web site hit counter The Witch King - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Witch King

Availability: Ready to download

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound. Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king. In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to chang To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound. Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king. In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world. Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.


Compare

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound. Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king. In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to chang To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound. Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king. In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world. Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.

30 review for The Witch King

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    “To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind.” This is the most "Extremely My Shit" string of consecutive words that I have ever read. “To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind.” This is the most "Extremely My Shit" string of consecutive words that I have ever read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    Everything in this book lined up to make this a perfect reading experience. I ate this book up like candy. It's a perfect blend of dark fantasy told in a fresh, funny voice that just made it exactly what I was hoping for and so much more. I don't often put off finishing a book but this one, I just wanted to savour, and I didn't want it to end. Seriously, this is a book deserving of a huge fandom. I can already picture all the fan art, all the memes, all the merchandise. I want this featured in b Everything in this book lined up to make this a perfect reading experience. I ate this book up like candy. It's a perfect blend of dark fantasy told in a fresh, funny voice that just made it exactly what I was hoping for and so much more. I don't often put off finishing a book but this one, I just wanted to savour, and I didn't want it to end. Seriously, this is a book deserving of a huge fandom. I can already picture all the fan art, all the memes, all the merchandise. I want this featured in book boxes, I want to see special editions, I just want all the hype. There's really nothing I didn't love about this book. It's exactly as amazing as the synopsis makes it sound: it has chaotic monster boyfriends and even a dragon or two. It's exactly the book for you if you enjoy fae books, but also very refreshing if you're not the biggest fan of Sarah J Maas and Holly Black. And I haven't even gotten to the trans rep yet. Damn. I just loved it so much. The way it was interwoven in the story and all the commentary, it was just amazing, and it resonated with me a lot.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Li

    [The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.] CN: violence, gore, blood, murder, death, mentions of parental death, transmisia, misgendering (accidental and intentional), off-page deadnaming, fantasy racism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, panic attacks, trauma I didn’t know how much I needed this book until I read it. Seriously, "The Witch King" changed my life in more ways than one. I have already read it twice before it was [The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.] CN: violence, gore, blood, murder, death, mentions of parental death, transmisia, misgendering (accidental and intentional), off-page deadnaming, fantasy racism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, panic attacks, trauma I didn’t know how much I needed this book until I read it. Seriously, "The Witch King" changed my life in more ways than one. I have already read it twice before it was even out, and I can't wait for my next re-read! “The Witch King” is literally my dream book. It has everything I ever wanted - and more! A very relatable and angry gay trans main character who really deserves a hug, a best friend who is both cute and badass, a sweet and charming love interest, lots of queer side characters, the “friends to enemies to lovers” trope, found family, tarot cards, soulmate bonds, so much diversity, discussions of racism, systemic oppression, colonialism, power imbalance and (anti-)fascism, shocking plot twists, a unique fantasy world, a beautiful mlm love story that actually made me cry… And it's so funny! I loved everything about “The Witch King”, and my review doesn’t do it justice. Everyone needs to read this book! Please pre-order it or request it at your library if you can! Like Anniek says in this review, "The Witch King" deserves a huge fandom with merch, fanart, memes and fanfics. Let's make that happen! And please also check out Adri's beautiful review and their interview with the author!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Anders

    The Witch King was the magical, romantic "found family" story I really needed right about now --- it manages to be super personal and also extremely political, in a way that's both urgently necessary and extremely deft. Wyatt, the trans witch who's betrothed to a prince of faerie named Emyr, is a rich, compelling protagonist: full of anger and confused feelings and self-loathing. Wyatt has been hiding in Texas for the past few years, trying to escape from his arranged marriage in a faerie kingdo The Witch King was the magical, romantic "found family" story I really needed right about now --- it manages to be super personal and also extremely political, in a way that's both urgently necessary and extremely deft. Wyatt, the trans witch who's betrothed to a prince of faerie named Emyr, is a rich, compelling protagonist: full of anger and confused feelings and self-loathing. Wyatt has been hiding in Texas for the past few years, trying to escape from his arranged marriage in a faerie kingdom that loathes and oppresses witches like him. I kept rooting for Wyatt and Emyr to work things out, but the obstacle to their romance isn't anything between them -- it's the messed-up system that Emyr represents, which Wyatt is being asked to become part of through their marriage. Wyatt's shifting relationship with Emyr is super compelling, but so is his friendship with Briar and his reconnection with his estranged sister --- and most of all, I'm here for Wyatt coming to terms with his past and starting to forgive himself for the incident that caused him to flee faerie in the first place. This is a book about healing and coping with trauma, but also realizing that the bad things in your past are because of systemic garbage rather than just some flaw in you personally. My favorite passage is when Emyr says Wyatt was born in the wrong body, and here's how Wyatt responds: "O, god, no, shut up. Stop." I wave my hand at his face. "Somewhere, at some point in time, some random cis person, who's probably dead now decided all trans people were stuck in the wrong body, and that became law. But I'm not a boy trapped in a girl's body. My body is a boy's body because I'm a boy and it's mine. My body isn't wrong. Okay?" My sharp teeth and soft edges and blood and sweat and zits and, yes, boobs. They're all mine, and they're fine. I spend enough time being angry at other people. Why the hell do I have to waste time being angry at my own body? I also love the subtle way Edgmon introduces the notion that Wyatt's real problem is that his parents wouldn't let him learn from the other witches, because of their anti-witch prejudice. And Wyatt's life could have been totally different if he'd been able to connect to his own community early on. Also, as someone who loves magic and technology together, I love the fact that you can use laptops and smartphones to send spells in this world. It's super clever and excellent.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adri

