Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Time for another review, and this time I’m sharing my review of Broken Wish, first book in The Mirror series. I actually had my attention drawn to this series after seeing a review of the second book in the series, and decided to start from the beginning.
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. But 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.
I found this book so easy to fall in love with. We initally meet Elva’s mother, desperate to have a baby, and willing to turn to the village outcast for her help, promising to be her friend. Her father is more concerned by what people will think, but agrees to as Matilda for her help on the secret condition his wife breaks off all contact with her afterwards.
There is, however, always a price for a broken promise.
Elva’s secret ability is something she’s been told to hide, and throughout the story, we feel her fear of being discovered, and the eventual pride in her strength. When she starts working with Matilda, she learns she can do so much more than she originally thought. The way the lives of the three different women weave through the story is beautiful, and done with grace and brilliant execution.
The time period is made painfully apparent on a regular basis, with the constant fears of witchcraft being discovered by both Matilda and Elva as the story progresses. Starting with the fears of Elva’s parents regarding their association with Matilda, and moving all the way to Elva having been encouraged to avoid reflective surfaces in case she accidentally sees the future, the fear and suspicion surrounding witches is rife and controlling. The constant tension bubbling under the surface is something that impacts on all the characters we meet, in different ways.
Elva is a really likeable, if naive, character. She wants for the best for everyone, and equally does her best to see the best in everyone, trusting those close to her as much as she can, and sometimes only seeing the risks in doing so too late. She focuses hard on her witchcraft studies, and in return offers Matilda the friendship she has secretly craved and been too proud to admit to.
Matilda is, equally, a very loveable character. She’s proud, strong, and takes Elva under her wing to tutor her as a matter of principle, knowing no one else will teach her how to use her powers, especially hearing how her parents have shamed her for them. Under this hard exterior however, she’s as scared and insecure as Elva. Because of this, and Elva’s kind heart, they make a good match as friends.
I wasn’t expecting the ending for this book at all, and it made me laugh and cry all at once. It’s a beautiful book that deserves far more praise than it gets, and I hope with the release of the sequel last month, it will come to be more well know.
Thanks for joining me today for this fantastical book review. I’ll be back again soon with another one!