'The Mirrorwood' Book Club: Day 1

By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @lostinbookworld
“Beware, Fable. A wish is power.”

Hello, everyone! It’s time for the OwlCrate Jr Book Club Read-Along for our April 2022 book, The Mirrorwood by Deva Fagan. Featured in our TWISTED TALES box, this story is an incredible fantasy where dangers lurk behind every tree and nothing is quite what it seems.

Our reading schedule for this book will be as follows:

  • May 16: Chapters 1-8
  • May 18: Chapters 9-17
  • May 20: Chapters 18-26

This averages out to about 50 pages per day from now until Friday. If this is too much to fit into your day, no need to fret! Feel free to read at your own pace and come back when you're ready to discuss.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box, one per post! This read-along is open to comments until Friday, May 27.

Just a reminder that this will be a spoiler discussion for pages 1-100 of The Mirrorwood, so there be spoilers ahead!

The story begins . . .

Fable lives with her family in a cottage on the border of the Mirrorwood — an enchanted forest where twisted magic known as the blight can sometimes ooze out of the thick wall of thorns and affect whatever it touches. Fable is a blighted face stealer and though her family loves and protects her, she feels guilty for causing them pain every day by stealing their faces in order to survive.

One night, two blighthunters arrive at Fable’s cottage. Blighthunters are ruthless and think anything affected by the blight must be killed. Fable was accidentally spotted wearing her father’s face and though her family fakes innocence, Fable knows she must leave to protect them.

She makes a wish at an abandoned well right on the edge of the forest to the Subtle Power known as Lady Mirachne — an immortal being with great power — to send a hero to break the curse of the Mirrorwood. As Fable makes the wish and speaks it aloud to her cat Moth, the apprentice blighthunter Vycorax overhears Fable confess that she’s blighted. Vycorax is commanded by her father, the elder blighthunter, to kill Fable, but when she hesitates, Fable steals Vycorax’s face and flees into the Mirrorwood as the wall of thorns separates just for her.

Shortly after, Fable comes across Vycorax once again as the blighthunter followed her into the Mirrorwood. As the two girls argue, they’re interrupted by the appearance of Lady Mirachne herself. The powerful woman tells them she heard Fable’s wish and entrusts both girls to break the curse of the forest. The story goes that a demon prince cursed the land with the blight and cast the true prince into an endless sleep. Only when the true prince awakens will the blight be vanquished. Lady Mirachne tells them in order to defeat the demon prince, they must first fetch a tooth from the Withering, a creature that has the ability to obliterate reality around it.

The two girls venture deeper into the Mirrorwood and come across a town in the middle of a festival celebrating the 13th birthday of Prince Rylain, unaware that he’s been cursed to an endless sleep. Fable and Vycorax seem to actually enjoy themselves, neither having been allowed to attend festivals themselves. But the next morning, they’re suddenly awoken by the innkeeper shrieking at them, claiming they’re thieves though they paid for the room the night before. The innkeeper's wife Trudibeth arrives and convinces her the two girls are not thieves. When she leaves, Trudibeth reveals she’s also blighted and the town is timespun — locked forever on the eve of Prince Rylain’s birthday.

Trudibeth leads the girls out of the town and in the direction of the Withering, only they come across the beast earlier than anticipated. Trudibeth sacrifices herself to attract the Withering’s attention, allowing Fable and Vycorax to follow it back to its den so they may acquire the tooth.

As the two girls follow the trail left behind by the Withering, Fable realizes that the face she stole from Vycorax is fading. The longer Fable goes between stealing faces, the weaker she gets. Fable starts to worry that she may die when a talking crow overhears them and offers to trade a face for Fable’s shirt buttons. Desperately, Fable agrees against Vycorax’s protests. But when the crow returns, he offers Fable a clock face instead. Fable is furious, but then the crow transforms into the Bannon, another one of the Subtle Powers and the being that cursed the prince, sent the demon to take his place, and unleashed the blight. Uh oh . . .

Discussion Questions:
  1. The Mirrorwood has made many references to many other famous fairy tale and fantasy stories, and we’re only 100 pages in! Which parts of this story remind you of other stories you’ve read or heard?

  2. This book was featured in our TWISTED TALES box and was heavily inspired by fairy tales. What are some of your favourite fairy tales and why?

  3. Why do you think Lady Mirachne wants both Fable and Vycorax to work together to break the curse when both girls start off the story hating the other?

What will happen next? Will the Bannon ruin the girls' plan to break the curse? Come back on Wednesday where we'll discuss chapters 9 - 17 of The Mirrorwood!

And make sure you join us on Wednesday, May 18th at 3:00 PM PT / 6:00 PM ET on Instagram Live for our monthly OwlBabble live author chat with Deva Fagan!

Pick up your own TWISTED TALES box now in the OwlCrate Jr shop!

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