By Alix E. Harrow
Published October 2021
I’d been waiting impatiently for A Mirror Mended to be released, then realized it was the second book in the series. So, I trotted over to my library (thank you CCPL!) and picked up the first book. I mean, why start in the middle?
Putting a twisted (but incredible) spin on Sleeping Beauty, this story follows the adventures of Zinnia Gray, a Disney Princess devotee, who pricks her finger on a faux spindle on her 21st birthday and falls into an alternate universe. Dying since birth, Zinnia would rather succumb to a 100-year curse than death, until she meets a real Sleeping Beauty (pre-finger prick). But this tale bears almost no resemblance to any other fable Zinnia’s read, except for the curse that will send the Princess into a coma, only waking once everything she knows is gone. In an effort to help the princess, Zinnia sets off on an adventure that has her rethinking her life-long maxim of simply trying not to die. Maybe, she decides, it’s time to start living.
Well, the author certainly managed to flip Sleeping Beauty on her golden head. In a good way. I can’t go into too much detail without giving out any spoilers, but calling these books Fractured Fables is on the money. I read a few reviews complaining that it ought to have trigger warnings but nothing in here bothered me. I found it honest, surprising and at times, really funny.
And the voice! I raved about how important voice is to me in my review for The Library of the Unwritten, and this book nailed it. Of course, what one person likes another might not, but Zinnia’s character really worked for me. I loved her and can’t wait to read A Mirror Mended. Then I’ll head back to the library and catch up on some of Harrow’s other works. I’ve heard good things about The Once and Future Witches. Yay! Time to binge a “new” author! (Happy dance).
So why didn’t I give this a full five stars? Because it’s a novella and while I knew that going in, I wanted more. However, it certainly merits 4.5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐+
If you’d like your own copy, click the link on the cover image.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.