In her atmospheric followup to The Wren Hunt, Watson blends magical lore and rituals with mystery born of family secrets. . . . Immersive.” Booklist
“Reminiscent of Maggie Stiefvater's “Raven Cycle” . . . Watson brings a deep and visceral voice to old stories as well as an authentic and modern urban sensibility, making this a highly stylized read.” School Library Journal on THE WREN HUNT
“Watson's core characters . . . enchant. . . Feels at once modern and folkloric.” Publishers Weekly on THE WREN HUNT
“Lovely and haunting . . . [For] readers who loved the dark lore and lyrical language of Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood.” Booklist on THE WREN HUNT
“Lush. . . [G]ood for fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Holly Black.” Kirkus Reviews on THE WREN HUNT
“In this moody magical thriller, a girl with a secret identity and a talent that doubles as a curse has to outwit her enemies, survive her own damaging power, and follow her heart. For fans of . . . [t]he Shannara Chronicles.” Buzzfeed on THE WREN HUNT
“Wren's a feisty but vulnerable hero . . . Readers who enjoy the mix of modernity and mythology of Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle will find that same blend here.” BCCB on THE WREN HUNT
“[A] compelling take on druid mythology combined with a dash of family mystery.” Foreword Reviews on THE WREN HUNT
“A great read for those who enjoy fantasy, romance, and a little bit of mystery.” School Library Connection on THE WREN HUNT
“The Wren Hunt rings with ancient, subtle magic, masterfully transmuted into words. A tale that gets into your bones.” Samantha Shannon, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON, on THE WREN HUNT
An outsider encounters a secret magical war in this sequel to The Wren Hunt (2018).
Zara's family is unraveling following the unexplained (perhaps inexplicable) death of her older sister, Laila, in their new home, the Irish village of Kilshamble. Zara has few friends and soon earns enemies as she haphazardly attempts to solve her sister's mysterious last days and death. Brown-skinned Zara's isolated, not set apart from the mostly white residents because of her parents' South African background but because of her mundanity and humanity. Wading through grief and guilt, Zara stumbles on the secret war between the manipulative magic-wielding augurs and militant judges—feuding descendants of the semi-Druidic draoithe—and repeatedly crosses paths with neighbor David. Spurred on by his father and a "black-and-white vision of the world," white 18-year-old David simultaneously competes to succeed his disgraced brother, Oisín, as the judges' War Scythe and searches for a missing, potentially apocalypse-triggering, item. Swerving between Zara's grieving process and the erratically escalating draoithe guerilla war, the unevenly paced plot gets bogged down by extraneous details and side plots. Watson exhaustively explores the protagonists' current angst and agony but offers minimal backstories for the characters and vague and contradictory mythology for the draoithe. Zara's family is cued as being of Indian Muslim heritage.
A bleak and brooding contemporary fantasy that sells magic short. (glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18)