The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A story of a girl and a monster who become part of each other piece by piece
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book. I love fairy tales and am just starting to get more into the fantasy genre so this was a great book that had aspects of both of those. The characters were fully developed and completely awesome, even the supporting characters. There are hero’s and villains, humans and monsters, magic spells, enchanted stones and all that jazz. What could be better?
This is the story of a girl named Enna who is a bit of an outcast in her village because her papa’s mind is not all there. What most of the villagers don’t know or remember is that her father lost part of his mind in the war against the misting. The misting are monsters from another world or dimension called “The Deep” they come through portal rings to the wildwoods and at one point an Orjan called Shroud had amassed an army of monsters to go to war with humans.
Enna’s Mother was killed during that time while pregnant and her father had to cut Enna out of her body. He later went into the deep and brought back a telling stone that Enna now wears on her wrist. It warns her when misting are near. Her father warned her never to let anyone see it. Though he sacrificed a lot to get it and he was the only human to ever go into The Deep.
The mortal realm will devour a misting body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind.
When Enna is attacked by a Gobbler misting and the telling stone warns of another close, she decides to summon a misting that she can bargain with to protect her. That is how she meets Maekallus who is a Narval misting. I won’t give away any spoilers as to his appearance, but to say he is humanoid. Though all mistings do not have a soul.
Enna and Maekallus end up bound and have to work together to save their lives and Enna’s soul. The resulting adventure is truly original and the way the romance built up was very good. There was a neighbor, Tennith that is also part of the story. That is brought in to the romance. It is not a love triangle, but it is nice how it is used to show Enna her feelings and Maekallus’s jealousy.
I really just got an epic romance fairytale feeling from this book. At one point I was crying like my dog was dying. Because there are sometimes when the differences between two people are just too big to be overcome.
Tears threaten my vision, and I blink and shove the thoughts away, clawing for composure. “W-Why are you here?”
He gives me that narrow gaze again, then a shrug. “The Deep isn’t a friendly place.”
“No, it’s not.” The lump has reformed and chokes my words to a whisper. I swallow again. Take a deep breath. “I—”
“He is not me.”