Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura

Lonely Castle in the Mirror is a touching magical realism story about mental health and friendships.


The thought of returning to school makes Kokoro sick to her stomach. One day when she’s lounging at home, she suddenly looks up at her mirror and notices it is glowing. She presses her hand to it, and the next instant, she’s in a castle straight out of a fairytale, greeted by a young girl in a pink lace-trim dress wearing a wolf’s mask.

This Wolf Queen informs Kokoro and the other six group members that they will have nearly a year to hunt for a key to unlock the Wishing Room. The person who finds it will be allowed to enter and have their wish granted. The castle is open from 9-5; if anyone overstays their visit, they’ll promptly be eaten by a wolf.

Review of Lonely Castle in the Mirror

This character-driven novel follows Kokoro’s perspective. It’s split into a month per chapter in the lead-up to their deadline. I think young adult and adult readers would both enjoy this novel. It touches on the effects of bullying and abuse.

Knowing the terms the Wolf Queen set out, I thought there would be more scenes of the teens actively searching for the key, but there were not that many.

There were some odd phrases that I initially thought were due to the translation, but they made a lot more sense by the end.

Lonely Castle in the Mirror

I’ve seen this book floating around for a while and pre-ordered it almost a year ago, but the publication date kept getting pushed back in Canada. So, when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it immediately. And I’m so glad I did. This book is so cozy and felt like its own fairytale.

If more of this author’s works become translated, I will most definitely read them.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 18 October 2022

Thank you to Erewhon Books for providing me with an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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