    CWs: Death and mentions of parental death; blood, graphic violence and injury, mild gore; physical assault; sexual harassment; child abuse; trauma relating to fires; suicide attempt; misgendering and deadnaming (dead name off the page); some graphic references to and depictions of sex This is like the angry anti-fascist queer fae fantasy romance that I've always wanted. H.E. Edgmon really wrote about a faerie realm that actually has to contend with queerness, transness, racism, systemic oppre CWs: Death and mentions of parental death; blood, graphic violence and injury, mild gore; physical assault; sexual harassment; child abuse; trauma relating to fires; suicide attempt; misgendering and deadnaming (dead name off the page); some graphic references to and depictions of sex This is like the angry anti-fascist queer fae fantasy romance that I've always wanted. H.E. Edgmon really wrote about a faerie realm that actually has to contend with queerness, transness, racism, systemic oppression, colonialism, and power imbalance, and my heart has never been more full. Our main character, Wyatt, was born in the faerie world of Asalin, where the fae rule and witches like him are looked down upon, outcast, and discriminated against. When he was young, he was bonded and betrothed to the faerie prince, Emyr, but he figured that marriage contract was null and void when he A) transitioned and was no longer the "woman biologically suited to carrying on the royal line" and B) lost control of his magic one devastating night before fleeing the faerie world once and for all. This is story is about Emyr finding Wyatt in the human word, determined to see through their betrothal, and bringing him back to Asalin to face his fate. I honestly don't know where to start with this book because I love literally everything about it. It's funny, it's irreverent, it's smart and unforgiving, and it centers a messy trans character who is absolutely full of rage and just allows him to exist. I think that's where I want to start, because I just love Wyatt as a character so much. He can go from being a smart-ass, to raging, to being an unapologetically horny little fuck, to deeply caring about other people and wanting to do what's right. It's rare that we get to see a trans character who has not only made so many mistakes in their past, but continues to fuck up and make horrible mistakes. Wyatt is someone who acts and reacts based on instinct, without stopping to consider the impact of his actions, and sometimes that works to his benefit and sometimes it doesn't. The story does such a good job of getting underneath that instinct and showing how it's a result of deep-seated trauma ,and how that snap judgment actually speaks to a much deeper survival response that Wyatt was forced to develop in a world that was unsafe for him. There's also a great exploration of how Wyatt's anger is, in some ways, tied to his transness. There is an anger and a resentment stemming from people being unwilling to see him, unwilling to let him be himself, unwillingly to let him break free from expectations that didn't fit, and there was also a feeling of resentment towards people who seemed to represent everything he was told he could never be. Layer on the fact that he's also a witch—and therefore hated and hunted by fae in a world that's supposed to be his just as much as it is theirs—and that creates this perfect storm of trauma, fear, and animosity that guides his instinct to lash out and hurt others. I think transness, especially, often gets mixed up in respectability politics, and we're often not allowed to show our anger at a world and a system that actively harms us in fundamental ways, and that's why Wyatt's rage feels so cathartic. He makes mistakes, he speaks out of turn, he acts violently, and yes he hurts people—but as the story continues, he's learning to recognize where that comes from, and also how he can *use* that anger as a wrecking ball to destroy and rebuild this deeply broken world. Sometimes it's not a bad thing to break something that's already crumbling. This is a story that recognizes that anger is just another part of love, it's a part of our humanity, it can be a tool for recognizing when something is not right, and I appreciate how this story gives anger space to exist and be known. All in all, I think this is a story all about reconnection. It's about Wyatt reconnecting with Emyr as they try to figure out where they stand and how to navigate a relationship when neither one of them is the person they knew before. It's about Wyatt reconnecting with Asalin, the world he grew up in, and finally coming to account for the damage he caused on the fateful night he left. It's about witches reconnecting with themselves and each other, recognizing the power they hold in this world, and figuring out how they can survive this oppressive system. It's about Wyatt forcing the fae rulers to reconnect their power with the reality of the throne's abusive and harmful past, and how they can move forward from a legacy predicated on harming others, if they can at all. It's about Wyatt reconnecting with himself and realizing that he has value just for existing and that he is his own person, not merely a tool for the throne or a sum of his labels. All of these connections and reckonings are happening concurrently throughout the book, and that is a huge part of what makes it feel so powerful. Like I said to begin with, this book really and truly has everything. If you're looking for a queer fantasy romance between a witch and a faerie prince that's dark but also somehow incredibly soft, this it it. If you're looking for banter and community between found family, this is it. If you're looking for a faerie story that centers raging against broken systems of power and injustice, this is it. If you're looking for a whip-smart story that revels in the beauty of a faerie world while also desecrating it at every opportunity, this is it. This is such a vividly imagined fae fantasy where faeries have internet connections and angry trans boys think about their binders while standing in the midst of immaculate palaces. There's political intrigue, there's violent uprisings, there's dark and dangerous magic, there's romance. There's everything you could possibly want and it's done so incredibly well. H.E. Edgmon has written exactly the kind of fantasy romance that I've always craved but never knew I was missing. The characters in The Witch King are deeply emotional and deeply human, even if their magic suggests otherwise, and that humanity, that anger, that innate desire and need to evolve is what makes this book so successful in my eyes. Book 1 hasn't even come out yet and I'm already DYING to know what happens in Book 2! If literally anything I've said in this review resonates with you on any level, I strongly encourage you to pick this one up. It is essential reading, in my opinion, and it makes me so excited for whatever H.E. Edgmon is going to write next!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shadow the Hedgehog

    EDIT: This books is like an STD - it stays with you long after you are done. I can't stop thinking about it. Therefore, I decided to lower my score from 2 stars to 1. There is just so much I left out of this review. I could have critiqued the weak, nearly non-existent development of the story's themes; gone further with more examples of the flat worldbuilding; explained how the book barely belongs to the genre of fantasy; and more. But this review is already long enough! ------------------------- EDIT: This books is like an STD - it stays with you long after you are done. I can't stop thinking about it. Therefore, I decided to lower my score from 2 stars to 1. There is just so much I left out of this review. I could have critiqued the weak, nearly non-existent development of the story's themes; gone further with more examples of the flat worldbuilding; explained how the book barely belongs to the genre of fantasy; and more. But this review is already long enough! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- I hate giving such a low score to a debut novel. The last time I did was for The Luminous Dead. I know the author worked very hard on this story. H.E. Edgmon says in the author's note, "Writing this book was a healing experience for me." But I have to be honest about my feelings - after all, I got this advanced reader copy for the purpose of providing an honest review. I didn't enjoy this book - it gets 2 stars from me because I was able to finish it [1 star is only for the absolute worst]. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be "cringey." Bear in mind all quotations from this uncorrected proof could possibly change once the book goes on sale June 1st. What I liked The thing that drew me to the book was that it is an #OwnVoices novel featuring a FTM trans main character dealing with his trauma. I was interested to see this play out and I began reading with an open heart, eager to visit the world of the book, explore the Fae kingdom Asalin, and watch Wyatt grow beyond his past. The cast is diverse and has the potential to be interesting. They aren't well-developed though. What I did NOT like Oh my...where to begin? There is so much I could say, but I'll only detail some of it. writing style Maybe I'm just not into Young Adult fiction, but the writing style came across as juvenile. For example, throughout the book we get inner monologues and descriptions that are not very interesting. Some were flat-out offensive. Here are some examples of what I mean: Page 45: It's a good thing I'm gay, so no one expects me to be good at math This one shocked me. I guess it's supposed to be funny. But Wyatt's continuous and tiring self-deprecation and suicidality were not funny to me. Page 140: I deflate like a water balloon exploding on impact. Page 156: The main character Wyatt is indulging in some delicious food and thinks to himself: I am truly, one hundred percent a food bitch . Other descriptions feel unnecessarily wordy: Page 154: Wyatt describes the religious beliefs of Asalin and then says: But, I think, for most people, this is superstition. Like throwing salt over your shoulder or not walking under ladders in the human world. Yup...those are superstitions. By and large, I had a hard time visually conceptualizing a lot of things in this book because the descriptions just aren't...descriptive. For example, on page 110 we receive this "description" of Prince Emyr's shirt: He's wearing what appears to be a Hawaiian shirt under a formfitting blazer, which, okay then. And then there's the descriptions that sound like Tumblr posts: Page 299: I am a gay little worm who makes terrible life decisions. Page 320: In the middle of a scene filled with awkward sexual tension, Wyatt thinks to himself: I am going to straight up mcfucking lose it Page 351: She turns at the waist at the sound of my face There's also a lot of clichés and ephemeral internet meme talk such as "Weird flex, but okay" [page 173] or I am going to yeet myself out of the airplane window on the way back to New York, but still [page 318]. dialogue Almost every character spoke in strikingly similar ways, even sometimes using the same phrases. A common one that popped up again and again was prefacing what was about to be said with, "Yes, well..." Good dialogue gives each of the characters their own voice. Additionally, characters have many of the same tics, such as gnashing their teeth or licking their lips or "worrying" their lower lip with their teeth or licking their fangs. It all contributed to making many of the characters feel too similar. There's also a whole lot of characters just looking at each other or staring into each other's eyes. Often, a single line of dialogue was interspersed with paragraphs of extraneous descriptions. This really hurt the pacing. Sometimes characters said things that were so inappropriate for the situation that it just felt corny. A prime example occurs in a flashback: (view spoiler)[Wyatt is burning his father to death when his mom comes up to him and then this scene happens: "I tried so hard to love you." She says the words as if talking to herself. "I wanted so badly to believe I'd been saddled with a child like you for a reason. That your life would have a purpose. But I see now I was an arrogant fool. You should have been left in the woods." She is going to kill me. This is just so ridiculous I had a hard time suspending my disbelief. What mother would say such a corny thing when something so horrific is happening right in front of her? It's like she's talking herself...why? This scene goes on and on about Wyatt's lack of control, and I'm sorry but this just isn't a good enough excuse to TORTURE SOMEONE TO DEATH. (hide spoiler)] pacing and story structure Besides the dialogue, another element that hurt the pacing was how the big mystery was revealed. It was a Scooby-Doo level revelation. There was a lack of dramatic tension throughout most of the book. The lack of tension grew directly from the lack of consequences Wyatt faced for some of the choices he made in the story. worldbuilding Bland and boring, a lack of internal consistency made enjoying the worldbuilding difficult. The worldbuilding was so thin, it was obvious that it was just a vehicle for the preaching. There were a lot of transparent real-world parallels. Judging from the five star reviews, it seems some people don't mind the direct comparisons with real-world issues such as slavery and racism. But less obvious allegories have more power and feel less preachy. The way this story delved into real-world issues felt ham-fisted and offensive. Instead of good or even just okay worldbuilding, we get page after page of self-righteous, performative prattling oozing with sanctimony. Certain aspects of the worldbuilding were interesting, but there wasn't much that was actually unique. For example, the magic system had elements that were interesting, but it is never fleshed out very well. I guessed the answer to the big mystery regarding Wyatt's magic early on. characterization This might have been the weakest point of the book for me. I kept wondering if Wyatt was actually an unreliable narrator, but it's never really made clear if that's the case. There are several things that made we wonder this. For one, secondary characters are just not developed very much or, in some cases, at all. The sudden alignment shifts that occur in the last part of the book fuel part of my speculation - why would such dramatic changes happen unless Wyatt drastically misunderstood what people really believed and felt? Wyatt's lack of control comes up again and again - lack of magical control and lack of emotional control. It felt like a way of absolving Wyatt of responsibility. On page 158, Wyatt pins the blame on everyone else by saying, These people bring it out of me. This ugly thing I have no hope of controlling. They turned me into this monster. And as long as I'm around them, it's all I'll ever be. No one ever calls Wyatt out on this. He does a lot of navel-gazing, but very little true self-reflection. On pages 180 and 186, Wyatt rants about a bird, accusing it of being "suspicious" and looking at him in a smug manner, then strongly implies that he would like to choke the bird. There's no reason for this strange outburst, so it added to my questioning about the veracity of what Wyatt reports. Maybe this is foreshadowing for something later on in the series. Another element that made me wonder if Wyatt was an unreliable narrator is the thinly-veiled jealousy I detected, especially in the middle and later chapters. Wyatt and Emyr's relationship was...horrible. I'm shocked at how many five star reviews are praising this aspect of the story. The book opens with Emyr being stabbed and Wyatt assuming that Emyr will be perfectly fine. That was the first red flag, but I thought perhaps there was more to the story. Maybe Emyr was abusive or something. But, no. Emyr seems soft hearted and deeply in love with Wyatt. I say "seems" because Emyr's characterization is so weak that it is hard to determine what he feels about everything until the very end of the book. The ending of the book was shocking to me, considering that Wyatt was actually mean if not outright abusive towards Emyr. And then there was Wyatt's relationship with adopted sister and former girlfriend [for lack of a better term] Briar. I love complex relationships. But this one left a bitter taste in my mouth. At one point he claims to have an almost telepathic connection with Briar: this is demonstrated by Wyatt repeatedly making assumptions about what Briar feels and thinks. This was simply passive-aggressive; he didn't actually know what Briar felt or thought. This is epitomized when Briar says [major spoiler], (view spoiler)[ "Do you have any idea how hard it is being everything you need me to be all the time?" (hide spoiler)] Conclusion In it's current state, I cannot recommend this book. I know many people are looking forward to it, so don't let my review stop you from giving it a try. Writing about trauma requires subtlety that just isn't present here. If you want a story with a diverse cast whose main character deals with childhood trauma, check out Killing Gravity. The main character's trauma is handled in a more nuanced way, plus the book is filled with interesting and diverse characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    this truly looks perfect Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch this truly looks perfect Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Here I was feeling all extra because I just conceptualized an original WIP with a very, very similar plot 😭😭😭 Can’t wait to read this though 😆 6/26/2020

