The Wren Hunt
Author: Mary Watson
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 8th 2018
Format: eARC (416 pages)
Every year on St Stephen’s Day, Wren Silke is chased through the forest in a warped version of a childhood game. Her pursuers are judges – a group of powerful and frightening boys who know nothing of her true identity. If they knew she was an augur – their sworn enemy – the game would be up.
This year, the tension between judges and augurs is at breaking point. Wren’s survival, and that of her family, depends on her becoming a spy in the midst of these boys she fears most and using her talent, her magic, to steal from them the only thing that can restore her family’s former power for good. But Wren’s talent comes with a price. The more she uses it, the more she loses her grip on reality and soon she’s questioning everything she’s ever known about her family, about augurs and judges, and about the dangerous tattooed stranger who most definitely is not on her side …
My Rating: ★★★★.5
If I had to pick five words to describe this book it would be these:
Gorgeous. Lyrical. Magical. Unique. Enchanting.
The Wren Hunt took me a little while to get into and I’ll happily admit that I read the first few chapters and really didn’t have a clue what on Earth was going on. (So if you do pick this up and feel the same, trust me when I say you should push on through because it will be worth it.) But it didn’t take long until I realised I was finding it hard to put this book down. The story itself is really enchanting and I absolutely adored how steeped in mythology and folklore this book is. It is one of my favourite things when reading a book like this and I couldn’t get enough of it.
The plot of this story is a fairly complex one and that is why it takes a little bit of time to figure out what is going on. The augurs and the judges are both fighting to secure their powers and with Wren being an augur, she is sent to work among the judges as a spy to earn their trust and gain valuable information to help restore her family’s power. Wren’s position in Harkwood House is a dangerous one, if she is discovered then it can only end badly and knowing this really had me on edge. The nature of the lyrical writing in this story definitely added to the ominous feel at times but I loved how it helped to build suspense as the plot moved forward.
I really love a book with magic and I definitely loved all the different powers that the augurs had but Wren’s in particular drew my attention because it is just so natural and the way nature played its role in this book was really beautiful to me. I was intrigued by all of the traditions and rituals that we read about in The Wren Hunt and they definitely added to this atmospheric tale.
There are some very wonderful characters in this book. Wren is our main character and the book is told from her POV so we get to know a lot about what she is feeling and thinking. I liked Wren a lot and actually felt quite sorry for her at times while she was being used like a pawn in this augurs vs judges game but she is level headed and I admired her courageousness. Two other honorary mentions from me are Tarc because hello! and Cassa because I just really found myself drawn to her and would like to know more about her.
There is romance in this book but it certainly doesn’t take anything away from the plot if that kind of thing worries you. I actually thought it was well developed and the writing style definitely added to the romantic feel of the book in general too.
It goes without saying that my absolute favourite thing about this book was the writing style. The prose is just dreamy and gorgeous in every way. It truly feels like this story was woven together rather than written and that every word feels like it has meaning. The writing itself is enchanting which definitely ups the ante when it comes to how magical this book is. I really found myself lost in Wren’s story.
The Wren Hunt is a unique, carefully woven story laced with mythology and folktales. Its magic will enchant you and its twists and turns will keep you reading on until the end.
Thanks to Bloomsbury, Mary Watson and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange of a fair and honest review.
Have you read The Wren Hunt? Is it on your TBR?
What are your favourite lyrical YA books?