Synopsis from Bloomsbury Publishing:
Thrilling, atmospheric, and filled with ancient magic, this lyrically written YA debut is perfect for readers of The Raven Cycle and Wink Poppy Midnight.
Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated Irish village by her family’s enemies–the Judges–and there’s nothing that she or her grandfather can do to stop it. Once Wren’s people, the Augurs, controlled an ancient, powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying the Augurs for good.
In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern amidst those who want her dead. But as the web of lies, deceit, and betrayal thickens around her, she finds herself hurtling towards a truth that threatens to consume her and reveal who she really is. Not only has she come to the attention of powerful Judge Cassa Harkness, but she is also falling dangerously in love with the one person she shouldn’t. . .
This captivating fantasy from an award-winning author is equal parts thrilling and romantic, perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater.
About: The Wren Hunt is a young adult fantasy written by Mary Watson. It will be published on 11/6/2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing, 416 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up. There are two books to this series: book 1 is called The Wren Hunt and book 2 is called The Wickerlight. According to the publisher’s website, “Bloomsbury is a leading independent, global publishing house established in 1986 with offices in London, New York, Sydney, Oxford, and New Delhi. Bloomsbury Children’s Books publishes books for readers of all ages, including #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Wren Hunt on 7/30/2018 and finished it on 8/8/2018. I re-read this book on 7/8/2019 to 7/12/2019. This book is fantastic! I like the Ask and its unique rituals to make a fair decision. I like following Wren’s point of view. She’s a quick thinker under stressful situations. I like the slow burning forbidden romance and their flirts makes me smile. I like the mystery and secrets. I like the centuries old stories set in Ireland, especially the meadowsweet. The talks of arts, flowers, puzzles, and gardens are interesting. I won’t be able to look at the gardener the same way again! FYI: The quote at the beginning of each chapter is from Arabella de Courcy, 19th century botanical artist aka mad tree girl. The re-read gives me the opportunity to notice how this book left me with a few unanswered questions. I still enjoyed the read. I’m glad there is a book 2 to this series called Wickerlight. The name is introduced within this book. I wanted to know more about David and his background of Judges. I wanted to know what gift Sibeal ends up with and what Meave, who reads the patterns from the clouds, did to betray Wren. I wonder about Simon who can read body language. I also wanted to know who ends up being the guard for life to the girl with leaf and petal, David or Tarc.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Wren, 17, as she tries to negotiate an end to her annual hunt on Stephen’s Day. The hunt is on TV as a fun entertainment to many people in neighboring towns, but in Kilshamble where she lives with her grandfather, it’s bloody. Every year, David, Cillian, and two other boys race after Wren as she runs ahead and tries to get away before they catch up to her. There are three groups of people: ruthless Judges, fair Augurs, and extinct Bards, where Judges and Augurs had a falling out many centuries ago. David and his friends come from a wealthy family of Judges, nephew of Judges’ leader. Wren is an Augur laying low around the Judges with an ability to see the future in random patterns. She knows the history of her people and her enemy but she doesn’t know if they are aware of who she is. The Augurs’ magic abilities are declining rapidly day by day. They have decided that Wren were to infiltrate the Judges to deceive them long enough to steal a valuable item that will help to resuscitate strengths for their people under the guise of an internship with the Judge’s leader, Calista Harkness. Wren grows up hearing Judges are awful and bloodthirsty and this mission scares her, but when time passes by while working at the Harkness House, she unravels more secrets and lies than she expected.
This book is very well written and organized. I like the unique magic and storyline. I like the different characters, and although there’s only one point of view, there are enough interactions to get what the other persons are thinking. I like the humor and mysterious Tarc and the oddities of Wren. It’s good for readers to relate to someone who doesn’t always know what to say. I like how the mystery slowly unravels and often while reading this book, I find that I couldn’t put it down. Wren runs when she’s stressed out and I like the humor when she reference herself not wanting to be like the stupid girl who runs to the woods but then she finds herself heading for the woods. This book is unique and an absolute fascinating read. I highly recommend everyone to read it!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, suspense, mystery, secrets, spy, forbidden love, centuries old stories, Irish, art, humor
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author: Mary Watson
I grew up in Cape Town where I worked as an art museum custodian, library assistant, actress in children’s musicals, front-of-house duty manager, and university lecturer. My doctorate was in film studies and I’ve always been obsessed with stories. I attempted my first book (with illustrations) when I was five. At sixteen, I had a vivid dream about a girl and her father who walked a magic garden, hiding an awful secret. This grew into a collection of connected short stories, Moss (Kwela, 2004) which I wrote under the mentorship of André Brink at the University of Cape Town. I was awarded the Caine Prize in 2006. My second book, The Cutting Room (Penguin South Africa, 2013), is about ghosts, sort of, and crime. In 2008, I moved to Galway, Ireland. After The Cutting Room, I knew I wanted to write a fantasy book. When my youngest child was born, I found reading YA books kept me awake during the long nights. I was lost in stories of brave girls. Of magic worlds and dystopias, zombies and vampires, queens and assassins while (almost) everyone around me slept. It was here that the first seeds of The Wren Hunt were planted. https://www.marywatsonbooks.com/about-me (Photo obtained from Goodreads and Info obtained from the author’s website).
More Information about Bloomsbury Publishing
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.