Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror


‘Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror’ offers an enchantress the opportunity to consider how she might ensure her goddaughter becomes an ‘excellent princess‘. What does that entail? Her magic mirror cannot help. When she throws it into the forest to adventure through princesses of different ages, settings and backgrounds, the mirror plays its part.

What might the mirror see when it appears to Princess Leila, forbidden to venture into the ‘dunes with the wind in her hair’? How may the mirror play a part when it is passed to princesses who run from war to the City of Lights? What of Princess who helps Grandma Lisbeth work on the Horace B. Rivers Memorial Garden, over a summer when her friends appear to have abandoned her?

What will the mirror learn and report? What is excellence? Natasha Farrant is a confident and enchanting storyteller whose works, including The Children of Castle Rock, we love. Lydia Corry’s pictures are rich with colour, warmth and movement. We welcome ‘Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror’ to Bookwagon. This is a ‘forever‘ story, recommended as a gift, a title destined to linger, last and be loved.


Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror

Natasha Farrant, illustrated by Lydia Corry

(Zephyr)– hardback

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror’ offer stories of ‘what makes a princess excellent.‘ It is not ‘an easy question’, according to the mirror, yet Natasha Farrant seeks to explain. She takes up the suggestion that the enchantress makes to the mirror over teatime, i.e., ‘to find out about lots of other princesses.‘ Without this information, how might the enchantress bestow excellence upon her goddaughter at her naming day? So we begin…
The grand mirror becomes ‘the eyes and ears of the universe‘ when the princess throws it into the forest. Thereafter, it is passed between princesses, eras, continents as it seeks to define excellence. What will it find? For example, could Princess Héloïse’s entreaty with a witch for her sister’s recovery result in her realising her own strengths? What of Abayome who betrays her friend Odé to conform with expectations of a princess’s behaviour? Will Tia’s faith in a baby crocodile be returned? Furthermore, what might Saoirse learn from the story of Rose and Aisling, in the story told in the mirror?
Natasha Farrant’s The Children of Castle Rock is a bold, empathetic adventure. The adventuring continues for older readers with Lydia. We welcome ‘Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror’ aboard the wagon!


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