A mysterious and romantic standalone fantasy.... The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg (Review & #Giveaway) @jeanbooknerd

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The Will and the Wilds
By Charlie N. Holmberg
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 268 Pages
January 21st 2020 by 47North


A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series.

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.


“…An immersive, dangerous fantasy world. Holmberg draws readers in with a fast-moving plot, rich details, and a surprisingly sweet human-monster romance. This is a lovely, memorable fairy tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Holmberg ably builds her latest fantasy world, and her brisk narrative and the romance at its heart will please fans of her previous magical tales.” —Booklist

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My Review

THE WILL AND THE WILDS is a story of loss, family, and love set in a world where monsters lurk in the woods and where a girl lives secluded with her father outside a small town. The setting is vividly drawn, with complex characters that are easy to like, and a story that is mysterious and entertaining from beginning to the end. Highly recommended to fantasy fans who like stories with a bit of a darker edge!

I connected and fell in love with Enna, the protagonist, from the start. She was this mix of independent boldness, but also reserved, and extremely loyal and caring for her father who had lost part of his mind after travelling to the Deep in the world below. Then there was Maekallus who came off as a bad-boy trickster from the start, but with the hope of there being something redeeming about him. As a reader, I knew he couldn't' be trusted right along with Enna, but I couldn't help falling for him at the same time. Both of these characters were complex with different layers that were revealed as the story progressed. They also changed as they worked together to try to save themselves. I thought the author did an amazing job in making the plot work so well, especially the climatic and bittersweet ending. There was a bit of edginess to the story, like you'd find in most stories involving fae or fairies. There also was a constant undertone of mystery and danger the entire story. I loved just about every minute.

My one warning is that some parts are rather sensuous, so I'd recommend to older YA and adult readers.

In the end, was it what I wished for? If you like stories about sacrifice and redemption, with complex characters and swoon-worthy romance, then this story is for you. Definitely recommended to fans of dark fairy tales, stories with fae, or with elements of the underworld.

Content: Some violence, innuendo, some heavy making out, and a few suggestive references.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through JeanBookNerd, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and lives with her family in Utah.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE WILL AND THE WILDS by Charlie N. Holmberg.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends February 10, 2020

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Will you be reading this one? Have you read any of her other books?

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