then I think you are going to enjoy this even more, but if you had some hang-ups about the plot or weren't sold on the writing and characters then I don't think you'll enjoy things for the same reasons. Personally, I loved everything about The Mirror's Truth, and it is one of those rare sequels where an author has improved on everything I loved about the first book.
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews558 followers
July 12, 2019
See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net!

Thus far my summer has been a whirlwind of fast-paced action, both in my real life and in the reads I’ve carefully chosen to engage in so far since returning from my hiatus earlier this year. It’s been a busy/hectic summer so far, but not so much that I couldn’t spare some time to return to the world of Manifest Delusions that Michael R Fletcher first introduced in Beyond Redemption which I read (and loved!) earlier this year.

Because of the shocking ending to the first book in this series, I knew I had to get my hands on book 2 as quickly as possible and prioritized it right to the front of my reading schedule once my copy arrived. Grimdark fantasy and I go hand in hand. I think it’s the fact that fantasy and horror are both my preferred genres to indulge in, and Michael R Fletcher creates a perfect combination of the fantastical and the horrific in this world and characters dominated by strange delusions and insanity.

I will say that I felt a little less challenged by this book than I had by the first. Getting used to the Germanic inspired words for the settings and the names of characters and their abilities was an accomplishment all its own when reading Beyond Redemption. Book two felt more familiar, in that I knew most of what was introduced already and was familiar with the concepts driving the world, so there was less to be learned here and certain aspects felt like needlessly retreading familiar ground.

One aspect in which this story shines though is that whereas the first book’s purpose is to introduce this fabulous and insane world to readers, The Mirror’s Truth is allowed to sort of pivot out of the meat of the world-building and into the heart of the characters.

This book is about the character’s journeys: where they’ve each been; what they’ve seen; what lessons they’ve learned – or perhaps overlooked; what they struggle to vocalize to each other, and what is left of them when their lack of trust in others threatens to burn their world to ashes.

Where the last book was about any character’s particular belief that they were beyond the point of being able to “make things right,” the characters here were more nuanced and capable of growth. Stelen and Wichtig in particular grew in ways that I never expected them to, and both became instantly more likable for it.

One other great thing about this book is the way that the plot continues to surprise. I suppose I should have known that a book series about characters whose very delusions manifest and destroy reality when they use their skills was going to go places I’d never expect.

This is a dark and gruesome story. You’d better have a strong stomach for the darkest aspects of grimdark storytelling. There's gore and torture and characters overtaken by darkness that literally turns their inner demons into monsters that must claw their way out of them into the world. Put simply: shit gets really dark, really quickly. I grew up on a healthy diet of horror movies as a teenager, so I loved the balance that is struck here between fantasy and horror.

Published independently rather than through a mainstream publisher, I will say that I noticed a few spelling errors (such as a character’s name missing a letter or a forgotten word here or there). Nothing was so egregious that I felt I couldn’t follow the story though. Also, the quality of the printing/binding and cover more than makes up for this! My copy is truly gorgeous. The pages are soft and it looks great on my bookshelf alongside its predecessor.

Michael R Fletcher’s works draw me in because they go to areas that mainstream authors seem to be afraid to shine a light. I’m definitely interested in seeing the way this story pans out in the eventual third book. Based on the ending of this one, I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next – and I love that!

★★★★✯ = 4.5 stars out of 5 - rounded up for Goodreads!
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Profile Image for Anna Spark.
Author 21 books749 followers
December 4, 2016
Dark, vile, funny, painfully human... The best fantasy novel I've read this year.
Profile Image for James Schmidt.
103 reviews24 followers
December 12, 2016
My review today is for The Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

So where do I began with this mad tale of epic grimdark proportion? Let me go back a little. Last year a author approached me with his book, happens a lot, and I usually politely decline because of my rather “HUGE” TBR stacks. This book intrigued me so I said yes and he had his publisher send me a copy. I received the book but did not read it right away. Something kept drawing me to the book, (probably the author relentlessly hounding me) so I finally gave it a go. That book was Beyond Redemption and the author was of coarse Michael R. Fletcher. Rarely has a book just come out of nowhere and blown me away like BR did. It was a truly fantastic book and I have been trying to tell anyone who would listen about it. So all this being said I had very high hopes for The Mirror’s Truth, probably too high since I loved BR so much, I was ready for a let down with TMT. Let me flat out say that did NOT happen. The Mirror’s Truth continues and even surpasses it in scale and imagination!

From the first page I was home again in the Manifest Delusion world that Michael has created. The same mad world and characters but a distinct new take in this book. I felt that BR was more a story driven, world building kind of book. The Mirror’s Truth is much more a character driven book, taking a fantastic look into our main cast of players, to see what makes them so rutting mad! It was a breathtaking journey that I am still comprehending. This is a dark, bloody, insane, grimdark masterpiece! This is the grimdarkiest of the grimdark, and I love it for just that reason. Embrace the madness!

