A century ago, the kingdom within the Mirrorwood was cursed. Its perfect prince was replaced by a demon one; a wall of thorns was raised to protect the outside world from his dark magic, though it can't prevent some of it from slipping through. The land lives in fear of that magic and the demon prince, and awaits the day when a beautiful princess will enter the Mirrorwood and break the curse at last.
Fable is hardly a beautiful princess. She doesn't even have a face of her own--she's blighted, cursed by one of the Mirrorwood's twists of dark magic, and unless she wishes to fade into nothing, she has to constantly steal the faces of others. But it's a tenuous existence, even with her family's love and support--she's constantly afraid that a blighthunter will find her and kill her, or, even worse, punish her family for harboring someone blighted.
When a determined blighthunter's apprentice, Vycorax, pursues Fable and her trusty cat into the Mirrrorwood, she knows she has to act--or risk never seeing her family again. Her only chance at a free, happy life is to slay the demon prince and break the curse herself, even if that means confronting the Mirrorwood's most dangerous beasts, bargaining with ancient powers, and trusting someone she's been taught her whole life to despise.
But not all evil has horns. And in the Mirrorwood, nothing is as it seems...
Clever, absorbing, and uniquely imagined, I'm so glad I read The Mirrorwood! Mirrorwood! Although the premise easily could have fallen into a straightforward, cliche tale of heroism, Deva Fagan makes it so much deeper and more interesting, propelled by twists I never saw coming. I loved Fable and all the supporting characters, particularly Lyrian and Vycorax, who were layered and often did what I least expected them to, surprising me in the best possible way. The worldbuilding was light and evocative, and I particularly enjoyed reading about the Withering and the Subtle Powers, which helped give the Mirrorwood a unique flavor. I highly recommend The Mirrorwood to readers ages ten and up who enjoy middle-grade fantasy like The School Between Winter and Fairyland.