Synopsis from Bloomsbury Publishing:
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 suicide–but 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.
About: The Wickerlight is a young adult fantasy written by Mary Watson. It will be published on 11/26/2019 by Bloomsbury YA, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, 432 pages. The genres are young adult, fiction, and fantasy. There are two books to this series so far: book 1 was called The Wren Hunt and book 2 was called The Wickerlight. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up. 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 Wickerlight on 7/7/2019 and finished it on 7/15/2019 at 2:30AM. I stopped to re-read The Wren Hunt on 7/8/2019 to 7/12/2019. This book is definitely a magnificent read! I’m so happy that this book has David’s view because I have many questions about him, including the punishment he received from book 1. David surprises me because he’s a different person than I thought he would be and I like getting to know him. Zara’s view is interesting too because she’s an outsider and for her to dig around looking in and learning all that is different is exciting. I like Zara’s strengths and determination. Instead of accepting her sister’s death, she goes and explores until she finds what causes it. Both main characters are very likable and I enjoy following them. The supporting characters are great as well like Oisin and Sibeal. I like Sibeal’s calm especially under stressful situations. FYI: quotes from beginning of Zara’s chapters are from her sister, LAS is Laila A. Swart.
This book is told in the first person point of view following David, 18, a trained soldier from a family of ruthless Judges. The story started from 10 years ago when David first met Wren who he believes she is a danger to him. The story goes into details about his family, his expectations, and the rituals of the Judges. The second point of view is Zara, 17. Her family moved to Kilshamble from the city after her mom, doctor, caught her dad, university professor, having an affair. Then her older sister Laila, 18, died suddenly and now Zara is working to uncover her sister’s secret life before she died. This book continues with Wren, 18, as the girl of leaf and petal, Keeper of the Forest, who may bring silver magic to the Judges and is living among the Judges. Her character as well as Tarc play a small role in this book. The main point is the sleeping war between the Augurs and the Judges and how Laila’s death affect it all.
The Wickerlight is very well written and an exciting read. I love the dual perspectives and how the author gives both views at each encounter so readers could see what both characters are thinking. I love the mini cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. I love the mystery to Laila’s death and how info slowly reveal as Zara investigates. I find the story in this book much more interesting than the first book. There are more humor, mystery, and adrenaline rush. I also love the bit of romance too and reading the guy’s perspective when comes to romance is cute. From the first book, I thought Wren’s friends – Meave’s family are good people but with this second book, Meave’s family shocked me. I wonder if there will be a third book to this series even though the ending seems definite. I highly recommend everyone to read this series because it’s fantastic!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, magic, Irish rituals, humor, adrenaline rush, light romance, family relationships,
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.