BOOK REVIEW: Mirror of Malice (Stolen Crowns #1) by Tee Harlowe

BOOK REVIEW: Mirror of Malice (Stolen Crowns #1) by Tee HarloweMirror of Malice (Stolen Crowns #1)
by Tee Harlowe
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


He’s supposed to be my salvation, but he might just become my ruin.

I’m a prisoner in my own castle. Trapped by my apple-loving narcissist of a stepmother, desperate for my betrothed to rescue me.

Yet it’s not my one true love who comes—it’s the king of thieves.

He takes my stepmother’s mirror, the source of her power, but leaves with an additional treasure: me.

Now I’ve traded one prison for another. Penn Vanderbilt is cunning, captivating, and completely insufferable. He’s also secretive about his stolen goods . . . and the reason he kidnapped me.

Forget the thief’s plan. I’ve got one of my own: pretend to go along with his little scheme while plotting my escape.

I’ll only have to con the greatest con man alive. Never mind that I might be falling for him. The price of failing is my kingdom. But succeeding might just cost my heart.

Mirror of Malice is book one in Stolen Crowns, a series of steamy standalone but interconnected fairytale retellings. This enemies-to-lovers, opposites attract book is perfect for fans of banter, (very) snarky heroines, and slow-burn fantasy romance.


Mirror of Malice was a fairytale retelling that was enchanting and will sweep you away!  With the most fabulous found family, all the adventure, a beautifully magical setting, and storyline that was easy to binge, this book was so much fun!  Mix that in with lots of laughter and a little bit of steam, and well it was impossible not to fall for this book!  Mirror of Malice was a Snow White retelling, with some Robin Hood mixed in, that was beautifully executed!

“You kidnapped me!”
“You’re welcome for that, by the way.”
“I didn’t say thank you.”
“I noticed.” He tsked. “Not very polite for a princess.”

Princess Liliath of Elwen was trapped in a tower with her two best friends for two years, courtesy of her evil stepmother.  She was convinced her betrothed, Jasper, was going to rescue her any day now.  And when she was rescued, it wasn’t who she thought it would be.  It was Penn Vanderbilt, the king of thieves.  He had plans to use the Princess for his own cunning reasons.  Yet she has plans of her own, to take back her crown!  What unfolded was a magical journey that was laugh out loud hilarious!

I’d been stripped of my crown, imprisoned by my stepmother, made to watch my court fall apart, and yet this man, he might be my greatest obstacle yet.

Penn was my absolute favorite!  He was a book boyfriend many will fall for.  He cracked me up time and again, and I loved how he did what he wanted to do and didn’t apologize for it!  He had his merry little band of 7 thieves who lived in a tree house, in the most beautiful described area.  Seriously, the descriptions in this book were breathtaking.  I would love pictures to go along with this story!  And he stood up for what was right and true.  Penn was thoughtful, brave, protective, smart, and so easy to love!

He was coaching me on my shortcomings when it came to eavesdropping. Unbelievable.
I gritted my teeth. “Yes, apologies that I’m not an expert criminal.”
He continued, as if I hadn’t even spoken. “You also breathe shockingly loud. Is that a medical condition of some sort? You should really have a healer check that out.”
My mouth dropped open and I shoved him. He barked out a laugh.

Lilith had a lot of growing up to do. She was a naive fairytale princess, who was stuck up and thought she was better than Penn and his criminal ways.  I loved how Penn was so blunt with her.  And I definitely laughed at Lilith as she struggled with her training.  Her squeaking at a bug had me rolling on the ground.  I felt like she was a contestant on Wipe Out lol.  Plus her incessant need to remind herself of her plans, oh goodness.  There is a huge but coming…..but  Lilith’s growth was amazing to watch.  It was real.  Took so much work and effort on her part.  I loved the punch!  And her realizing how she had been so wrong, I could stand up clapping!  By the end of this story I was so proud of the woman she became!  Lilith became a Queen that many would be proud of!

Penn stepped back and brought his boot down on my stick, snapping it in half. Then he spun around me, dropped to his knees and crushed my back to his chest, arms around my neck, limiting my breathing.
“Now, come on, Lilypad,” he purred into my ear. “You know I’m not one to make empty threats.”
“Oh, I know,” I rasped. “I also don’t care. I’m not . . . scared . . . of you.”

Penn and Lilith’s slow burn, opposites attract romance had the most fabulous banter!  And I loved watching what was an initial enemies existence, turn into a tentative friendship.  It took a while to get there, and I loved how everything felt like it occurred naturally.  And when they did turn to more, there was some steam that fit them perfectly! Surrounding them were the 7 thieves.  Shadow and her blunt ways was one of my favorites, and Hammer too!  And as they trained and went on adventures, there were so many scenes that will stick in your head.  The swamp and the dragon were two of my favorites.  And most of all, I loved all of the humor in the pages.  There were so many times I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face!  Sir Stallion I’m looking at you!

I was just drifting off to sleep when I could’ve sworn I heard him whisper, “Just so you know, you’re not alone.”

I didn’t talk too much about the plot, because I believe that is best for you to discover on your own.  But know that the princess’ kingdom was ruled by her evil stepmother and everything was dark, bleak and filled with rot.  And I kept nervously waiting for that poisoned apple to show up!  So with one horse and one bed tropes, it just made this book even more loveable!  The twists were done so well!  I didn’t see that latter one coming at all!  The epilogue was fabulous!  And I am excited for more stories set in this world!  It seems like the next book may be about Gabrielle and someone I won’t mention, you’ll learn in this story!  And I’m also hoping we’ll get a novella or something more on Seraphina too!  If you love fairy tale retellings, definitely add Mirror of Malice to your tbr!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa+Mandina+(Lisa+Loves+Literature)

    I love good banter and retellings, sounds good! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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