June 22, 2021

ARC REVIEW Broken Wish (The Mirror Book 1) by Julie C. Dao

Broken Wish (The Mirror Book 1) by Julie C. Dao
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Format: eARC/Hardback
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao is a beautiful release from Disney Publishing, a fantasy tale reminiscent of the older Disney classics with a bit of a darker theme. Broken Wish is one of the first books I've read in a multi-author series (and I'm anxious for the next installment already). After finishing the first book, I'm curious to see how the next books progress the storylines while at the same time maintaining each author's individuality. 

There were some unique parallels in the relationships between Mathilda (the witch) and Agnes (the mother), and Mathilda and Elva (the daughter). The character development is on point for this story, so you very quickly develop an investment in discovering what happens to the characters. We see how one choice can have lasting unintended consequences, and how the consequences can affect more than just the person making the decision. In addition to the importance of decisions and their consequences, we also see the importance of friendship, promises, and magic. Readers of any age can learn a lot from the lessons the characters go through in the story. 

I recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales that aren't all sunshine and roses, and who is ok with having no guaranteed happily ever after in the first book of a series. You get the Disney-style writing, with some of the darker themes that aren't usually present in similar stories. The cameo of the Brothers Grimm was a definite bonus and helped to tie together some of the dark fairytale archetypes present in the book. 

I'm looking forward to the release of Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton later this year (October 5, 2021) to learn what happens next in the story! 

About the Book

The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale quartet written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, J.C. Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

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...

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.

About the Author

Julie C. Dao is the author of several acclaimed novels for teens and children, including FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS and BROKEN WISH, published by Disney Books. A proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York, she now lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of Context Literary Agency.
Photo Credit: Melody Marshall

Pronunciation: JOOL-lee DOW
Pronouns: She/Her

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