In conclusion all I can really say is this is my new favorite book. I hold it near and dear to me. This series is the real deal and I cannot recommend it enough. If you like grimdark, dark fantasy, or whatever you want to call it (I just call it damn good) you need to read this book and series. Somehow this series and author still seem to be flying under the radar in the fantasy scene (which is shite). I don’t know how that is with books this outstanding. I have made it my personal mission to get these books the attention they deserve! I will continue to promote with extreme prejudice!

As you know if you have read my reviews before I am not about long reviews with synopsis and spoilers. I just give my opinion on my experience with this book and you can take it from there. Now on to the next book.

5/5 STARS - MightyThorJRS

You can check out all my reviews here: https://mightythorjrs.wordpress.com/

Blurbs I made for this book:

“Michael R. Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption Blew me away, A top pick of mine for 2015. The Mirror’s Truth Continues this mad tale
and yet again with a top pick for 2016 for Mr. Fletcher!”
“Sometimes a book comes out of nowhere and becomes a favorite, Beyond Redemption did that for me. The Mirror’s Truth continues this
wonderfully mad tale and I must say I have a new favorite book!”
“Beyond Redemption instantly grabbed me, kicked my a**, and left me wanting more! The Mirror’s Truth picked me up then kicked me in the balls, and I said Thank
You! Yes it is that good!
“Beyond Redemption started a fantastically epic grimdark saga. The Mirror’s Truth continues and even surpasses it in scale and imagination!
Truly a contender for the top spot on my best of 2016 list!”
Profile Image for Travis Peck.
Author 2 books9 followers
December 9, 2016
I was pulled into this world that Michael R. Fletcher had made by his first book, Beyond Redemption--a world where delusions were made real--and it has lingered around in the back of my mind ever since. The first book seemed such an original concept, and was so well done, that surely the second book would be just as good, if not better. Right. Right?
No, wait. It was--just checking to see that you were paying attention, but since you've no doubt seen my 5-star rating, you may have guessed that I enjoyed this book.
I'm not much for reviews (mainly due to a deep-seated compulsion to avoid spoiling any details for a new reader) but I will say that it would be a mistake not to read this book, in fact, you should be reading pretty much anything this author spews out of his demented mind-hole.
Profile Image for Emily .
779 reviews79 followers
April 25, 2017
This is definitely the weirdest, craziest shit I think I've ever read, and I loved it. It's super dark, violent, gross, and filled with horrible people, but it's a strangely addicting read. I could not put it down.

For most of the book I had myself convinced that Was totally wrong about that.

Profile Image for Freakout.
33 reviews17 followers
December 22, 2016
Excellent!!! One of this year top three reads, along with new installment from Django Wexler and Jeff Salyards.
Well done Mr. Fletcher!
Profile Image for Mili.
395 reviews35 followers
March 2, 2018
Insane read with my crazy Cat Turd who for some reason cant stop washing her hands!

The sequel in Manifest Delusions is even better than Beyond Redemption! Im so glad Orient and I could team up again to read this together and hold eachothers hands!
The plot continues where it left off in Beyond Redemption. So yet again we get to follow the trio. The land is still mad and Morgen wants to rule it all! So ofcourse Bedeckt, Wichtig and Stehlen get dragged into the plot, probably against their wishes but hey...what else to do? I think its great how Fletcher writes, its sick and twisted and stil laughable! The characters have depth, you have the way people express themselves and act to the outer world. And then their inner thoughts and struggles which really made everyone grow in this book.
Chapter 20 was probably my fav to read with Schnitter!

Im not sure what else to say! Its a fantastic read, its horror/ Grimdark fantasy with graphic content, the characters have dry humor what makes it all a bit lighter and Fletcher himself adds some fantastic german words that made me laugh. Im childish like that, arschloch :)
Profile Image for Anton.
302 reviews88 followers
August 22, 2017
This is a good story. Still very inventive and incredibly well written. But not as breathtaking or immersive as Book 1.

Little vignettes before each chapter are my absolute favourite
Profile Image for Tracey the Lizard Queen.
250 reviews41 followers
February 10, 2017
Originally reviewed at: http://thequeenofblades.blogspot.co.u...

*I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

4.5 stars

Back in 2015 Michael R. Fletcher burst onto the grimdark scene with his outstanding work, Beyond Redemption. Naturally I was drawn to it. It was gross, violent, and too often unputdownable (I'm reliably informed, by me, that is a word). And then the publisher dropped him after book 1, despite having fantastic reviews the sales just weren't where they were expected to be. Unfortunately this is the world of publishing. Well, Fletcher went along and self-published the sequel anyway because a grimdark gem like this deserves to be read.

