Review: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

Title: The Wicker King

Author: K. Ancrum

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Publication Date: October 31, 2017

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Friends! This book was such a surprise for me. I am not the biggest fan of contemporary but I’m trying new things. This was also the first book pick for The Dragons and Tea Book Club! I’m so very thankful to be a part of this club and can’t wait to make new friends in this wonderful book community.

This is a messed up book. The whole time reading I felt every emotion imaginable and it wasn’t until the end where I thought “wow I love this and I hate how much I love it.” I can see why this would be a polarizing story for some.

The Wicker King is a brilliantly written well-plotted story that takes the reader on a dark, emotional and (even a little) disturbing journey. I devoured this book at work and then proceeded to tell my friend (also at work) to please read this so I could have someone to cry over this with. The entire time reading I felt every emotion imaginable. The end of the book had me feeling like Kat reading “10 Things I Hate About You” to Patrick in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. I hated how much I loved The Wicker King 

Visually stunning by using the pages to signify the main characters’ inner turmoil. As the story progresses, the pages become darker eventually turning black. One of the most creative things I’ve ever seen in a book. The plot is enthralling and the characters are unique, making for a gripping story. The chapters were short which made it very hard for me to put it down.

August and Jack were such interesting TRAGIC characters who I loved. I just want to take them home with me and make them all the food. Broken kids who have gone through a lot for their age. Abusive and neglectful parenting tied these two men together into a relationship that was unhealthy for them both. Codependent to an unhealthy level, Ancrum gives us the story of two young men obsessed with each other and the lengths they will go for each other.

August’s voice throughout the book is so jumbled and well-done that it added an extra level of suspense for the reader. Ancrum does a wonderful job of showing August’s confused inner thoughts. I was confused about his relationships with the other characters and so was August.

A raw and powerful look at mental illness, The Wicker King explores many topics that resonate with many of us. The repercussions of absent, and neglectful parenting greatly impacted the characters and greatly propelled the plot. The effects of unhealthy relationships also really move the plot along. Ancrum does a brilliant job of having a neutral perspective on the characters and their relationships.

All in all, I think this was a brilliantly written book I fell in love with. For my first contemporary book in many years, I found myself asking for more. This is a messed up book, as I’ve said. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. But it’s a book I will forever be recommending to people.

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

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Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Did you ever watch the Legend of Korra? If the answer is yes, then we should probably be best friends. If the answer is no, you should watch it so we can then be best friends. One of my favorite quotes from that entire show is “When we reach our lowest point, we are opened to the greatest change.” What am I talking about Legend of Korra in an Heir of Fire review? Because that quote perfectly encapsulates my feelings on why Heir of Fire is my favorite novel in the Throne of Glass series.

 Fireheart – why do you cry? “Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I do not know the way.”

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The Throne of Glass series has always been Aelin Ashryver Galathynius’ story. Heir of Fire is special because this is the story of Celaena’s lowest point. We finally get to fully see broken Celaena. Up until this point, Celaena has been a strong, badass woman who sasses the hell out of everyone. But after the ending of Crown of Midnight, we are left with a Celaena who is still grieving the loss of her dear friend, Nehemia. Heir of Fire is a different type of a strong, badass woman; we see a woman who is grieving.

“Because she is dead!” She screamed the last word so loudly it burned in her throat. “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”

Celaena is grieving the loss of her friend, her lost love, and the past she tries so desperately to hide. For a good chunk of Heir of Fire, Celaena is in such a state of self-loathing and guilt. It’s heartbreaking to see a character so down, but it helped me really connect with Celaena as a character. Seeing her struggles, I was able to relate way more to Celaena than I did before. She hits rock bottom, but she builds herself back up to becoming Aelin. And that’s why she’s such a strong character. Because even when she hit rock bottom, Aelin found a way to come out on top, and be a stronger person for it.

But where there is darkness there is also light. And SJM does a wonderful job of truly giving Celaena the best character development. Celaena is finally confronted with her past and she’s a better person for it. She chose the future instead of looking at the past. And she finally is beginning to lean on others for help.

I could talk for 100 years about the Heir of Fire being the best character development for Celaena, but there are other people who really make me love this book too soooo…….

“Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, “I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.”

ROWAN…. My fae prince. I absolutely love that grumpy old man. Seriously, one of my favorite book boyfriends. I love me some rough around the edges-broken men, hide their heart of gold under a thick skin of asshole. He fits right in.  Rowan was just as broken as Celaena but in his own way, and they learned to be better together. They became good friends who were able to lean on each other for strength.

 

MANON…. Finally some witches. This was such a great addition to this story. I loved how she was death incarnate but her wyvern loved to roll around in wildflowers. I think Abraxos was really the start of her slowly becoming less ruthless. Asterin is also fantastic and Book 4 is where she really shines.

 

CHAOL….. Unpopular opinion, I’m not a fan of Chaol. I never really was until like the very end of Queen of Shadows. I don’t know he just isn’t my cup of tea. But I did like seeing him be unsure of everything. He made a bunch of mistakes and he’s learning from them. He doesn’t know who to trust. But he’ll get there, he’s just going through some stuff.

 

“You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”

DORIAN….. I loved how Dorian had the most character growth after Celaena in Heir of Fire. He really has the worst luck, but he’s always willing to be a good person. I love Dorian staying true to himself. But man this guy cannot catch a break.

 

This is an emotional rollercoaster, but if you stick with it the end of this book is simply amazing. We are finally getting to the true plot of the series and how it all fits together. I could talk about this forever, but don’t want to give too much away!

“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.” 

✮✮✮✮

 

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