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.
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.