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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Shattered Snow by Rachel Huffmire is the first book in The Mirror Chronicles. Keltson runs a secret operation to save people from tragic pasts using time travel to give them happier endings. This is what got him dubbed with the name of The Mirror. Changing the future isn't an easy task as a single mistake can cause the ITTA to send a huntsman after them to put things back into their rightful place. Lilia dreams of time travel and searching for a way to prove just how strong she can be. She gets a chance to escape when she meets Keltson and discovers the power that comes with her new role. Margaretha longs for freedom but a discovery comes with shocking turns of events that could change her future.
The story weaves between the primary perspectives of Keltson, Lilia, and Margaretha with an assortment of characters surrounding them. Keltson's journey is at the heart of the story with his attempt to help others change their stories into happy endings. He's the catalyst for events with his position as the Mirror, creating outlets for escape. He's driven by his need to help others and this is what brings him into the lives of Lilia and Margaretha. Lilia is trying to break free of the restrictions placed upon her and this drives her to turn to Keltson to find the power to change her fate. Margaretha has lost her mother and has a calm presence that helps her keep her sanity among the personalities of her siblings. Her life slowly descends into tragedy, which makes her the perfect Mirror subject. The ensemble of characters that weave into Lilia's and Margaretha's lives have important roles to play and all fit within the fairytale aesthetic.
Rachel Huffmire creates a unique take on classic fairytales with a time travel aspect that breathes new life into the stories we all love. The story weaves between the past and the future with events spiraling forward to 2069 and dipping back to 1537 and the years following. Elements of fairytales are woven into the story with a comb, mirrors, a glass coffin, and a huntsman that are twisted to fit this world. These elements create an original twist on fairytales with the mirrors having a presence of their own, the huntsman working as an agent for the ITTA, and the glass coffin as a frozen timeless capsule. This time-traveling fairytale will take your breath away as Shattered Snow is charming, addictive, original, and sets the bar for all fairytale retellings.