This time I wasn’t confused 🙂
Whether or not you have read The Wren Hunt, you will enjoy this book just as much as if you had!
Goodreads Summary Zara's family moved to Kilshamble for a new beginning. But everything changed the night her sister was found dead on the village green. Two months later, Laila's death is a riddle that nobody wants solved. Where were her injuries? Why was she so obsessed with local folklore? And what does all this have to do with David, the boy who lives at the big house? As Zara delves deeper into her sister's secret life, she becomes entangled in an ancient magical feud. All too unwittingly she is treading the same dangerous path that led Laila to the village green.
The Wickerlight is the sequel/ companion to The Wren Hunt, a confusing novel that boasts a unique new magic system that made absolutely no sense to eighteen-year-old me.
After reading this one, I really really want to reread The Wren Hunt as I now have a better understanding of the storyline and magic system, since The Wickerlight clears up a lot of confusion from the first novel.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5 stars) because even though the writing was captivating and whimsical, the plot was enjoyable, the characters themselves ruined it for me.
I am a hoe for that whole ‘dual perspective novel where both people are on either side of “the fight” and their paths cross so we have two sides of the same story’. That is my favourite trope/ story arc and I will never stop loving it!
The Wickerlight is a story that clears up all the confusion from The Wren Hunt especially when it comes to the magic system. This story gave me the wonderful feeling of having fallen down a rabbit hole and into a haunting and magical world.
I don’t really know how to articulate my thoughts for this review so I’m going to try a pro/ con approach to this analysis and hope all my thoughts make sense to you reading this.
Let’s start with the most positive thing about this novel because this aspect almost earnt it a full five-star review. That factor is the writing! It’s one thing to have a complex and well fleshed out magic system, a mystery and a strange friendship unfold within a story, but if the writing isn’t great, then most of those elements are lost.
Now, I’m not writing critic, nor can I break down a piece of writing to understand what makes it so captivating, all I know is that I was drawn into the story with every word I read. It was the same thing that kept eighteen-year-old me reading the first book, despite how confused and befuddled the plot left me.
This next point is neither a pro nor a con, but I did find that every character was both loveable and equally hated at the same time. They would do things that you’d want to hate them for but also redeem themselves within the next scene. Each character was flawed in the most conflicted way. Not the ‘I like them because they’re bad with redeeming qualities’ but the ‘I can’t tell their alignment and it’s annoying me’ kinda way.
I hate to bring up the negative, but there was just something about the characters that made them off. Like they were trying to be everything that everyone wants them to be, following the path that others had laid before them, with so much potential to be their own person.
I felt as if it wasn’t meant to be that way. I would understand if magic was involved in her choices, but it seemed as if she was forced onto the path towards her fate. Same with David. All he did was talk about how he didn’t want to conform to what his father wanted, be the warrior his father expected him to be, yada yada, but he didn’t try to break out of it. There was no rebellion or plan to leave, just talk about it and it was lowkey annoying. But that wasn’t a hindrance to the story. Luckily.
Zara’s family being a part of her story was amazing! Such a rare thing in fantasy novels within magical worlds. Although in an effort to separate her family from the supernatural, there was a lot of sending them away or them conveniently being there and then not to work around her comings and goings.
I think it would have been nice to see more of her relationship with her brother especially since he too was apparently close with their deceased sister. Maybe hearing how Layla’s death affects him, his relationships and his connection to the town.
I hope all my thoughts made sense. I want to reiterate that I really enjoyed this novel, it’s magic system and how it has renewed my love for the strangeness that was The Wren Hunt.
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).