The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (Book Review + The Legend of the Golden Raven Novella)

Publisher: Imprint
Page Count
: 305

CW: hallucinations, unhealthy co-dependency, negligent treatment of children, harmful behaviour and self-endangerment 

I’ve wanted to pick up The Wicker King ever since I saw a finished hardcover copy of it in a store in Canada almost 1.5 years ago. If you are a sucker for beautiful covers and extravagant design inside and outside of books, you will have a hard time resisting this one. Although I try to get better at not just buying books because of their beauty, the Wicker King definitely paid off.

All the superficial details aside, I honestly am glad I finally read the book. It’s not an easy read for sure, but it has lovely characters and such an important story to tell. I don’t want to spoil anything, but you don’t necessarily wonder as much about what is fantasy and what is reality as it might seem at first glance. I’ve had my fair share of books that mastered the art of completely bending your mind with the possibility of what might be happening, but there were very few doubts about the going ons in the Wicker King for me, which is probably why it was almost scary to read sometimes.

August and Jack are wonderful characters and I often just wanted to jump into the story and mother them, hug them and protect them. I did not agree with all the choices they made nor the behaviour they sometimes showed, but those boys did the best they could and deserved so much better. It’s not that I believe their parents didn’t love them, but they did a terrible job at it. Circumstances can make life hard and people crumble and break at times, but if you have kids, you really have to power through regardless. I know it’s easier said than done from where I am comfortably sitting childless behind a computer screen, but wow, did I wish that I could somehow help them and care for them, because their parents sure didn’t. In the end, it was good that they took care of each other, even if they could have done with a guardian in their lives.

There are a couple reasons I didn’t fully adore this book though and I think those are just very me reasons. While I love myself some short chapters, I was confused about the POV in the beginning (which is August’s by the way) and then felt like they hindered me from really connecting in some moments. I also didn’t love the continued hook ups, but my main sore point of the book was the relationship between August and Jack somehow. I liked that it was ambiguous in the beginning, because I am not the kind of person who just puts a romantic label on things just because I can. However, the longer I read on, the more I got afraid for them. They were so important for one another, so entangled in each other’s lives. The presence of August was like a necessity to Jack and vice versa. I understand that it’s one of the main points of the book, but it almost seemed unhealthy to me and therefore I couldn’t 100% root for them to be together. As I said though, this is a very me thing and maybe that worked perfectly fine for other people.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Definitely worth a read even if I didn’t click with every part of it.

If you know me, you also know that I am not much of a novella person, but The Legend of the Golden Raven was free for Kindle, I got it and really enjoyed it.

In only 40 pages, The Legend of the Golden Raven shows Jack’s condensed view of the events of The Wicker King. I thought that was a really neat addition to the main book and was happy to see a whole lot more magical/fantastical elements included. Obviously, the author couldn’t go into detail with it, but it still fills some gaps and rounds up the tale nicely.

It’s most likely not a must-read, but if you enjoyed the Wicker King, then I would recommend this as well.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! 

 

Have you read The Wicker King and it’s companion novella? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it!

12 thoughts on “The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (Book Review + The Legend of the Golden Raven Novella)

    • I mean, this book is about mental health and they do address it to a certain extent, but in the end I felt like it wasn’t enough. Their co-dependency just seemed unhealthy to me :/ but I liked the book still. I just didn’t love it as much as others I have read.

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  1. Lovely review, Kat ❤ I've heard a lot of great things about The Wicker King and I have to admit, I'm curious to get my hands on a physical copy of the book to see how it looks, too haha, but… at the same time, I'm a little nervous to read, because it sounds like a tough read for sure… :/ I'm glad that you found elements you enjoyed even if you weren't 100% on board with it all! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Marie! I enjoyed the book over all, I just didn’t fall head over heels in love with it, like I did with previous books this year. It is on the darker side overall, but due to the short chapters quite a quick read. The hardcover is one of the most beautiful editions I own.

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  2. I’m glad you had an overall great experience with this one! (Plus, the Elliot x Lucas gif is giving me a lot of feelings). I really liked The Wicker King as well, though I understand how some of the behaviour just seemed unhealthy and I wasn’t on board with it 100% either. But the author’s note at the end was one of the most moving things I’ve ever read and it truly made the book worth it for me! I haven’t picked up the novella, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, considering I’m not exactly a fan of fantasy, but I’ll perhaps give it a try since it’s free on Kindle, hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! (I am very deep into Skam France and Druck, so Elu were the first ones I thought of when I wanted to put a gif into the review)
      I definitely have no regrets reading Wicker King. I didn’t love it head over heels is all 🙂 but I enjoyed it.
      It’s not too much Fantasy in the novella, it IS only 40 pages after all, but it’s interesting to hear a bit of Jack’s POV.

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