I’ve been a fan of Julie C. Dao since her debut, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. She’s a writer I’ve vowed to keep up with over the years. That’s why I was so thrilled to read her latest release, Broken Wish. Keep reading this book review to see what I thought of Dao’s fourth book.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Broken Wish immediately begins with a fairy tale atmosphere. It’s a story about those wishes and desires we have that seem small but start an avalanche. At its heart, Broken Wish is a story about desire, promises, and sacrifice, but it’s also a story about societal pressure. How we can let society change our opinions of people, to shun people and smooth us all down. The desire to be respected and wanted is a powerful current that can carry us away or let us drown.
Should we have to hide who we are to be accepted? Combined with our fear of rejection, are we destined to live a life of loneliness? These fears make Broken Wish a story about fairy tales, curses, and promises we make in desperation. Yet at the same time, it feels relatable in those words of gossip that change our minds, the jokes we find ourselves laughing along to in order to not be left in silence. Because at the heart of this story, is one of mistakes and what we will to atone for our guilt.
Broken Wish is a fantastic fairy tale fantasy. Made up of all these classic fairy tale elements, it’s a fabulous beginning to The Mirror series. Elva must figure out the type of girl, sister, daughter, friend, she wants to be. She must figure out the secrets and cruelties we hide behind suave smiles. The ways truth is so easily manipulated and lies fly on the breeze. Broken Wish is a story that never lets you forget that magic comes with a price.