  9. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. this cover added ten years to my life Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. this cover added ten years to my life Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  10. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    a trans witch, a fae prince, gay arranged marriage, a message that u do not have to forgive ur abusers... i could literally never ask for more

  11. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    This was...this was a mess. Lots of potential, big ideas, fantastic characters, rousing social justice and equity themes with fabulous parallels to today, and yet, it failed to really land or come together. It felt like too much was trying to be stuffed in all that once (ironic in a book this size), and like nothing really happened? Wyatt was a catalyst, for sure (and had a lot of stuff to work through/learn to cope with), but without him, everything would pretty much have happened as it did wit This was...this was a mess. Lots of potential, big ideas, fantastic characters, rousing social justice and equity themes with fabulous parallels to today, and yet, it failed to really land or come together. It felt like too much was trying to be stuffed in all that once (ironic in a book this size), and like nothing really happened? Wyatt was a catalyst, for sure (and had a lot of stuff to work through/learn to cope with), but without him, everything would pretty much have happened as it did without him (minus a couple plot points). In a way, it was nice to see plots revolving around a main character who is constantly in react mode, but in another, I just got tired of the angst between Wyatt and Emyr. There was so much other stuff I wanted to read about—the witches, dammit, I wanted more witches!!—and instead it was Wyatt and Emyr and their boring-ass not-a-relationship. But mainly, I was frustrated by every small female fae "shrugging one delicate shoulder," particularly during a mustache-twirling monologue that felt both unnecessary and out of the blue, like after 400+ pages this was rushing towards an ending. Anywho, I'm disappointed. I really, really wanted to love this one. It was entertaining and a fantastic representation of trans anger and trans joy, but I felt it needed some seriously pruning and tighter plotting. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joharis

    YouTube Tiktok Twitter 1.5 The only good thing about this book is its synopsis. One of my most anticipated books of the year was such a mess that I was left with nothing but bitter disappointment. A trans witch escapes from the fae kingdom only to be hunted down by his fiancé, the fae prince, who demand the witch still marry him and return to the fae kingdom but the main character decides to make a deal with the fae prince's enemy to make as much havoc as possible in the kingdom so that they can ta YouTube Tiktok Twitter 1.5 The only good thing about this book is its synopsis. One of my most anticipated books of the year was such a mess that I was left with nothing but bitter disappointment. A trans witch escapes from the fae kingdom only to be hunted down by his fiancé, the fae prince, who demand the witch still marry him and return to the fae kingdom but the main character decides to make a deal with the fae prince's enemy to make as much havoc as possible in the kingdom so that they can take the throne. This story takes place in the human world so the fae have had years to mingle with humans and adopt some of their manners. This book has a very juvenile tone and dialogue, which takes you out of the story when you're reading about an old Kingdom and they mention the word racism and gender and nuggets in the same paragraph. Most of the younger characters expressed themselves much like we do which was also weirdly off putting. It felt like reading viral Tumblr posts one after the other. This mix of our world with the fantasy world wasn't my favorite and the author isn't subtle enough with the way they mention racism, homophobia, transphobia, and many other of our world's issues. These topics were also mentioned in such a superficial manner, there was a looot of preaching and telling but not showing. I also felt weird when a nonbinary lesbian referred to themselves as a theydy but it's not my place to fall that one out. The plot, of the main character having to wreak havoc, was forgotten pretty much as soon as it was mentioned. The book felt directionless in how little happened. I guess this is how it would look realistically when a 17 years old is tasked with something grand, like a great mess. Even the end of the book felt... Deflated and doesn't really excite you to read the sequel. The main character... Wyatt is angry at the world, he's been abused by his parents, discriminated against by the fae, insulted and never really loved. He's an imperfect protagonist that doesn't want to be the main character of a story, he just wants to go back to the human world and run away. He's also very incapable, he never learned to use his magic, he's not intelligent, he's not physically capable of fighting, he's not courageous, he's not self-sacrificing.... He's just ummmm... Yeah. He's very selfish, that's for sure. He ran away from his best friend, the fae prince, never once looked back and then when he finds a new best friend he decides to take and take and take from her (love, comfort, friendship) but never once is he shown to help her through her troubles. He continously makes assumptions about what she's thinking even when she doesn't say anything and the only times she's shown in the book is when she's helping him. He does acknowledge he's a shitty friend towards the end but doesn't face any repercussions. He acknowledges he's horrible but doesn't do anything about it. He just gets forgiven because, poor Wyatt. The romance... Is nonexistent. The prince loves Wyatt and Wyatt loves the prince but Wyatt doesn't want to be a king so he treats him like shit throughout the book. Which is fair I guess because he iiiiiss trying to make him be somewhere he doesn't want to be. Aside from that, there's like 0 communication from them until suddenly Wyatt decides he needs comfort from someone else and then boom, he wants the prince. The magic and world building is pretty basic and superficial. The descriptions of the world are very simplistic and don't really allow you to get immersed in the world. The characters are all one dimensional and blend together. The villain reveal was cringey as always. There was space for a great story but it wasn't achieved, I would love to see this concept done by someone else. In conclusion, I wouldn't really recommend this book. Unless you want a book with a trans main character in an Achillean relationship and queer side characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Field

