The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel

Susan Hill Long. Knopf, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-553-51134-5
In this medieval adventure, Long (Whistle in the Dark) blends classic fairy tale elements with swift pacing and broad humor. Created through a combination of alchemy and glassmaking, the magic mirror of the title reveals different truths to those who behold it. After drawing readers in with a scene teasing royal murder and intrigue, Long jumps ahead 10 years as the mirror comes into the possession of a 15-year-old foundling named Margaret, known for her limp. Margaret sees a man with wild green eyes in the mirror, and she decides to seek him out, fleeing the home of her ill-tempered protector after the threat of an unwanted betrothal. Once on the road, Margaret encounters a motley crew including a highway robber, a musically talented pilgrim, and a princess to whom Margaret bears a striking resemblance. While some of the narrative devices used are a bit convenient, Long’s story is full of twists and surprises. Margaret may not get a traditional happy ending, but her triumph proves all the more satisfying for it. Ages 8–12. Agent: Heather Schroder, Compass Talent. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/10/2016
Library Binding - 320 pages - 978-0-553-51135-2
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