*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion.
Based on Irish mythology, The Wren Hunt follows Wren Silke as she’s chased through the woods every year as part of a warped game. If the people chasing her found out that she is an augur – someone who can read things in patterns – then the chase would become a lot more deadly. But Wren isn’t just being chased – she ends up on a hunt of her own as she sets out to find the answer to an ancient secret in or to save her family.
As you might imagine, this book is dark. A fantasy story based on folklore, the atmosphere of this book is just so right. With everyone having some ability to find out more about the present and future, it’s hard to escape the feeling that everyone has a secret to hide. And with Wren’s danger of being discovered as an augur, the paranoia of being watched pervades the story at all times. The darkness hangs heavy over the story – but in a mysterious, intriguing kind of way. Rather than feeling like too much, it lures you in and you simply have to know more. And that’s just it, that’s the folklore element I adore. it encompasses the intriguing, magical but dangerous side of folklore and magic, and it’s impossible not to feel it when reading this book.
Almost counteracting that darkness is Wren herself. I ADORED Wren as a narrator. She seemed so human. She was just a teenage girl and sure, she lived in a world of magic. But that didn’t take away any of the authenticity to her voice. Her reactions were so relatable, so real. She would acknowledge when something was strange or awkward, make snarky comments or drip in the sarcasm where you would expect it. And more interesting still, you’re almost thrown into Wren’s life with her. With her narrating, she wouldn’t formally introduce her friends and family. She would jump right in with a simple “Smith walked in”, no long introductory description of who they are, how they’re related or what they look like. Because that’s just not natural, right? You don’t typically tend to break off mid conversation and give someone an introductory paragraph. And I have to admit, sometimes it took me awhile to catch hold of how certain characters were related to Wren – but only because they were mentioned so naturally that it almost escaped notice. Wren’s voice was strong and authentic, and I honestly think she was my favourite part of the book.
I will say that one thing I didn’t love too much was the romance. It was mentioned in the synopsis so I knew it was coming and was already hesitant, so a lot of this is probably just down to my own preference. But one thing I often think about fantasy books is that a romance isn’t necessary, and I think that applies to this one too. It wasn’t awful, and I didn’t hate it. But I also wouldn’t have missed it. I think I might have enjoyed it more had the love interest felt more established too, rather than just being there to be the love interest. But still, I didn’t begrudge it too much.
I was so hooked on this story. It was such an addictive read and let me tell you, things get really intense real quick. I was fascinated learning about the magic systems of this world and how it all worked. I couldn’t put the book down, and I honestly think it’s such an underrated read.
A story of magic, folklore, secrets, and mystery, this book feels like a hidden gem of sorts. I’ve not read anything like it before, but I’m so glad I stumbled across it.
Rated 4.5/5 stars!
The Wren Hunt was actually the first book of Myth-Take, a project I’m co-hosting! Here’s the reading vlog I made for it in case you’re interested in watching my reading experience!
Until next time,
5 thoughts on “The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson // Deliciously Dark”
Wonderful review, love!! This one sounds like such a fascinating read! I love the concept of it, and the darkness and atmosphere sound like they’re executed quite well! I’m sorry the romance wasn’t your favorite, but am glad you loved pretty much all other aspects of this book! 💕
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Thank you! Honestly it completely blew me away, I loved it!
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I’ve been seeing this book a couple times on bookstore, but since I didn’t know anything about it I didn’t pick it up. After reading your review though, it sounds really dark and intriguing! Wren also sounds like an incredible, real character. Great review Ashleigh, I really looking forward to read this!
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Aw I hope you do pick it up! It’s so so good!