A Mirror Mended
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Series: Fractured Fables, book 2
Publisher: Tordotcom (June 14, 2022)
Hardcover, 144 pages
Fantasy, fairy tale retellings
Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty, is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.
Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends, and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone. Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request and save them both from the hot-iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?
This book is my everything. There’s a part of me that hopes someday we’ll get a third book, but this book also wraps up in such a way that I wouldn’t want anything to ruin it. And that’s about all I can say without giving away spoilers!
I loved the world we’re introduced to in the first book in this series, A Spindle Splintered, where basically there’s a whole multiverse out there where different iterations of fairy tales are all playing out. The tone of this series and focus on Aarne-Thompson tale type index reminds me strongly of Seanan McGuire’s Indexing series. So if you like that series, check this one out (and vice versa!) The second book focuses in on what it means to be the protagonist (or the villain) of your story, as well as some exploration of gender politics and ageism in fairy tales. Also there’s an excellent Sapphic romance arc and who doesn’t love a hot villain!?
I listened to this on audiobook, narrated by Amy Landon. Amy Landon does SUCH an incredible job with this narration, especially conveying Zinnia’s snark and the Evil Queen’s regal tones. I love her narration so much, I went explicitly looking for more books she’s narrated so I can continue to listen to her.
This is the second book in the Fractured Fables series, and needs to be read after the first book, A Spindle Splintered.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.