    If you’re into gay betrothals, friends to enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine duos, monstrous fae, queer found family, and trans kids fighting the fuck back, you should read it? HEY IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN #OWNVOICES M/M CRUEL PRINCE ADD THIS BOOK ON GOODREADS wyatt fled the fae realm and his engagement to his childhood friend emyr, the current heir to the throne. when emyr finds him and whisks him back to fae, wyatt figures he can escape, even if that means betraying him. but maybe he'll find a If you’re into gay betrothals, friends to enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine duos, monstrous fae, queer found family, and trans kids fighting the fuck back, you should read it? HEY IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN #OWNVOICES M/M CRUEL PRINCE ADD THIS BOOK ON GOODREADS wyatt fled the fae realm and his engagement to his childhood friend emyr, the current heir to the throne. when emyr finds him and whisks him back to fae, wyatt figures he can escape, even if that means betraying him. but maybe he'll find a reason to stay.

  14. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    I read an early version of this book, and IT IS the transmasc book of my dreams. You will want to read this!

  15. 4 out of 5

    fleshy

    The concept really drew me in: a trans boy witch going back to the fae home that rejected him. It's the kind of plot I dream of. But the book... it's not good. From the writing to the world building, it was poorly done. I almost stopped reading after that really weird "gays are bad at math" remark. No. Just no. And then the rest of the book happened. (view spoiler)[ The fae world makes no sense. They have no native currency, their government is nonsense, like kids playing pretend. How do North A The concept really drew me in: a trans boy witch going back to the fae home that rejected him. It's the kind of plot I dream of. But the book... it's not good. From the writing to the world building, it was poorly done. I almost stopped reading after that really weird "gays are bad at math" remark. No. Just no. And then the rest of the book happened. (view spoiler)[ The fae world makes no sense. They have no native currency, their government is nonsense, like kids playing pretend. How do North American and South America get their own fae towns, but Africa gets ONE? Eurasia gets ONE? The way architecture is described is strange. The castle, also called a palace like they are the same thing, is "hundreds upon hundreds of feet high". So it's a skyscraper. With turrets. That people can see from the ground. Made out of "mountain stone". Ok. They use dragons for meat and sport. The dragon, Summanus (I don't know if that name is a joke or not, Summanus is black as a void and at one point breathes hot air), is described as the size of a house with multiple rows of metal teeth the length of swords. His tongue brushes against Wyatt's cheek. Dude, if the dragon's teeth are like 2 feet long, how big do you think the tongue is? The size of the tongue is close to the volume of the oral cavity. That tongue would have killed Wyatt. "Whispered across my cheek" my fat ass, that kid is dead. One of the creatures in faeland, called a hellhound (because why wouldn't you immigrate to a new world with a creature called a hellhound?) is given the same proportions as a dachshund. Imagine a great dane, but the body is three times as long. Those are the dimensions given for this dog. Speaking of which, why would people from another world know what "hell" is? Why would it be in their lexicon? They speak English, they use American cliches (constantly, every single page, cliche after cliche) and pop culture references. There is no sign they farm or manufacturer anything, no indication they produce anything they can sell or trade with other faelands or the human world, no education, no real culture of their own outside of a couple of LOTR Elvish-sounding foods. It just doesn't make sense. Wyatt is a sociopath. Straight up, the dude is an asshole. He repeatedly sexualizes and uses his "best friend," he goes from a horrific event to flirting without batting an eye. He shows almost no regard for anyone's emotions, not even his own, the few he does express. And when he does have an emotion, it's uncontrolled, remorseless anger. It's fine to have an unlikable protagonist, but he does no protagonist-ing at all. Nothing comes of a big decision he makes early on. It's supposed to be this huge, soul crushing deal but, honestly, nothing happens. He pointlessly drifts from event to event, sometimes losing control of his uncontrollable magic. I swear, at one point Briar is reading magic books next to him, and despite a lifetime of being denied access to this knowledge, Wyatt shows ZERO interest. He just lies there. Our protagonist, everyone. The relationship between him and Emyr is just stated to exist. We are told how they feel. We are never shown. Or maybe Wyatt isn't capable of empathizing and comprehending the emotions of others? It's probably not that deep though. At no point do we see this couple really getting along, except when they lust after each other. Also like, Emyr? Really? Real subtle naming. This is all very, very obviously a hamfisted, current US events (BLM in particular) allegory. Wyatt straight up tells us it is early on. At the end there is a blatant "defund the police" moment. Yeah, dude, I'm like really passionate about it too. But I don't couch it in some crap YA book and pretend like it's revelatory or a call to action. Very often, in the middle, or even the beginning, of one of the ridiculous dialogue scenes, everything will stop dead as Wyatt thinks about some bullshit. So for minutes he is just standing there silent. Fuck, at one point he's like "we're going to break people out of jail," and in reponse Emyr, Briar, and Wade, three of the chillest characters, start yelling at each other while Wyatt has a subdued conversation with his heel-face turn sister. Who acts like that? Nonsense. And there's like times when just the wrong word is used. Wyatt calls the Guard, a "branch" of their dumb government, a militia. A militia is a civilian force. He says someone is wearing "knitted leather shoes," I think you meant woven? There is so much repetitive word usage, uncomfortable AAVE usage, the fae in a given location are coded (i.e. given names and physical descriptions) to the predominant local population. Wings and horns are described constantly and I just don't give a fuck what these side characters without any dialogue look like. How many times was the word "huff" used? 100? 200? (It's only like 20, but it feels like a lot.) Big SJM vibes with all the shadows and fang licking and mate shit. It's all directionless and passionless, anti-climatic, boring, horrible dialogue, infodumped telling, telling, telling. (hide spoiler)] I'm here for the trans rep, the ace rep, the gay, bi, all the reps, and I'm so happy that the author wrote this so more own voices books can exist. However, that doesn't make up for poor writing and storytelling.

