In this lush, magical thriller for fans of the Raven Cycle and The Hazel Wood, one girl's murder investigation leads her into an ancient magical war.
It's been two months since Zara's sister Laila was found lifeless on the village green of the small Irish town Kilshamble, not a mark on her. Vicious rumors circle that she died of an overdose or committed suicidebut an autopsy finds no evidence.
Zara believes somebody must know what happened, and she throws herself headfirst into an investigation. But retracing her sister's footsteps takes her to David, a member of an ancient magical faction called the judges. The judges are in the midst of an ancient feud with another faction called the augurs, and Zara quickly finds herself embroiled in a dangerous, twisted game. And if she isn't careful on the path she's treading, she could end up with the same fate as Laila.
Riveting, atmospheric, and full of dangerous magic, this lyrical novel set in the world of The Wren Hunt is perfect for readers of Maggie Stiefvater and Melissa Albert.
|Product dimensions:||5.69(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Mary Watson grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked as an art museum guide, library assistant, actress in children's musicals, front-of-house duty manager, and university lecturer. After publishing a short story collection and novel for adults, she fell in love with the brave girls in YA books, which inspired her to write her debut novel for teens, The Wren Hunt. She now lives on the west coast of Ireland with her husband and three young children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What an odd but a good novel. The underlying theme follows two young adults, both searching for something. One is looking for answers into her sister's death while the other is looking for inner peace, self-love, and a way to escape his harsh reality. These two people have been brought together by a series of circumstances that lead them to help one another on their respective journeys. It is interesting to see how their lives intermingle through such old magic and to see them grow as characters. Laila’s death is the catalyst of the novel. Her death opens up so many questions for the reader and Zara as she enters this world of the old magic that she thought ever existed. It is interesting to get to know Laila through the opening quotes of Zara’s chapters but also through the pieces of her life she has left behind. There is something menacing lingering beneath the surface of her death, and as Zara continues to investigate the eerie tone rises, allowing the tension of the novel to bloom as the story progresses. The dual perspectives also allow the reader to understand the characters and this world. David and Zara are both complex characters with complex family dynamics. Not only does Zara struggle with her sisters' death, but the paranoia of her father's infidelity keeps her from being happy. For David, he struggles with his brother’s PTSD and the change in dynamics where he is now considered the “tough” son. He is protective of his older brother and hates the shift, but he also does not want to disappoint his family more than they already feel. There is much turmoil for the characters, but together they find the peace they seek, and they grow and become better for it. The Wickerlight is a captivating novel that moves at a steady pace as it slowly develops the tension and sets up the characters. The depth to the characters and their narratives is incredibly compelling, keeping the reader engrossed in the story.
**Thank you to Bloomsbury YA, Netgalley, and Mary Watson for providing me this ebook in exchange for an honest review** The Wickerlight picks up where The Wren Hunt picks up, just not focused on Wren and Tarc. This book focuses on Zara, who's sister was found dead during Wren's ritual to turn into the flower woman in the first book, and David, Wren's tormentor. You get a peek behind the curtains into David's motivations and desires, and it helps turn him a bit into a redeemable character (but only barely). The Wickerlight continues the theme of being confusing and having a host of irredeemable characters. Zara works to learn more about her sister's death, while dealing with her family life crumbling around her. David is trying to become the most respected warrior judge, and get away from his Dad's influence. I was surprised to see that this was not a continuation of Wren's story, because I really did not feel like the first book wrapped everything up in Wren's story. It was disorienting and took me some time to catch up to Zara's story. Zara and David are still both irredeemable characters, if you thought that theme would change with book two, you were mistaken. The judges and augurs all make terrible decisions and hate each other for a reason that is fairly superfluous. They also have no regard for non-gifted people, as Zara's life and state of mind is constantly tampered with and threatened during this book. This duology was not for me. Mary Watson's writing is gorgeous and flowing, but I could not get past the character's flaws. It's hard for me to connect with a book if I can't find common ground with at least one character. I don't expect every character to be a saint, but I need one who is redeemable. If you love books that are beautifully written with a bunch of irredeemable characters running around rural Ireland, check out this duology! Keep in mind, this review and release is for the US edition. The UK edition has already been released.
