#20BooksOfSummer 8: Mirror Magic -Claire Fayers

#20BooksOfSummer is an annual event hosted by Cathy Brown of 746 Books and runs from 3rd June until 3rd September With the aim to clearing a target of 5, 10 or 20 books from your TBR but with very relaxed and fun rules.

Here is my joining post & List!

Book cover of Mirror Magic
Cover Illustrated by Becka Moor

I thoroughly enjoyed Claire Fayer’s Storm Hound earlier this year so when I found a signed and stamped copy of the book in a local second hand bookshop of Mirror Magic I could not believe my luck.

The signed and stamped copy is one factor BUT to be fair I had been excited to seek out this book anyway with its tale of portal magic, fairies and borrowed magic and I’m so pleased that in all its creepy, misty, magicalness it does not disappoint

Portal Magic
Bad things in the Shadows
Connected Souls

Ava has just lost her parents and had to move with her elder brother Matthew back to Wyse the last Magical town left in Britain. Her father had once been a respected conjuror who fled mysteriously giving up all magic after Ava miraculously recovered from the measles as a young child.

Back in Wyse she is reduced to working as a servant to her aunt and cousin now living in her old home and in control of her father’s old magic mirror and her brother is a clerk to the mysteriously ‘fine gentleman’ Lord Skinner who is oddly over interested in Ava.

When Ava cleans an old magic mirror at the same time as Fairy boy Howell does in Unwyse they reopen a long ago lost portal and are drawn into a mystery as to why magic keeps disappearing, with an enchanted book, clacking bones and secrets and lies.

British people always talk about the weather. They always have and they always will. They’re never satisfied, either. It’s either too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry or too windy. I have no idea why they do this. Maybe it distracts them from more important considerations, such as the fact that the world is quite possibly doomed.
The Book

What I adored about this book is it could have been all cutesy and twee with faeries and magical mirrors and wishes and orphans and whatnot. But no. Actually it’s just the right amount of dark for middle grade, maybe even to give a little of the good tickly frighteners.

Ok so it may be on my mind as I have been binging Stranger Things with my mum who has up til now not watched the show but there if you like Stranger Things (which to be fair at heart is a MG adventure just with grown up violence, scary bits and words) with its alternate worlds and darkness in the mist or think your child would like it when they are older then this would be a fab age-appropriate alternative with a Faery dimension rather than evil creatures BUT with peril and bad things wanting to come through to our world and only a bunch of children standing in the way.

Book cover for US edition Book or Unwise Magic
In the USA Mirror Magic is known as The Book Of Unwise Magic – cover Illustration by Hannah Peck

The children of Mirror Magic are excellent and thoroughly rounded characters from Ava and a touch of survivor guilt but indignation at the way she is treated as odd for her past and scars to the wannabe detective Charles with his questions, can do attitude and way of flustering Ava for having ideas on his own volition! Howell is a wonderfully interesting character a fairy boy without magic who longs to be have gifts yet finds his ordinariness may just have something extraordinary to it.

I thoroughly and utterly adored this adventure and look forward to reading more by Claire Fayers but I also secretly wish there was more in this setting as it was so profoundly exciting and enthralling. Even more exciting just telling Littlefae the plot has prompted her to role play her idea of the story imagine how exciting it will be when she reads it!

Mirror Magic by Claire Fayers is published in the UK by MacMillan. In the USA it is known as The Book Of Unwyse Magic and published by Henry Holt.


21 thoughts on “#20BooksOfSummer 8: Mirror Magic -Claire Fayers

  1. I really enjoyed this when I read it last year so I’m so pleased you did too! Apologies if you’ve already told me this, but has Littlefae chosen book 9 yet? I always love seeing what it’s going to be!
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha!! I’ve just put the box in front of her and she has chosen the Girl of Ink and Stars which I was talking about with Mary earlier after she reviewed it!! What a coincidence!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I wouldn’t have picked this up but the Stranger Things comparison has done it. Love that series. We’re on the penultimate episode of season 3 but it’s taking over a week to watch between sickness and Peapod summoning me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray! It just had ‘something’ about it, not eleven’s powers or evil demigorgons but something of the essence of the children being the ones to know aided by a slightly older brother and a girl his age and a malevolent tone to the unworld. I hope you enjoy it, it’s certainly much darker than Storm Hound and I just kept getting the feels throughout!
      I LOVE Stranger Things it’s seriously one of my favourite things ever- MG story with grown up horror and can you imagine how much fun I have analysing all the references and asides?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Haha, I know! There’s loads of references I know I’m missing, but lots I do get too, and I just love the way it feels SO eighties and MG!
      Storm Hound definitely wasn’t one for me I don’t think, but this one I’ll try!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. It was the perfect moment of whimsy and pure childish joy amongst the horror, the perfect counterpoint and space to breathe and laugh and soar amidst the peril 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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