  16. 4 out of 5

    thea ♡

    3.8 stars! how gloriously gay and feral this book is. thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc! crazy how that happened. this book had me cackling and raising my eyebrows at the hot, gay mess that is wyatt croft. check out my book blog! this book is centered around wyatt, a trans witch from a fae kingdom named asalin, who ran away from his traumatic past and his royal fiancé, emyr north, the childhood friend he left behind. wyatt values freedom above all else, but the story starts off wit 3.8 stars! how gloriously gay and feral this book is. thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc! crazy how that happened. this book had me cackling and raising my eyebrows at the hot, gay mess that is wyatt croft. check out my book blog! this book is centered around wyatt, a trans witch from a fae kingdom named asalin, who ran away from his traumatic past and his royal fiancé, emyr north, the childhood friend he left behind. wyatt values freedom above all else, but the story starts off with wyatt finally being found by a distant emyr, who never stopped looking for wyatt, and takes them back to the kingdom of asalin, hoping to seal the engagement or risk losing the throne. let the gay times commence. although the transition between scenes and the pacing could've been better (the pacing with the plot was really rocky with me; plus, the buildup of certain plot twists could've been arranged better), the vibrant, mystical imagery was stuck in my mind and the inner monologues about privilege and bigotry were deeply thought-out and settled heavily into my own mind like stones thrown into deep water. this is also an own-voices story, for people who didn't know! reading through wyatt's development and his thoughts about his body and how he personally views it was eye-opening for me as a person who identities with the gender and sex assigned to them at birth. it also brought into account the privileges i myself have, even as a lgbt+ identifying woman of color. i'll be sure to read about more about this topic and support those who are underrepresented in this industry. but damn, how this book met my expectations. The chaotic energy of me entertaining gay thoughts right now is unmatched. wyatt is fooling himself because that chaotic energy is with him 24/7. the amount of one-liners in this book that made me cackle out loud because it was so damn relatable is too many times to count, thanks to wyatt's feral ass. i'm pretty sure he balances between chaotic neutral and chaotic evil. and as much as this story discusses heavy topics, such as intergenerational trauma and prejudice (between fae and witches in this world), it balances those scales because the amount of secondhand gay panic this book puts me under? unforgiveable. and as much as i enjoyed cackling at the story, there was one line where my entire body wanted to cry because it felt like a personal attack. it came right for my type 3 wing 2 ass. Your value as a person is not based on how much you can do for other people. i expected gay times and facts being thrown, but when i read that line? immediate breakdown. i stared into space for a while, rearranging the contours of my mind to make space for this quote that'll stay with me for a good long while. overall, i enjoyed reading this gay, little book that made me cackle and spiral into questioning my whole existence. thank you again to the publisher for giving me an arc! i'm excited to see how things will end up in the second book. can't wait for y'all to read it at the start of pride month!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heron

    When I picked up The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon, I was immediately engrossed in its pages. Not only is it full of elements that fans of other popular YA fantasy series are sure to love (Fae! So many fae! Witches! Soulmate-type bonds!), it tells a wonderful and at points challenging story of found family, healing from past trauma, and learning to stand in your own power. The Witch King is told from the point of view of Wyatt, runaway witch and gay trans guy. After three years of living in the human When I picked up The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon, I was immediately engrossed in its pages. Not only is it full of elements that fans of other popular YA fantasy series are sure to love (Fae! So many fae! Witches! Soulmate-type bonds!), it tells a wonderful and at points challenging story of found family, healing from past trauma, and learning to stand in your own power. The Witch King is told from the point of view of Wyatt, runaway witch and gay trans guy. After three years of living in the human world, Wyatt’s ex-fiance Emyr finds him in the human world and demands he come back to Asalin. Once back in Asalin, a land where fae are valued and witches like Wyatt aren’t, the story unfolds into a mix of emotional introspection, dramatic political intrigue, and monster boyfriends that I found unputdownable. The trans rep in particular brought me a lot of joy, as Wyatt had his transness upheld by those around him despite not pursuing gender affirming medical care. In particular, there was a steamy (YA appropriate) love scene which described Wyatt with his binder on, loving his body, and having his boundaries and body respected; and it ended up being one of my favourite scenes in the book because there’s such a lack of that accessible for trans kids. In general, there are SO many points as a trans (and esp. transmasc) person that resonated with me in this novel through Wyatt’s voice. The value in this being an Own Voices novel really shows here. Aside from the trans rep, there’s lots more to love. As someone who isn’t the hugest fan of some other popular YA series involving fae courts by other authors, I absolutely loved seeing the elements I enjoy about fae stories done with the care and diversity this novel showed. There are lots of LGBTQIA+ identities centered on page as well as a variety of racial and ethnic identities too, too. The writing style also really worked for me; Wyatt’s voice is raw, funny, poignant, and frustrating at times, which made him such a believable character. Though there was transphobia and homophobia involved in the story, it wasn’t the predominant motivator for the conflict. The romance was absolutely to die for and had me hook, line and sinker as far as chemistry. I had a few minor critiques that put this one at a 4.75 for me. The first is I felt some plot points were either 1) confusing because they didn’t make sense within the confines of the world and 2) rushed at the end. The second is that I had an issue with how one secondary character was used essentially as an accessory to further Wyatt’s character arc, though I am reserving judgment because of how some things shook out at the end of the novel. Overall, The Witch King was an instant pre-order for me, not only for some of the best trans rep I’ve read lately but for a fantastic, engaging story with a poignant romance, discussions of trauma and growth, and enough fae and witchy vibes to satisfy my Scorpio heart. This is one fans of LGBTQIA+ YA won’t want to miss. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series! Thank you to Inkyard Press and Edelweiss for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grayson

    I am broken, and need the next book NOW. How dare this book get me so emotionally invested and then end on a cliff hanger. Now, I'm gonna try and be as spoiler free as possible, but warning that I might ref some small things. This book is everything I have ever wanted. I am a gay transman with a Thing for supernatural creatures, so this book was practically made for me. This book has it all: soulmate bonds, arranged marriage, found family, there was only one bed. Name one of my fave tropes, this I am broken, and need the next book NOW. How dare this book get me so emotionally invested and then end on a cliff hanger. Now, I'm gonna try and be as spoiler free as possible, but warning that I might ref some small things. This book is everything I have ever wanted. I am a gay transman with a Thing for supernatural creatures, so this book was practically made for me. This book has it all: soulmate bonds, arranged marriage, found family, there was only one bed. Name one of my fave tropes, this book has it. Also, this is a book anyone can enjoy and love, but there were references and lines that were specifically for a trans audience that made it connect to me on a personal level. The rep in this book was so diverse and well done. The main cast has a range of sexualities, gender identities, races, and ethnicities. Also, this book was educational but fit it in with the plot so it didn't feel like a lecture. The characters were all authentic and none of their identities felt tokenized. Our MC, Wyatt, is a transman and I adored him. He's working through trauma which makes him emotional and angry, but he's also so caring and funny. His sense of humor is exactly my own and his lines had me laughing out loud several times. I loved how this book handles his trauma and his responses to it which showed both through his emotions and magic. His best friend Brair was the perfect sidekick for this story. She was strong and supportive, but also well rounded and had her own character development. And Emyr, our love interest. Oh my. I am so jealous of Wyatt. He is sweet and stubborn and sensitive and very, very attractive. and like HELLO?!? FANGS?! HORNS?! CLAWS?! WINGS?! I have a huge fictional crush on him, oh my god Also something a lil weird, but that made me so happy and I wanna mention was that in the *steamy scene* Wyatt was depicted with his binder on. Its such a small thing, but as a pre-op transman who's very insecure of my binder when with partners, it meant alot. The way how Wyatt's body is described is similar to my own, his binder, his curves, his scars. And despite that all Emyr finds him sexy, and Wyatt himself loves his own body. I really loved that. Basically, this book is perfection and everyone needs to read it. Thank you so much HE Edgmon for the ARC, I am so happy I got the opportunity to read this, and trust me I will be hyping it so hard and making everyone preorder. If you are seeing this, I demand you to go preorder now, you won't regret it. ***************************** Trans ftm, gay, bi, lesbian, ace, nonbinary representation, POC (indigenous, Black), side character wheelchair user, mental illness(PTSD) Own Voices CW: abuse (emotional, verbal, physical), sexual assault, death, gore, blood, transphobia, fantasy racism

