Book Review: The Will and the Wilds

Title: The Will and the Wilds
Charlie N. Holmberg
Adult Fantasy
Page Count: 
Synopsis: GoodReadsStoryGraph
Notable Notables: 
Original fae lore, strong standalone fantasy, enemies-to-lovers
Recommended Readers: 
Lovers of fairytales and trickster characters
CAWPILE Rating: 
Rating: ★★★★★

My Review

A modern-day fairytale does exist that can sweep you away into adventure and make you sigh wistfully, and it’s The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg.

I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile, especially since a certain long-winded, so-called fae court series continued to disappointment me and fuel my hatred. Didn’t any author besides Holly Black actually know what fae are? Can’t anyone capture the sense of adventure and danger that comes with bargaining with magical creatures that exist beyond human understanding? Is enemies-to-lovers well and truly dead, with my choices being either “had an argument once”-to-lovers or animalistic alpha male rutting and mating bonds? “Nay!” said Holmberg. “I am here for you, my child.”

Thank you, Ms. Holmberg, I owe you my life.

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ARC Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

house of salt and sorrowsTitle: House of Salt and Sorrows
 Erin A. Craig
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Fairytale retelling, spooky AF
Recommended Readers: Fans of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and ghost stories
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig is a haunting debut that pulls no punches, and I hope Craig is so proud of it because I certainly am! This book delivered everything I had wanted out of The Wicked Deep–a maritime setting, a spooky mystery, and murder most foul–and cranked everything up to eleven.

The novel opens with a funeral. Annaleigh Thaumas is once again returning one of her sisters to the Salt after she mysteriously plunged to her death. Three others have been returned to the sea, and she, her father, and her seven remaining sisters have been steeped in mourning for years. That changes when her father’s new bride announces she’s pregnant. Thus, the Highmoor estate does what it never has before: it moves on.

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Book Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

beast a tale of love and revenge
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
 Lisa Jensen
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: A unique Beauty and the Beast retelling with a main female character who isn’t Belle/Beauty
Recommended Readers: Those with incredibly open minds
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you, NetGalley and Candlewick Press, for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was… Hoo boy.

Let me back up. I’m a sucker for a Beauty and the Beast retelling. No matter how close or how far a retelling gets from the source material, I usually rate it an easy five stars because I am just that easy to please.

However, from its clunky prose to its yikes-worthy content, Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge was a book that was hard to swallow from the start. I almost DNF’d it with a one-star rating, and it’s a rare occasion for me to not finish a book. In the end, I am glad I stuck with it, so I could get a full picture of what Lisa Jensen intended with her story, but I can still only award two stars, mostly out of pity, because I do not like what was accomplished with this retelling and how it reflects on the original.

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