I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao
Series: The Mirror #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2020-10-06
Length: 251 pages
Length: 7 hours and 54 minutes
Reviewing Audiobook, eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 Audiobook Challenge, 2022 Backlist Reader Challenge, 2022 Beat the Backlist, COYER 2022
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She's heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow.
But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner-none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it's too late.
The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, Jennifer Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.
A promising start to a new series, The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao is a prequel of sorts telling a story about a witch, her ill-fated friendship, and the by product of feuding. Elva is a young girl on her way to womanhood with a remarkable gift of foresight. She sees the future when she looks at her reflection, mostly through liquid. For her protection, her parents have taught her to keep her ability a secret. Don’t want the villagers burning a witch at the stake 😉 However, when Elva foresees the destruction of her home and family, it leads her to the witch in the North Woods and an ugly family secret that will have Elva questioning everything she thought she knew.
There is a lot of good about this book. I love the darker undertones which remind me of the classic Grimm fairytales. None of those had happy endings, and if you expect a happily ever after here, you will be sorely disappointed. That said, Dao crafts a lyrically story that kept my attention from start to finish. Elva’s development throughout the book is fascinating as she goes from a child to a reckless woman. Broken hearts have a tendency to do that.
Mathilda is a fantastic antagonist in the story without actually being the villain. She is the witch of the north woods. Her doomed friendship with Agnes, Elva’s mother, is the catalyst for the whole story. While Agnes paints Mathilda as the villain and perpetuates the stories of the witch, Mathilda retreats into the woods creating a sanctuary of her own. When Elva finds her years later, Mathilda shuns her to protect herself from heartache, however Elva quickly worms her way into the witch’s good graces. With Mathilda’s reluctant help, Elva begins to learn how to interpret her foresight.
Overall, I enjoyed The Mirror: Broken Wish. It sets up the series as Elva’s story is the catalyst for the rest. My heart broke over and over again for her as forces outside of her control forces her hand. Fans of Grimm’s Fairy Tales will love this new story and quickly become attached to the characters and magic. Highly recommend for people who enjoy fantasy.