Prince Richard is cursed. Enslaved to a magic mirror, he must truthfully answer the evil queen when she uses it to call on him. To keep from betraying innocents, Richard wanders the countryside and avoids people.
All her life, Gretchen has been teased for being small. When she hears of a hidden farm populated by little people like her, she sets out to find it—and is welcomed by the mostly male inhabitants. Lars in particular woos her with his gentle kindness and quiet strength.
Danger looms when Gretchen meets a runaway princess and offers her shelter at the Little Farm. Wandering nearby, Richard instantly falls in love with the beautiful princess, and is later compelled to tell the queen that she is not the fairest of them all. Enraged, the queen vows to find them and destroy them.
If either Gretchen or Richard are to have their happy endings, they must team up to break the mirror's spell before the queen kills them all…
Ever since The Sevenfold Spell I've been eagerly awaiting the next book in the "Accidental Enchantments" series. Nevitt made me wait a fairly long while....but I forgive her since this was worth it. That's right my forgiveness is conditional, bare that in mind writers everywhere.
One of the best things I want to call out about both books is that Nevitt takes well known fairy tales and gives them an uplift. The Sevenfold Spell was Sleeping Beauty, while The Magic Mirror is Snow White...but neither is really focused on the 'Princess'. The Magic Mirror focuses instead on the 'Mirror', or rather the man in the mirror and one of the infamous dwarves from the tale. Nevitt also gives us two romances rolled into one, neither panning out quite like you'd expect, but both still resolving in a manner reminiscent of the original tale.
In particular I found Nevitt's focus on the dwarves' farm to be a nice way to show us a bit about the world outside of what one usually sees in fairy tales. The Princess does figure into Gretchen (the dwarven female)'s story, but at first she's merely a secondary player to Gretchen's tale.
Meanwhile the man in the mirror, Prince Richard, is off on his own tormented journey until he unhappily stumbles upon the Princess (whom he knew when they were both younger) and involuntarily puts everyone in jeporady.
I liked Gretchen, and I emphasized with her. I can only imagine how stifling life must have felt for her, being in a town where she was the only one like herself and in a world where the outside world was only connected by traveling bards and merchants. In only a few short pages we see how she struggled in her life. I also thought it a good use for Gretchen to overcome her jealousy because she recognized a kindred spirit in the princess, not because she was suddenly surrounded by people like her.
Like Talia, both Gretchen and the Princess (and to an extent the Evil Queen) take their sexuality into their own hands. Gretchen because she realizes its the only way to figure out her feelings and the Princess because she doesn't want to be afraid anymore. I admit to some confusion over the Queen, there's a lesson she had to learn which gets a bit muddled with everyone coming together and prodding their significant other into action.
In regards to Prince Richard and Lars, both of them were interesting, though Richard was far more fleshed out given he was a principle character whereas Lars is mainly a secondary character in Gretchen's story. And both managed to win the day with their wits and ability to recognize their love interests had a handle on things.
Definitely recommended, this one is less erotic then The Sevenfold Spell, but no less romantic or happily ever after.