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Book Review: A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables, #2) by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables, #2) by Alix E. Harrow

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Fractured Fables (Book #2 of 2)

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy-Tale, Fable, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 144 pages (Print Edition)

Published: 14th June 2022 Tordotcom (US), St Martin’s Press (UK)


The Queen’s gambit.

Endings. Who needs ’em? Not Zinnia. Not her own, at least, though she’s perfectly happy tripping through dimensions and rewriting fairy-tale endings for all the Sleeping Beauties across the multiverse. For five years, Zinnia has spent her free time on rescue missions without much self-reflection. Although Zinnia has survived her health scare, she hasn’t started living her own life yet. She has chosen to embroil herself in others’ lives, in other worlds, even at the cost of her best friend. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Until.

Multiverse wires get crossed, magic mirrors get magicked, and Zinnia ends up face to face with an evil queen from one horrifying version of Snow White. How did she get there, and why? And so what if this queen has smoldering good looks behind her wicked, witchy gaze?

What follows this near-death, meet-cute is a tale of redemption, of facing your future, of growing up and finding what home truly means.

Harrow’s prose is as elegant as ever, with sharp humor, cutting social commentary and clever dialogue. However, one aspect where I felt this book to be lacking was the story itself. The plot bent some of its own rules to get the story where it needed to go, and some problems resolved themselves out of luck and convenience. It wasn’t what I’ve come to expect from a Harrow novel, of which I have a very high bar set.

Small story grievances aside, this book serves as a lovely companion piece to A Spindle Splintered and a fine sign-off for Zinnia and friends. Even if this is the last we see of Zinnia (for a while?), I am eager to read any other fairy-tale multiverse stories Harrow might have knocking about. A Mirror Mended was a pleasure to read, chock full of romance, adventure, snark, and joy. You’ll be hard-pressed not to finish it without a smile on your face.

Book Review: Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke

Book Review: Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke


Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’ve never watched Pan’s Labyrinth. I remember borrowing the DVD from the library about a decade ago, but Chris vetoed it about 10 minutes in because it was subtitled and our tv was small. While I always intended to go back to it one day, I just never got around to it. That’s going to have to change, because I absolutely loved this novelization of the story. I feel like “novelization” is almost an insult, actually. Because, while I’ve never seen the movie, I know that the care with which this book was written and illustrated demands more respect that such nomenclature usually provides. Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun, is gorgeous in the same way poisonous mushrooms are: lush, inviting, but deadly.

“In our choices lie our fate.”

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Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King


The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The stories we hear in childhood are the ones we remember all our lives.”

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within yet another story. It’s a Russian nesting doll of a book of the highest class. No, the highest caliber is a more fitting description, I suppose, for this gunslinger’s fairytale. I loved it in the same way I loved The Eyes of the Dragon, but perhaps even more fervently. Actually, I did something I don’t recall ever doing before; I left a bookmark right at the beginning of the fairytale portion when I re-shelved the book, so I could flip it open and read just that section whenever I choose.

“Sometimes I feel the world has come loose of its moorings.”
“It has,” I said. “But what comes loose can be tied tight again…”

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Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I liked this as much as I did. I’ve owned a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses for six years, and honestly had no intention of reading it after I became active on Goodreads and was made aware of how toxic the Maas fanbase could be. Yes, I know the author isn’t responsible for the fandom, and that it wasn’t the book’s fault, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and decided to stay away. But then my sister-in-law read and loved the series. As did Emma, one of my co-bloggers, who I consider one of the most intelligent readers I know. As did my best friend who, in the end, finally wore me down. But even after being convinced to give the series a try by people I love and whose opinions I trust, I still went into this book incredibly skeptical, which you’ll be able to see from some of the review below, which was written piecemeal as I read the book. I scoffed my way through the first third, and was completely enraptured by the rest. Honestly, I’m a tiny bit pissed that it won me over. But when I tell you I started the next book as soon as I finished the last pages of this one, I’m not exaggerating. I didn’t even give myself a five minute breather between the two. Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. But do I get the appeal, the dedicated fanbase, and the widespread acclaim? Absolutely, I do.

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Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly


The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I have always been fascinated by fairy tales. From an early age, any book I could find filled with fairy tales or fables, myths or legends or fables, immediately drew me in like a moth to flame. I have well over two dozen collections of such stories in my physical library, and I’m scared to even count those on my Kindle. Something about these stories, from the morals they attempt to convey to the questions they seek to answer. about the ways in which the world works, tells readers just as much about the society they come from as an historical text. And I’ve always had a soft spot for more modern tales inspired by these stories. Because of this, I’m not really sure why it took me so long to pick up The Book of Lost Things, but it was every bit as whimsical and melancholy and lovely as I hoped it would be. Some fairy tale retellings, or stories inspired in some way by fairy tales, can come across as too saccharine, but that was certainly not the case here. There was a charm to the story, for sure, but it was by no means sweet.

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Book Review: The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Book Review: The Sisters of the Winter Wood


The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Sisters of the Winter Wood was incredibly promising. It’s a heavily Jewish book with lovely fantasy overtones. There are shapeshifters and mysterious newcomers peddling forbidden fruit and a deeply atmospheric forest, as well as a central sibling relationship and deep religious questions to ponder. It sounded made for me. So made for me that I ignored the fact that it’s YA. I should’ve known better. While I enjoyed the plot and the structure, the usual YA all-consuming romances and the characters’ inner struggles with coming to know and accept themselves were cloyingly overabundant and negatively impacted my reading experience. However, I feel like this is on me, not the book. I should know by now that YA usually doesn’t work for me. I was almost as disappointed by this book as I was by Uprooted, which I think is comparable in setting and atmosphere.

“To love means to sacrifice everything that you are.”

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Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“We are all stardust and stories.”

I adore The Night Circus, and have been eagerly anticipating Morgenstern’s sophomore novel for eight years. I really should have tempered my expectations. The Starless Sea is the type of book that, in the beginning, I believed would strong feelings. You should either love it and be completely entranced by the atmospheric quiet of the tale, or be bored to tears by the apparent lack of action and a more common pacing. That’s what I expected when I read the first few pages. Unfortunately, if fell short for me. Instead of either loving or hating it, I mostly just find myself disappointed by it.

“If all endings are beginnings, are all beginnings also endings?”

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Original Fiction Friday – The Last Dancing Princess

Original Fiction Friday – The Last Dancing Princess

Hello friends! I’d like to share some of my original fiction with you, and I thought a wonderful way to do so would be through a weekly feature on the blog. Please feel free to comment and message me your opinions. And if you have a story idea you’d like to see me tackle, I’m definitely open to suggestions!

I love words with all of my heart. One of my greatest passions is writing stories of my own, stories that I hope will find an audience some day. My other great love is music, and many of my short stories heavily feature music and the power I feel it holds. This is such a story. I hope you enjoy my spin on the classic fairy tale!

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