I was scrolling through NetGalley’s new releases and came across The Wickerlight. I was first drawn in by the cover and the summary sounded promising. I checked to see if it was a part of a series (I learned my lesson with The Traitor’s Ruin) and saw it was the sequel to The Wren Hunt. The Wren Hunt had always interested me, so I figured this was a sign that it was finally time to check it out, and I am SO GLAD I did!
Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.
In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.
Why does this not have more (positive) reviews on Goodreads?! Seriously, as of today (September 2, 2019) it only has 980 ratings and 286 reviews with a 3.64 average rating. Maybe not everyone is as into creepy, atmospheric, magical, modern folklore as I am? I dunno, those people are really missing out.
The Wren Hunt is a weird but amazing book for so many reasons. I mean, the book opens with Wren being chased by a group of boys as part of an annual magical tradition. If that’s not a great way to start a book, I don’t know what is. As we read more, we learn about Judges, Augurs, nemeta, tree people…the list goes on. I’ve never really learned about Irish folklore but The Wren Hunt definitely has me curious about it now.
I liked the characters, though I will admit they weren’t likeable for obvious reasons. They definitely each have their flaws but the complexities behind them make them so interesting to me. Wren’s conflicting feelings between the two houses was really interesting and I love the explanation we got at the end. Tarc wasn’t that complex of a character but I still found him unique. The family dynamics in this book are definitely atypical and that made for some intriguing scenes and conflicts.
The biggest thing I love about this book is the atmosphere. The characters and plot do drive a lot of the book but the enchanting tone is what I love so much about it. Everything is mysterious, magical, and creepy. Even when nothing was overtly happening I still had that crawling-skin feeling that something was going on whether we knew it or not.
I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you like folklore!
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