  19. 5 out of 5

    jut

    this book. this book! this book!!! this was a great debut and i loved how queer and magical it was. wyatt is an amazing character and so many moments i felt so excited to see myself relating with a magical creature, who is also funny but also angry and i hope others have the opportunity to read this book too!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1 out of 5 stars Honestly, I’m not sure where exactly to begin with the mountain of issues in this book. In a nutshell, it’s a poorly written novel filled with misogyny, toes the line of lesbiphobia, and has a cast of characters who are largely indiscernible from each other. The story relies heavily on the narrative of a horribly written protagonist, named Wyatt, who is essentially a “woe is me, I’m such a monster” type who everyone chooses to stick around and say “no, you’re not a monster” to co 1 out of 5 stars Honestly, I’m not sure where exactly to begin with the mountain of issues in this book. In a nutshell, it’s a poorly written novel filled with misogyny, toes the line of lesbiphobia, and has a cast of characters who are largely indiscernible from each other. The story relies heavily on the narrative of a horribly written protagonist, named Wyatt, who is essentially a “woe is me, I’m such a monster” type who everyone chooses to stick around and say “no, you’re not a monster” to consistantly even though he is toxic as fuck. From here on out, the review is going to be ridden with spoilers so be prepared if you still want to give it a shot. As mentioned before, Wyatt is horrendous. His writing isn’t the greatest, but he is probably one of the only ones who gets somewhat consistent characterization, (meaning that he is gay and an asshole and he will verbally remind you of both at least once per chapter.) He doesn’t really have any likeable traits, and once the author starts pushing a little bit of “good” into him towards the end it doesn’t feel believable at all because it’s mostly him saying “yeah, maybe I should start acting better,” rather than actually DOING it. Even in the end he pushes boundaries set by others for their own well being as well as continues to fail to act on how horrible he treats his so-called best friend, Briar (more on that later). Everyone “close” to Wyatt kind of just is okay with Wyatt after he does something horrible, even the worst of his offenses, and no reasoning or exposition is given to show how they got over being fucked over so often. It feels like the author uses things, such as his magic turning out to be emotion filled and protective of those he loves, as reasons for him to not actually look deeper into himself and change the way he treats the ones he supposedly cares for. In terms of his writing, there are times where he acts completely out of character for no good reason at all. One of the biggest instances is during his first couple days in Asalin. We see him, Briar, and some others gather with the king and queen for dinner. During this dinner the royal duo reveal that they actually tried to have the contract between Wyatt and Emyr terminated, something that Wyatt has wanted since page one. Instead of acting out, like Wyatt has and like Wyatt promised Derick he would do, he just...sits there. Had this happened later on in the story it MAY have been believable, but with Wyatts predisposition to go on about internal fire and rage at every change, it really feels out of place for him to just do nothing. Speaking of the contract and Emyr, that whole situation is probably one of the most toxic stockholm syndrome situations I’ve ever read in a YA novel. We are thrown into the thick of the story at page one when Emyr shows up to drag Wyatt back to Asalin because of a marriage contract they were forced into as children. We are told that Wyatt is essentially Emyr’s fated mate, the one individual who this person was meant to be with in a way that feels very similar to imprinting in the Twilight franchise. While Emyr does get some decent characterization later on in the novel, it still doesn’t change the circumstances. We don’t really get a full blown explanation on fated mates, it’s kind of a “yeah it’s this but not like that and maybe, possibly it’s sometimes like this,” that changes throughout the novel. We are led to believe that this should be a connection that no Fae would ever be able to betray, yet we see just that happen with another character who will be discussed later. Emyr basically forces Wyatt back to Asalin under the threat of death all while still claiming to love and care about him. Yet as he grows and becomes more vocal about how deep this care goes, he is still never willing to let Wyatt go from something that he doesn’t want to do. And this is the pairing that we are expected to love and adore, and it may be more believable if it weren’t so poorly written or rushed. As with Wyatt, there are also a lot of confusing situations when it comes to Emyr. One of the biggest is well towards the end of the novel, when it turns out that a malicious app was sent over his phone (from Jin’s phone that had been stolen by Clarke) that killed him. However! Later on, when Wyatt comes to visit before leaving, Emyr claims that the contract is broken because he chose to break the contract and pull the repercussions of that into himself (repercussions are, at least from what was said in the beginning of the book, that both holders of the contract should die if the contract is broken by non-counsel decided ways). It makes the whole earlier scene confusing as hell as it was stated, and shown, that it was an app from Clarke that had killed him. Moving on to Briar. This poor character is the one who really bears the brunt of all the shit Wyatt pulls. She serves as a Bi/Asexual character in the novel. Her mother finds Wyatt prior to the start of the book and takes him into the care of her family, where Briar strikes up a deep (nearly telepathic) friendship with Wyatt. They were also lovers once, or something like that. We constantly see Wyatt talking about how important Briar is to him and how much he loves her, and yet he is constantly dragging her into dangerous situation after dangerous situation, even though he soliloquizes on how bad he’d feel if she were to die on his watch. He also treats her like absolute garbage. One of the most striking scenes is when the two of them discover Emyr’s cabin. Emry, who initially thinks that there is still something romantic going on between Wyatt and Briar, questions what the two are doing...and Wyatt claims that he is out with his “concubine”. To make matters worse, he doesn’t even get why Briar is angry at him when he calls her his concubine, making a snide inner joke that she totally would have had sex with him in the past. And it gets even worse than that. The majority of times in which Wyatt says something deeply hurt or offend Briar, she is “distracted” by either cute animals, or sweets. There is also a reveal, not at all surprising given how easily Briar was able to convince her mother to travel to an undisclosed location and how interested she was in spellbooks, that Briar is a witch. Wyatt catches her opening the door to Faery (a place that is supposed to be uninhabitable). Wyatt, in true Wyatt fashion, gets pissed that Briar wasn’t honest about who she was. With how Wyatt treats her, how are we readers supposed to believe, even for a minute, that Briar would feel safe telling Wyatt her truth, knowing how he feels about Asalin and the individuals who live there? Wyatt wants an apology, even though he NEVER ONCE in the entire novel apologizes to her. This is the scene in which we get the one time anyone calls Wyatt out on his shit, when Briar says “Do you have any idea how hard it is being everything you need me to be all the time?” Of course, Wyatt does nothing about this except be confused by it. He even thinks of it in passing when he is with Briar at the end, and again opts to do nothing and run off again. With the above paragraph in mind, this book comes off as fairly misogynistic (with the majority of it coming from Briar’s characterization). Like I said, we get a “naive” woman who is distracted from her frustrations by cute animals and sweets. A vast majority of cis female characters are hardly in the book at all (Lavender, Emyr’s mom, Nadua, and the lesbian queens) and the two that we do see regularly (Clarke and Tessa) are fairly stereotypical (the former being the bubbly prep while the later is the angsty bitch). A fair amount of the wording (there’s a pretty offensive math comment early on in the story) comes off as anti-woman or at least leads to a lesser view of women. In terms of the writing itself, there are a lot of issues and inconsistencies. To start, the flow of the story is overly preachy with a lot more telling than showing. We get a full monologue from one of the characters on how the witches are like the LGBT+ individuals and the Fae are like everyone else. A lot of the parallels would be good if it didn’t feel like the reader's hand was being held and pulled as the parallels themselves are pretty obvious and don’t need to be explained in the amount of detail that they are. The author also randomly calls things into the story that do not show up at all in the rest of the story, and it makes it feel like they only drop that line in there to seem “woke” rather than actually exploring it. Repetitive language is another fault in the writing, flat characters who share the same mannerisms, and weird pacing/transitions mid-paragraph are all things that are common in this book that make it a little confusing at times to read. Rules also randomly change throughout the book. Early on Wyatt talks about how easy it would be to transition in Asalin, as the Fae have a pretty loose definition of gender outside of baby making, and yet later on we are told by Jin that it is hard and Wyatt agrees. It is also confusing when the texting scenes come up, primarily because Wyatt has no contact name and when he texts it’s just designated by a line break...problem is if another character who was previously texting adds something to their dialogue, it is also a line break. Essentially this book is a mess. I haven't even gotten into the mess with the whole Clarke and Jin storylines, or with the slightly negative portrayal of cis-lesbians because it would just take so so much longer. Ultimately it comes off as toxic, misogynistic, poorly written, and never seems to know what it fully wants to do with its characters or world. I was disappointed because there need to be more books with Trans characters, especially Trans Men and especially in the YA category. However Trans individuals deserve quality, and this is far, far from it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    mace