The format of the arc made it nearly impossible to read but the writing itself wasn't much better. I really want to like Mary Watson's books as they sound magical and exciting. Yet every time I pick one up, I want to put it down immediately. The writing is stilted and doesn't flow well. It sounds robotic and is devoid of figurative language or unique style. The magic in the novel was also extremely hard to follow and I couldn't get a grasp on what it was or how it worked. The characters are flat and devoid of agency. Their emotions are predictable and they don't fall outside of their tropes. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bloomsbury YA through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
**Full review found at http://pastmidnight.home.blog because it doesn't fit here.** Thank you to Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC. FYI: I did not read The Wren Hunt and I should have. Luckily, The Wickerlight is so good as a standalone I didn’t get totally lost. I wasn’t sure what to expect and when I first started the book, I admit I put it down for a few weeks because I had to let it permeate in my head. I picked it up again recently and I finished it in one night. That was totally unexpected. In The Wickerlight, we get to know this Irish town of Kilshamble, and wow, it is dark, mystery, mystical and magical but not in a happy glittery way. This story is told in dual POV. We meet Zara who’s sister Laila is dead and Zara wants to know how and why. Then there is David, who is a judge (no not the kind with a gavel), he is part of this magical world where augurs and judges are enemies, and there is a silent war between them. I missed a big chunk of David’s background by not reading The Wren Hunt, so read that first. Zara doesn’t know what she’s stumbled into when she digs for clues about Laila’s death, but soon it’s too late to turn back. Zara is learning that maybe Laila was right about magic. *I loved learning about the druids and Irish folklore in this story. We learn about the Augurs and Judges who basically hate each other – they have a complicated history. *This story is set in a modern world but the magic is so subtle that it fits so well, I love how it came together seamlessly. We are Zara, learning about the secrets of this town. Most of the magic is not as powerful as it was long ago but it works in the modern day world of this story. It’s nature, earth magic. Also the folklore stories about monsters in the forest – gives us a creepy background for this setting. I enjoyed the dark, eerie tone in this story! *There is a scene where David gets tortured – so trigger warnings: cutting. It’s not a trigger for me but even I got squeamish at the visuals of the scene. But this book IS dark, the judges do not mess around when it comes to discipline. The augurs have their own form of torture, but it didn’t involve cutting, just mind bending/mind control. *The business about hoarding words to make a law (like a spell) at times confused me, especially when it is introduced into the story. I think the idea is so poetic and the story is so lyrical that it went over my head at first. But then the practice grew on me, the way words are precious and how different words call to a person. I especially loved when David was hoarding words, haha, I mean that boy felt it! Final Thoughts: The Wickerlight is an intriguing, lyrical, deliciously, darkly magical, unique story. It starts with grief and pulls you into the mystery of a death and this world of old magic. Definitely read The Wren Hunt first and then come lose yourself in The Wickerlight like I did.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury YA for sending me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. After devouring and loving Mary Watson’s first book The Wren Hunt, I was very excited that it got a sequel. I felt that the first book left on a small cliffhanger and I was ready to find out what happened next, mainly with the main character from the first book, Wren. I was slightly disappointed that Wren didn’t play a huge role in the second book. She was mentioned maybe a total of 5 times throughout the whole book and as I thought the first book left a lot up in the air regarding her, I was left still wondering what really happened with her. The writing style was just as good in the second book as it was the first and I enjoyed that the chapters alternated between the characters of Zara and David. I just didn’t feel like I enjoyed the second book as much as I did the first. I’m not sure if that’s because it focused on different characters or if it was the story itself but I was not as intrigued by this one. I missed the romance between Wren and Tarc and wished there would have been more about them. This book did have one of my favorite troupes (dislike to lovers) which I did enjoy and I’m really hoping there’s another book after this one as this one also felt like it ended on a small cliffhanger. Mary Watson’s writing style is definitely fantastical and whimsical and once you get a hang of pronouncing everything (thank you to the glossary in the back) I think everyone would enjoy this story. It’s written to where you think it’s set in the late 1800s to early 1900s but it’s actually set in modern day which is one of the main reasons I enjoy her books so much.