The Mirror: Book 1
by Julie C. Dao
Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao is the first book of a four-book series of fairy tales, each written by a different author. It’s a captivating story of one family over several generations, beginning in 1848 with a childless couple granted one very big wish. While the scope of this book is small, limited to one family in a small German village, it has tantalizing glimpses far into the future.
Dao captures the feel of old fairy tails that issued warnings to children and adults alike. The overall theme of Broken Wish is that promises have power, and if you break them, there are consequences.
Sixteen-year-old Elva is the result of a wish, but also a broken promise, and she is born with the ability to see the future in her reflection. Her parents, fearing their daughter being cast out as a witch, call it a curse, and Elva swore at a young age never to look in a mirror or in water again. That isn’t as easy as it she hopes, though, and one night she catches a glimpse of the boy she likes hooking a prize fish and decides to tell him she dreamed it. When it comes true, he coaxes the truth out of her; he thinks her ability is a gift, not a curse, and she decides to access her power consciously for the first time.
Using a basin of water after everyone else is asleep, Elva opens herself up to the visions. She sees a horrible storm, destroying everything her family has. Unable to sit back and just let it happen, Elva sets out to change the future. In doing so, she causes the very devastation she’s trying to prevent.
While the book does not have a happy ending, there are tendrils of hope and intrigue strung throughout, leading the reader to want to read the next book.
Broken Wish design credit: Marci Senders.
Broken Wish cover art credit: Julia Iredale.
Broken Wish cover design credit: Marci Senders.
I purchased the audiobook version for my collection via Audible.
Audiobook narrated by Emily O’Brien.