A Mirror Mended is the next installment in USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow’s Fractured Fables series.
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?
Friends in my book club raved about the first book in this series, so I immediately requested the second when I saw it on NetGalley. I mistakenly thought each book was a standalone focusing on a different fairy tale. Teaches me to read the fine print first.
I’ve got such a weakness for snarky characters, which is why I immediately connected with Zinnia. As a long time professional fairy tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty, she’s more than ready for damsels and princesses to start taking control of their own narratives. When she sees Snow White’s Evil Queen staring back at her in a mirror, Zinnia is pulled into an alternate world fairy tale (think Spiderverse). Sparks fly between them, and not in a good way at first, but it not surprisingly turns into an enemies to lovers kind of relationship. It’s also a nice reminder of how people shouldn’t let labels (or the parts they play in fairy tales) define them. You can be the hero of your own story.
Although backstory from the first book is sprinkled throughout this followup, I never felt like I completely understood what happened or much about Zin’s disease. I’d recommend reading A Spindle Splintered first. At novella length, these books can easily be read in a couple hours or so.
If you enjoy snarky, self-deprecating main characters, twists on traditional fairy tales, and clever writing, this is a fun way to spend a few hours.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.