The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg
“What is a soul if not an extension of the heart?”
Enna lives life on the outside. Of Town and of society. Due to her Mothers gruesome death at the hand of a group of monsters called Mistings, she and her father live alone and on the edge of the forest. When circumstances lead to a life-or-death decision, to enlist the aid of one type of Misting to defeat another, Enna is forced to gamble her most precious gift- her soul. Now Enna is forced to work with Maekallus, a Narval misting, and work together to break the ties that anchor them together before time runs out.
This book is, in my humble opinion, a fairytale. It’s a beautifully simple, romantic fairytale about kindness, survival, and falling in love. When I say fairytale, I mean along the lines of Hans Christian Andersen, not the childproofed Disney renditions. There is a little darkness in this story that I really liked. There isn’t a lot of world-building or supporting characters, but I think the way it was handled made this a sweet, charming story.
What I liked:
I LOVE this cover, and it is a perfect depiction of the story and tone.
The eerie setting was done really well. I could almost picture creeping through the forest along with Enna with a layer of fog beneath our feet, watching out for anything to jump out at us.
I liked the studious Enna. Her character was kind and while simple, her interest in Mistings and resourcefulness made her likable and interesting.
Maekallus was wonderful. His appearance was interesting and unique. I like that his character brought up themes about morality and kindness.
All the different mistings were great! I could have spent more time learning about them! Holmberg’s imagination and descriptions of these creatures were terrific.
What I didn’t like:
Maekallus’s backstory seemed a little anti-climactic to me. As he remembered more and more of it, I expected him to have revelations about himself and deep conversations about it with Enna. Maybe that was never the purpose, but I didn’t feel like it made that big of an impact on the overall plot. I feel like it could have been a little more nuanced to give him some layers and is a little bit of a missed opportunity for me.
While I really like the fairytale tone the story is going for, sometimes it felt like writing didn’t have the lyrical flow needed to properly execute this. It brought me out of the story a couple of times. I don’t know how to explain it other than the story didn’t flow very smoothly.
The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg [Publication Date: January 21, 2020]
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Heat Level: 1 / Mild
For more info on the heat scale, refer to the amazing All The Kissing scale here.
To learn more about the Author, visit Charlie N. Holmberg’s website here.
I received the ARC of this book via NetGalley and 47North in exchange for a fair and honest review.