Sword and Mirror

Book One: The Hindsight Saga

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
220 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Priya Mathew for Readers' Favorite

Sword and Mirror by Melissa McGehee is a captivating fantasy for children that follows the journey of Princess Moray in the Kingdom of Velis. In this kingdom, regardless of their background, children undergo ascension on their 10th birthday. During this event, they discover their unique abilities, such as control over elements like fire, water, earth, or wind. Some may even possess rarer facets like the ability to manipulate light or shadow. Princess Moray receives a rare facet on her birthday, and since there are hardly any records of this particular ability, she must figure out how to harness her talent. To better understand her abilities, she embarks on a journey to the Isle of Dreams, accompanied by her guardian and friend Eclipse, tutor Mathus, and siblings Leander and Leonder, along with their guardians Mirin and Hugo. Will the predictions of the seers at the Isle of Dreams aid Moray or lead her into a treacherous trap? How will the dangers she encounters test Moray and shape her identity as the kind of ruler she aspires to be?

Melissa McGehee introduces readers to Princess Moray in the first book of the Hindsight Saga. From the first-person narrative of Princess Moray, we get to know the princess and her metaphorical transition from being a mischievous child to a young leader, understanding her world and her place in it. I picked this book up as a gift option for my niece and found it fascinating to discover the built-in takeaways beyond the storyline. One important takeaway for me was how even the youngest among us can make a difference and another was the emphasis on unity over division as Moray seeks the path of reconciliation. By interweaving magic and responsibility, the story encourages resilience, empathy, and creative problem-solving. I feel that this story would help young readers to consider their own role in shaping a better world.