This is by no means a light afternoon read. You need a strong stomach and not just because its grimdark. Fletcher is more or less the king of the sub-genre, for a good reason too. Most authors might allude to a characters' flaws, they might even force said character to confront these flaws, Fletcher grads the reader by the neck and screams it in their face! His creations are bastards, pure and simple. Imagine if Game of Thrones was populated only by people like Cersei and Ramsey, and Jaime Lannister's only redeeming features were his chiselled good looks. You think GRRM is bad because occasionally the bad guys win? Even Abercrombie's characters have some slither of humanity. Fletcher's are just bastards. And yet, I could not tear my eyes away!

In the Manifest Delusions universe certain people can bend reality to whatever they believe. The more powerful the delusion the more people are sucked into it. Yes, that sounds awesome, but that's just what they are. Delusions. Suffered by crazy people. These are not nice beliefs. Everyone with some kind of power uses it only to exploit others. Like I said, bastards.

Come back after you've read Beyond Redemption

**Spoilers for Beyond Redemption to follow**

After the climax of book 1, our unlikely gang all find themselves in the Afterdeath, which is exactly like it sounds. Like afterlife, just grey and depressing. Overcome with a compulsion to right his wrongs, Bedeckt sets off on a quest to free the world from Morgen, a boy-god with serious dirt issues. Escaping the Afterdeath is only the start, and hot on his heals are the oh-so-modest Wichtig and the, ahem, charming Stehlen.

Now, in theory, readers should be put off by this series. I mean, it is bleak and awful and violent and full of sick people doing even worse things, and still, I was enthralled. The characterization in this series is some of the best I've ever read. I cannot stress enough how much I related to each and every one.

Wichtig is funny and charming, and a total psychopath. He uses and abuses as he sees fit, he'll quite happily step on whomever to get what he wants, and yet there's an unyielding loyalty to his friends. A loyalty that he spends most of the book trying to fight against.

Bedeckt drew me in from the very beginning. A kind of parody of the traditional hero, he's incredibly well-written. He strongly believes he is responsible for everything that is happening, and so attempts to rectify it. He is very easy to relate to as a reader. The last sane person in a crazy world on an insane quest.

Lastly, we come to the lovely Stehlen. I can only describe her as a black hole of self-loathing and hate, wrapped in bitterness, and a yearning to be seen for what she truly is. She longs to be punished for her various crimes, but at the same time she desperately wishes to be accepted. But how could anyone accept and love her? She is a thief and a murderer. It's these contradictions that make her such a fascinating character.

So, lets get back to the plot. Bedeckt escapes the Afterdeath, chasing after Morgen; who has been very busy expanding his theocracy. Wichtig chases after Bedeckt, Stehlen goes after Wichtig, and Konig's nasty reflection sends some very, very nasties after all of them. And in the meantime, Morgen's reflection is plotting too! Phew. There is a lot going on here! And there's so much more. All I can say is that I can't wait for the next one.

In closing all I can say is this: If you like grimdark, you will like this. It's vile and sick and very twisted, but its fantastically done.
Profile Image for Andy.
50 reviews
December 12, 2016
I've been eagerly awaiting this follow up to Beyond Redemption all year. I was not disappointed! This book takes everything that Fletcher did well in Beyond Redemption and cranks it up to eleven. New Geisteskranken join familiar characters as a newly ascended god initiates a war to purify the world. The character development deepens as we learn more about the characters' backgrounds. Their relationships and allegiances are constantly shifting as they plot against each other even as they war with their own delusions and consciences (such as they are). They fight and rut and kill their way through a world where insanity defines everything and rules all, and where sanity itself may be the most dangerous delusion of all.

This book is wildly entertaining, profane, fun, gross, hilarious, violent, and just all around batshit crazy... but at the same time I ofen found myself deeply moved by the feelings of pain, loss, guilt, shame, desperation, hope, and love felt by these characters. All the amorality and killing makes the eventual acts of sacrifice and redemption feel that much more heroic and earned. Without getting too corny, I did take valuable lessons away from this book: reality is often yours to define, and your own demons and delusions can always be defeated. Not to worry though, Grimdark fans, it's not all unicorns and rainbows; not by a log shot. Bedeckt is still a moody bastard, Wichtig still a deluded narcissist, and Stehlen will still cut your throat as soon as look at you.

If Fletcher continues to develop and get better at his current pace, the future volumes in this series are going to be among the best the genre has to offer. Doubt me at you peril; I assure you, I'm perfectly sane.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Joseph Vanucchi.
181 reviews2 followers
February 4, 2017

This author is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. Tremendous world and characters. The style of somewhat lackadaisical violence is very appealing to me. Also offhand brutality for those needing dark thoughts unleashed! Anyway my reviews tend to completely come apart, as you can see. Don't wanna influence anyone if this review was a personal delusion, but just read it and I KNOW you'll love it!lol
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