The Wren Hunt
Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology
May 30th 2019
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.
When I discovered The Wickerlight by Mary Watson in my local bookstore, I damn near screamed. I ADORED The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. I honestly did not remember that there would be a second book set in this world.
Although I had work, I inhaled this book in just over a day. I felt so much joy being back in the village of Kilshamble with all its magic and lore and fighting. Oh boy, there was so much fighting. Either internally or externally. Getting to see more into the life of David, and a new girl who gets caught up in things she doesn’t understand. Watson really knows how to keep a story tense and out of this world good.
“Real monsters have ordinary faces.”
The Wickerlight follows two different POVs. First, we have David who is a Judge. He has been trained to be a warrior, but he wants to be more than a pawn for his Dad. After his older brother Oísín, the recently broken War Scythe, David is put forward along with 3 other boys to become the next Scythe. It would be his job to kill without remorse and to protect their leader and his aunt, Cassa. What he doesn’t expect is to be thrown into turmoil and possible shame after his brother loses a very important artifact. David definitely doesn’t expect a normal girl who lifts him up completely to get caught up in his mess.
“When mom had said quiet, I hadn’t realized that she meant the village at the end of the world.”
Zara, a 17-year-old girl moved to Kilshamble with her family to have a fresh start. Away from the temptations of the city, and away from any Lindys who her dad wants to get with. After the unexpected death of her older sister Laila, she wants nothing more than to find out why. Zara refuses to believe it was because of drugs, as her mother thinks. Laila loved the idea of magic in the world and would try to seek it out. Upon discovering a ball with hair ants and nail clippings in her parks pocket, Zara knows that’s exactly what Laila was doing. Was her search for magic the thing that killed her? Zara needs to find out the truth.
“I want to belong, to matter.
I want to live.”
First of all, I adore Zara. I love how determined and strong she is, albeit part of a broken family. Her mother is overprotective of her ever since Laila’s death. Zara’s brother, Adam, is never really around and her dad is just asking for trouble. I also love how much love Zara has for Laila. It is so strong and I personally felt super connected with this. There is a part in the book where Zara references a part of Alice in Wonderland where Laila said:
“Laila always hoped for six impossible things before breakfast.”
It is such a heartwarming feeling seeing Zara wanting to find the truth about Laila’s death. What she was willing to do in order to find out information just shows how much she loves Laila. There are times when she falters, but Zara is able to pick herself back up. She also knows what is right and wrong and would stand up for herself.
I loved her growing relationship/friendship with David. Although there are bumps along the way, it’s just a beautiful thing to see blossom and grow. What makes them so perfect for each other is that they are not perfect. They are both part of broken families and are themselves broken because of that. They are well suited for each other.
“I think it’s because we’re both jagged, we’re the people who fit in wrong. We need to be little uneasy, it’s how we are.”
David definitely had my heart throughout this entire book. I felt so incredibly bad for the way his life is. I honestly feel like The How he feels like a disappointment to his father. How he has all these expectations that he needs to fulfill. To become the War Scythe. But David just feels trapped in his house. He wants to be more than this. Even though he has been brought up to be a warrior, he doesn’t like it. His hatred for the augurs is a justifiable thing, especially since they broke the mind of his older brother. His love for Oísín is a complicated thing. He hates him for becoming just a husk of his former War Scythe body, but loves him and wants to protect him because he is his brother. I love the intimate moments that they share and how they work together.
I also love how David grows through The Wickerlight to start letting things go. How he starts to open up to Zara because he really likes her, even though it’s not allowed. A Judge boy cannot be with a normal girl. But he doesn’t care about what is allowed. He would protect Zara with his life and would do anything for her.
I also really enjoy getting to see little bits of Wren and Tarc. Although they were not a big part of Zara or David’s story, they were still there. Especially Tarc, who was one of the other boys fighting to become the next War Scythe. I really enjoyed the moments that David and Tarc shared. Tarc is still a sweetheart.
Overall, I completely fell head over heels in love with The Wickerlight. The mystery, the magic, and the secrets. It created such an incredible atmosphere and was super gripping throughout. An absolute must read!