    I love Wyatt and his growth so much. Emyr as well. Both of them are so incredibly flawed but ultimately good humans just trying to do what is good. The relationship between Briar and Wyatt is arguably even more central to the story, though, and I loved that so much. The not-so-subtle parallels between Asalin and our own world were so clear and loud, like yeah, sometimes burning down the establishment is the only solution. If anything, I would have liked a bit more insight into the fae world. How I love Wyatt and his growth so much. Emyr as well. Both of them are so incredibly flawed but ultimately good humans just trying to do what is good. The relationship between Briar and Wyatt is arguably even more central to the story, though, and I loved that so much. The not-so-subtle parallels between Asalin and our own world were so clear and loud, like yeah, sometimes burning down the establishment is the only solution. If anything, I would have liked a bit more insight into the fae world. How do different types of Influencer magic work, what does the Committee do exactly, do all the fae live in village cottages, etc. I do know, however, that this is personal preference, as I am a fantasy reader who prefers to have some more focus outside of the main cast of characters. Overall, such a great book (with a trans witch main character!!!) that I would recommend checking out if you like antifascist fantasy set in a fae world that actually reflects the diversity of humanity (with added gay disaster romance 😉). content warnings (provided by the author in the author's note): violence, child abuse, childhood sexual harassment and assault, allusions to pedophilia, suicidal ideation and mentions of suicide, misgendering, drug use, and mentions of infertility and miscarriage

  22. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    DNF'd at about 25%, unfortunately. trigger warnings - violence, arson, misgendering, deadnaming, infertility, lesbophobia. tws from the author (because i stopped reading) - violence (gore, arson, murder, attempted murder), misgendering & deadnaming, abusive parents, childhood sexual harassment and assault, grooming/predatory behavior between an adult and a teen, infertility/miscarriage mention, panic attack, suicidal ideation, mentions of suicide, drug use I really wanted to enjoy this, especially DNF'd at about 25%, unfortunately. trigger warnings - violence, arson, misgendering, deadnaming, infertility, lesbophobia. tws from the author (because i stopped reading) - violence (gore, arson, murder, attempted murder), misgendering & deadnaming, abusive parents, childhood sexual harassment and assault, grooming/predatory behavior between an adult and a teen, infertility/miscarriage mention, panic attack, suicidal ideation, mentions of suicide, drug use I really wanted to enjoy this, especially with this being the author's debut. I had high hopes for this book; the premise sounded super interesting, and as a nonbinary reader, I love any trans rep I can get - especially when its own voices! However, that's where my pros of this book start and end. The main character was utterly insufferable, which I feel bad about saying because it definitely was a self-insert type of MC. The author literally says in the Author's Note that the main character is "the closest thing to a piece of [his] own heart." And maybe that was a bad thing in this case. I think the author was too close to Wyatt to really see the flaws of this character - especially with it being in the first person. Wyatt continuously showed that he only cared about himself. Wyatt and Emyr had a terrible relationship. Wyatt was a literal asshole to his "mate," just for fun. I know I DNF'd but I really don't see this relationship improving all that much by the end of the book. I don't understand why Emyr put up with this. Hear me out here - Emyr was adopted, right. And Derek (which was a stupid name choice) claimed that Emyr was unfit to be king because the royal line would end. Why couldn't Emyr just adopt a child and be a single dad? It feels like there were better ways for Emyr to be happy than by forcing him to be with the single most insufferable character. Wyatt and Briar's entire relationship was beyond toxic. They used to date and make out but now they don't and also Wyatt and Briar are able to read each other's minds but not really and it pisses Briar off and also they literally don't talk about important things ever? Insane. Anyway, Briar deserved better than Wyatt. As a nonbinary lesbian, I can't even begin to describe the rage I felt with Jin and whatever the gf's name was (Clarke?). When Jin walked in and introduced themselves as a fucking "theydy" - a "nonbinary lady. They pronouns, very lesbian," I just saw red. This single line was the deciding factor of me DNFing it and not even trying to suffer through it. Did you TALK to a single fucking lesbian -- a single NONBINARY LESBIAN -- before pulling this shit? If anyone ever fucking called me a theydy, we'd fist fight. Or, to put it in Wyatt's terms, I'd block them on Facebook because I'm gay and can do what I want. The worldbuilding made very little sense overall. Fae apparently were super into the internet and phones and now their phones could do magic? I'm gonna be honest, I lost track of the world. The writing also was relatively rough. There was so much dialogue and so few descriptions of anything. I texted my friend while reading "whatever happened to showing and not telling?" We were just supposed to somehow know exactly what the author pictured in his head, without having real descriptions for them. There was very little detail; I felt as if we were given less than the bare minimum amount of information. There was a specific sentence that pulled me entirely out of the writing to try and figure out wtf the author meant by it. "His eyes flash their inhuman gold. Wet paint dripping across a brown canvas." If anyone knows how to interpret this, I'd love to hear it. I was so annoyed with this that I wrote it down to make note of it. Additionally - adding on to the writing being rough - there were a lot of random, internal monologue throwaway sentences that sounded as if they were ripped straight from tumblr or some viral tweet. It really took you out of the fae world as they reminded you of a meme or something. Something that I wanted to note was a description of Emyr - he was described as having obsidian skin. And I understand that the fae world is different than the real world, but it just feels like a choice to give someone black skin instead of making them a Black person. Overall, I really cannot find it within me to recommend this book to anyone. I actively regret the time I spent reading this book. I also do not expect to go out of my way and read anything else this author eventually published. I'm sorry but trans people deserve better books than this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (I need all the book boyfriends please)

    Wow! I cannot believe how much I loved this book! It was everything I need in an LGBTQIA+ Young Adult Fantasy right now. Wyatt is my new favorite person. A transgender gay boy who is really still trying to find their way in this world and how he fits. This isn't helped when his Fae fiance shows up in his backyard in Laredo TX and demands he comes back to Faery to face the future Wyatt believed he had escaped. I love the friendships in this story, especially with Briar being that comforting sourc Wow! I cannot believe how much I loved this book! It was everything I need in an LGBTQIA+ Young Adult Fantasy right now. Wyatt is my new favorite person. A transgender gay boy who is really still trying to find their way in this world and how he fits. This isn't helped when his Fae fiance shows up in his backyard in Laredo TX and demands he comes back to Faery to face the future Wyatt believed he had escaped. I love the friendships in this story, especially with Briar being that comforting source. And the love story blooming throughout this tale. Wyatt is also not a perfect person, he makes mistakes and I really loved reading his internal struggles which were often about feeling very awkward which is something I can really relate to. Overall I thought this was an incredible read, really creative and full of insight. I definitely recommend this!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    Wow this book was so bad lol. Where was Edgmon’s editor this whole time? I wanted to love this book so badly but it was a huge mess. Juvenile writing, nonexistent plot (I mean, there is a plot, but it disappears 1/3 of the way through so Wyatt can fuck around and do nothing despite promising himself that he’d get out of his situation), flat characters, flimsy worldbuilding, awful dialogue... Edgmon wouldn’t know subtlety if it whacked them in the face. Some of the lines in this book are just... * Wow this book was so bad lol. Where was Edgmon’s editor this whole time? I wanted to love this book so badly but it was a huge mess. Juvenile writing, nonexistent plot (I mean, there is a plot, but it disappears 1/3 of the way through so Wyatt can fuck around and do nothing despite promising himself that he’d get out of his situation), flat characters, flimsy worldbuilding, awful dialogue... Edgmon wouldn’t know subtlety if it whacked them in the face. Some of the lines in this book are just... *hands itching for a red pen* That is not how metaphors are used, sir. Also, for a book that’s got a trans MC and is supposed to be anti-racist, anti-police brutality, anti-queerphobia... some of the vibes were weirdly offensive lol. This fantasy world makes... zero sense whatsoever, and it’s like the author couldn’t keep their own rules straight. I don’t get it. Don’t you literally have a publishing team that fixes this for you? The MC is insufferable and nobody in this book has more than an ounce of depth. They all read like caricatures tbh. MC Wyatt also treats his loved ones terribly and there are no... consequences for this whatsoever? Briar deserves better. The romance is very one-sided, until it’s ~not. I appreciate the subversion of the soulmate bond trope, but not when one side actively ignores the other’s wishes, and the other one hates him but he’s too distracted by the ~sexy anyway. Plot... what plot? Oh yeah, I forgot Wyatt actually wanted to go home, as he constantly whines, instead of... *shuffles cards* Blandly reacting to everything... Riding dragons and almost getting his best friend killed without remorse... thirsting over his fiance who he ~definitely does not want to marry... doing everything except what he said he wanted to do... Honestly, this book reads like a very young person wrote it and I don’t understand how so many glaring editorial issues survived til publication.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hilda

