Skip to main content

Broken Wish (The Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao: A Book Review

Broken Wish (The Mirror #1)
Author: Juliet C. Dao
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: 2020
Pages: 251
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: 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.


     My Review: Agnes and Mathilda are friends. Because Mathilda is a witch the whole town is against her, and Agnes begins to be swayed by the town’s prejudices of Mathilda. One day Agnes decides to use and betray Mathilda for her own ends. Seventeen years later, Agnes' daughter, Elva is gifted with magic. Elva asks Mathilda to be her teacher. Mathilda instructs Elva on how to control her magic.


     In Broken Wish, Elva is the main character in the story. However, I was disappointed with Elva’s development in the story. Elva is optimistic and believes in the goodness of everyone. She loves her friends and her family. Throughout the novel, Elva seemed very perfect and did not have any flaws in the novel. She was a Mary Sue throughout the book. I did not find her a compelling figure.


     Mathilda was the most interesting, but she too had very little development. The reader knows that she has been ostracized and misunderstood. However, I found it a little odd that she very quickly takes Agnes’s daughter as an apprenticeship despite her friend’s betrayal. Her actions did not make any sense. I did like that she had an aura of mystery about her. Thus, Mathilda had the most potential in the novel but failed.


     Agnes also had little personality. I never understood why Agnes is afraid of her daughter having magic since she uses it to benefit herself. The story also keeps constantly mentioning that Agnes regrets her betrayal but there are no scenes to show that she does regret it. I also did not understand why Agnes is described as kind, but she seemed to be selfish and mean. She used others for her own ends and did not seem to regret it. Thus, Agnes was a character who did not match the novel’s description of her.


      Overall, this story is about friendship, family, and forgiveness. The message of the story is to not be afraid to let others into your lives and to accept help when it is needed. The characters are one-dimensional. The stereotypical villains seem to have no relevance in the plot and could have been deleted from the story. There were no vivid descriptions of the setting of the German town of Hanau. If it wasn’t for the name, I kept forgetting it was set in Germany because it could have been set in any European country with its vague details of the setting. The historical details of Germany in the 1860s were also touched upon, and I felt that the author did not do much research on the era or town she was writing about. The story moved at a slow pace. It was not until the last few pages that anything happened. Still, I like the fairytale elements in the story. Broken Wish had a lot of potential, but it just fell flat. It would have worked better as a short story or a novella. I recommend Broken Wish for fans of Allerleirauh, The Healer’s Apprentice, and The Fairytale Keeper!


Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Before the Alamo by Florence Byham Weinberg: A Book Review

  Before the Alamo Author: Florence Byham Weinberg Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Maywood House Release Date: 2021 Pages: 299 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Emilia Altamirano, Tejana, half Native American, half Spanish, is the daughter of a Royalist officer who fought against Mexico's independence in the Battle of the Medina River. Growing up in Bexar de San Antonio, she becomes literate, is adopted as a ward of José Antonio Navarro, and acts as a page in the Ayuntamiento (City Council). She serves as a nurse in the Battle of the Alamo but survives to face an uncertain future.            My Review: Before the Alamo chronicles the events prior to the Battle of the Alamo from a tejana’s perspective, a Texan woman of Spanish descent. Emilia is the daughter of a wealthy Spaniard and a Native American slave. She becomes a ward to Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas war hero. Jose teaches Emilia to read and write. Under his tutelage, she becomes

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak: A Book Review

  The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World Author: Shelley Puhak Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography Publisher: Bloomsbury Release Date: February 22, 2022 Pages: 378 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: The remarkable, little-known story of two trailblazing women in the Early Middle Ages who wielded immense power, only to be vilified for daring to rule.      Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. And yet-in sixth-century Merovingian France, where women were excluded from noble succession and royal politics was a blood sport-these two iron-willed strategists reigned over vast realms, changing the face of Europe.      The two queens commanded armies and negotiated with kings and popes. They formed coalitions and broke them, mothered children and lost them. They fought a decades-long civil war-against each ot