Review of ‘Broken Wish’

by Cyn's Workshop 3 months ago in literature

Dao enchants readers with Broken Wish, an enchanting new fairy tale reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm.

Review of ‘Broken Wish’


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.

The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, Jennifer Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.


A good fairy tale is one that mystifies and enchants the reader. The Mirror: Broken Wish is one such novel.

Talented Storytelling

Julie C. Dao has already had her hand at adapting fairy tales and retelling them, but Broken Wish stands apart from her previous novels. Part of the charm of Broken Wish is how similar it is to the Grimm Fairy Tales. Dao takes readers to the outskirts of Germany, building up the realism of the novel and even referencing the Grimm brothers. Her ability to weave fact and fiction into the story is what makes it so compelling.

Furthermore, the voice and the storytelling is fantastic. The story moves at such an incredible pace that it starts with the parents and moves onto Elva. There are moments when it is even reminiscent of the musical Into the Woods. The movement of the story, the way it develops, exploring the magic of witches and fairy tales, pulling in the reader.


While Broken Wish has excellent storytelling, the atmosphere and the darkness that lurks within it enchants the reader.

Classic fairy tales are dark tales, tales of wonder and fantasy, and Broken Wish is precisely that. Dao tells the story with finesse, but she does not neglect the characters or the magic.

The creation of the North Woods, it mystifies the reader, and much like the children in the novel pulls in the reader. Not because of the magic, but because of the dark mysteries it holds. Dao references classic fairy tales in her storytelling, giving them fodder while also making her story both brighter and haunting at the same moment.

Dao forces the reader to think of those classic tales while also seeing how Dao has given them a new life, a brighter life. From red slippers to a glass coffin, and a witch who does not age, these are all elements the reader can connect to, but they have such new life to them, making the story even more spellbinding.

Final Thoughts

Masterfully told, Broken Wish is reminiscent of classic fairy tales in structure and sound, Dao weaves a spellbinding story.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Like this review?

Don’t forget to follow Cyn’s Workshop on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Spotify | YouTube | BookBub | Goodreads | LinkedIn to stay tuned for future reviews.

About the Author

Cynthia Bujnicki graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. She has always loved to read since she was a child. A contributing writer for YA Fantasy Addicts, she is also the Editor-in-Chief for Cyn's Workshop. She lives in sunny South Florida with her husband and son and their two cats, Mr. J the Kitten and Nyx.

Cyn's Workshop
Cyn's Workshop
Read next: Best Customizable Games
Cyn's Workshop
See all posts by Cyn's Workshop