The Mirrorwood

The Mirrorwood
Age Range
Release Date
April 12, 2022
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Fable has been cursed by what the people in her village call the Blight, a twisted enchantment that leaves her without a face of her own. To stay alive, Fable has to steal the faces of others, making her an outcast that no one trusts. When the fierce Blighthunter Vycorax comes to kill Fable to stop her curse from spreading, Fable narrowly escapes by fleeing into the thorny woods surrounding her small village.

The treacherous forest has been ruled by a demon-prince for centuries, a deadly place trapped in time. Fable—and her opinionated feline companion, Moth—is the first to dare enter in a very long time. There, she encounters a tediously chatty skull, dangerously meddlesome deities, and a beast so powerful it tears at the fabric of reality, leaving nothingness in its horrible wake.

Fable will soon discover that, in the Mirrorwood, nothing is quite like the stories say, and the perilous realm may be the only chance she has to break her curse and find her true self.

Editor review

1 review
There must be a balance between pain and peace.
Overall rating
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What worked:
The premise of the story is ingenious, as the Mirrorwood’s Blight infects twelve-year-old Fable in a strange manner. She takes on the face of whomever she touches, although she’s learning to control it a little better. Most books might see this as an opportunity for a demented character to steal faces for evil purposes, but this author doesn’t go that route. Blighthunters are searching for and executing the blighted, but Fable is distraught over how she’s forced to borrow the faces and energy of her family in order to stay hidden. The story evolves into Fable’s quest to locate the source of the cursed magic in the Mirrorwood and end the Blight forever.
The quest is complicated as the source of the blight is unclear. Stories told by people outside of the Mirrorwood tell of the king’s son being replaced by a demon prince. This prince’s evil magic corrupts the area surrounding the castle until it’s contained by a wall of thorns. Fable meets a god-like character called Mirachne of the Dawn who tells Fable what happened and how Fable can slay the demon prince. However, Fable meets some other characters who cause her to wonder about the truth behind the curse. Surely, she can trust Mirachne, the Subtle Power known as Mistress of Dreams and Delight, because everybody knows the Bannon is the Subtle Power known for deceit and chaos. Then there’s Fable’s cat called Moth who constantly warns her that the Powers play games with humans and don’t care what happens to them. This uncertainty provides conflict and tension for readers to enjoy.
Fable is accompanied by a young blighthunter named Vycorax, and the opposing girls make an unlikely pair. They each spend much of the story seeking to understand who they are and who they want to be. Vycorax has sworn to be her father’s apprentice as a hunter and is motivated to avenge her sister. However, she’s not a cold-blooded murderer and isn’t able to kill Fable when she has the chance. Fable has never had her own face, so she wonders about her true image. Taking on the looks of others muddles her ability to understand herself, and she questions if she’s truly an evil blightborn as everyone believes. Ending the curse may offer her a chance for self-discovery.
The Final Verdict:
There must be a balance between pain and peace. Self-realization is a theme, as several characters are forced to face the truth about themselves. Their true selves are found under their skin, not in their appearances. Fable’s kindness and selflessness make her an admirable character that allows her to connect with readers. The story is creative and engaging, and I highly recommend you give this book a shot.

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