    You really are like every other colonizer who’s come before you, aren’t you? This book had so much. It was very woke, in every sense and it was sooooo good. The beginning was hard for me and halfway through I realized it was because the main character was severely depressed and it showed. Also, Wyatt was being used by everyone so I was angry reading a bit. Then stuff happens and more stuff happens and it was glorious. I loved Briar throughout and it was so interesting to read about Wyatt and how You really are like every other colonizer who’s come before you, aren’t you? This book had so much. It was very woke, in every sense and it was sooooo good. The beginning was hard for me and halfway through I realized it was because the main character was severely depressed and it showed. Also, Wyatt was being used by everyone so I was angry reading a bit. Then stuff happens and more stuff happens and it was glorious. I loved Briar throughout and it was so interesting to read about Wyatt and how he saw people. Their colors. Does he have synesthesia or do all witches see people’s aura or being in color? I never found out if it was a witch thing or a Wyatt thing. It was so interesting. I loved it. Back to the story. I liked Wyatt enough, I think he was meant to be prickly and angry. He has his reason. Seriously, his parents and his whole race hate witches/wizards/magical beings. Even though they are their children. This was so much worse than racism. I can’t believe I’m typing this. Something worse than racism. Why yes. Elfin having children with magical powers is the worst. They will kill those babies or if you’re lucky torture/neglect/abuse their children until they run away or are literally killed by their family as adults. No wonder Wyatt ran away. Opps, that’s not even what I was going to say or talk about but it’s a good point. Like what??? A society that mistreats and bullies a “lesser” being because of social norms. And it’s an expectation. I was livid but also not surprised. I did like Wyatt’s potential and what he is becoming but I loved Briar and Emyr from the beginning. All together they were wonderful. I loved how proper pronouns for gender were used and the whole Guard (Police) issues came up. Talk of reform and social movement. The one thing that bothered me was that the book was more of Wyatt’s transitioning than anything else. I swear every other chapter addressed him being male. I get it. We all get it. We don't need it explained every couple of pages. It was actually distracting from the story. I know it was his story and a big part of him but… Anyways, it didn’t feel like the MC was a gay trans male, or maybe that’s the point. He was becoming one? I still enjoyed the story and loved it, talk about representation! I can’t wait for the next book. I want more information on the witches and Wyatt’s powers but also how Wyatt and Emyr’s relationship grows. I swear I need to have more of them!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Whatshisface

    DNF. Ultimately I can't recommend this book. I found all the characters unlikable, and the story was poorly-paced. There was one line in it that just... ruined the whole experience. "It's a good thing I'm gay, so no one expects me to be good at math." I can't quite articulate why that offended me so deeply, but it did. There were other throw-away lines throughout that hit a bad nerve for me, and I couldn't enjoy the story because of them. As far as pacing -- there's a line of dialogue (literally DNF. Ultimately I can't recommend this book. I found all the characters unlikable, and the story was poorly-paced. There was one line in it that just... ruined the whole experience. "It's a good thing I'm gay, so no one expects me to be good at math." I can't quite articulate why that offended me so deeply, but it did. There were other throw-away lines throughout that hit a bad nerve for me, and I couldn't enjoy the story because of them. As far as pacing -- there's a line of dialogue (literally, like one sentence) and then three or four paragraphs of exposition, and then another single line of dialogue, followed by more exposition. I end up spending several minutes trying to remember wtf the topic of conversation even was. Either give us a bunch of exposition so we're caught up, and then have the characters talk. Or have them talk, and then explain. But doing both at the same time? That takes a level of nuance that is not present here. There's a lot of really awesome content here though in terms of diversity and marginalized groups, which made me even more upset that there were offensive lines like the math one. I loved the idea of Wyatt's found family, and the struggles he persevered against. I adore the representation of marginalized groups throughout the whole story. There's so much great content here -- but it's just ruined by Wyatt's dismissive inner dialogue, and the poor story telling.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes. This in no way influences my review; all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Content notes:(view spoiler)[ - Violence - Injury - Blood - Deadnaming (name not revealed, but another character uses it) - Fire - Casual ableism - Panic attack - Sexual harassment - Arrest - Death - PTSD, flashbacks - Misgendering, challenged - Vomiting - Drug use - Protests - Bigotry - Fascism - Explosion - Dissociation (secondary char) - Mild gore - Sho I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes. This in no way influences my review; all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Content notes:(view spoiler)[ - Violence - Injury - Blood - Deadnaming (name not revealed, but another character uses it) - Fire - Casual ableism - Panic attack - Sexual harassment - Arrest - Death - PTSD, flashbacks - Misgendering, challenged - Vomiting - Drug use - Protests - Bigotry - Fascism - Explosion - Dissociation (secondary char) - Mild gore - Shock - Abuse (physical, emotional) - Sexual content (hide spoiler)] Full review closer to release, but seriously y’all better be preordering and recommending this book to your library cuz it’d phenomenal on so many levels! Very queer, very angry, revolution and change and chosen family. How does that not absolutely sell this book??

  28. 4 out of 5

    H.E. Edgmon

    Hi! I wrote this book! And now there's a preorder campaign going on! You can read more about it on my Twitter: https://twitter.com/heedgmon/status/1..., or my website: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-p.... Also on my website, you can read about the trigger warnings: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-t... Okay, now I'm going to stay far away from Goodreads forever and ever until I have another book to promote thank you bye. <3 Hi! I wrote this book! And now there's a preorder campaign going on! You can read more about it on my Twitter: https://twitter.com/heedgmon/status/1..., or my website: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-p.... Also on my website, you can read about the trigger warnings: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-t... Okay, now I'm going to stay far away from Goodreads forever and ever until I have another book to promote thank you bye. <3

  29. 5 out of 5

    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾

    *ARC received from the publisher -Inkyard Press- in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Athira

    Wow! This book is absolutely stunning! Check this out if you love: ✔Betrothals ✔Fae magic ✔Only one bed ✔Childhood friends to enemies to lovers ✔Fated mates ✔Gay Trans witch ✔Queer found family This is the queer revolutionary fantasy that you've been waiting for! Not saying any about the plot except I really liked it. Don't want to spoil anything.Wyatt is my new favourite character. He's angry and funny and sad and so very real. Also super gay! Emyr is so loyal  and kind and I love him so much.  He Wow! This book is absolutely stunning! Check this out if you love: ✔Betrothals ✔Fae magic ✔Only one bed ✔Childhood friends to enemies to lovers ✔Fated mates ✔Gay Trans witch ✔Queer found family This is the queer revolutionary fantasy that you've been waiting for! Not saying any about the plot except I really liked it. Don't want to spoil anything.Wyatt is my new favourite character. He's angry and funny and sad and so very real. Also super gay! Emyr is so loyal  and kind and I love him so much.  He's been pining for so long and deserves everything! Also he has fangs, claws and WINGS?!!!!! I love the secondary characters, they are all very well developed. Wyatt's relationship with his best friend Briar is one of the highlights of this book. They have an incredible bond and I love how they can read each other so well. I also adored Jin, Tessa and our favourite hellhound Boom! The world building is really good and I definitely want to see more of Asalin. This book is entirely told from Wyatt's POV and while I'd have loved to get Emyr's POV, it didn't make me enjoy it any less. I cannot wait for the next book and I need it so bad!! Highly recommended!! CW: abuse, sexual assault, death, transphobia, deadnaming (not mentioned), violence *ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...