Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Series: The Wicker King #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT+, Romance, Mystery/Thrillers
Publication date: October 31st, 2017
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.
August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.
“I remember the attic of your house. The way the sun shone gold through the slats in the windows. The dust on the floor and the crowns we wore. I remember your throne, the Wicker Throne, and mine the Wooden Throne. I remember sitting on them, hands clasped between us. You were always the better king.”
I was so excited to read this book because lately I’ve been hearing nothing but amazing things about it, and the premise sounded so interesting that I finally picked it up for the BookTubeAThon, and though I overall really enjoyed it and I think the format of the book was super unique, I had some issues with the plot and the characters. Originally I was going to give it four stars, but after thinking about it I lowered my rating a bit.
The main problem and the reason why I ended up giving it 3.5 stars instead of four is that it didn’t resonate with me as much as I expected to. Yes, the story was intriguing and I had a good time reading it and discovering everything, but after that I found I haven’t been thinking about it like I do when I finish other books.
Another thing that I didn’t particularly enjoyed was that this book was labelled as LGBT, and though at the very end there was a m/m romance and throughout the story you could see the chemistry between our two main characters, it wasn’t made cannon until the last twenty pages, so I feel a bit betrayed and let down by it, ’cause I was expecting something that didn’t really end up happening.
I have to say though that I really enjoyed the characters. Though at times their interactions seemed a bit weird and odd to me, I think that was because of the writing style and not the characters themselves, so overall, I think their dynamics were well crafted and their story was intriguing enough for making me want to keep reading to know what was going to happen. I think that their relationship was so well done, and you could clearly see how much August cared about Jack and how much he was trying to help him, and it was easy for me to connect with them.
“Water dropped off the branch and glittered in the setting sun, and August gazed up at the Wicker King. So fierce and proud, chin jutting our so bravely, that August couldn’t help but lift his branch beside him. […]They were stronger together; they were always stronger together.”
What sold the story to me was the format it was written. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the author’s writing, and at times the conversations were a bit cringy, the way this book was written was incredible. I think it was so unique and cool how as the story continued the pages became darker and darker, and it matches how Jack’s hallucinations became worse, and that was one of the reasons I enjoyed this book as much as I did.
It was incredibly fast paced I was shocked. I read it in one sitting, and that hardly happens with books because I’m so easily distracted, but I found that with this particular story I was engrossed since page five, and wanted to keep reading and reading until I finished. I think that because of the way the story was told it was so much faster and easier to read.
And though I overall really enjoyed The Wicker King, I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. Though it felt realistic and it answered some of the questions that I had at the beginning of the book, I was expecting so much more and it felt a bit anticlimactic to me. I don’t know, I think the story was building up and up to a shocking climax, and the ending didn’t really reach that point.
Overall, it was a solid read and would recommend it. I liked the characters and the dynamics between these two main characters, and the story was told in a so unique way that I was blown away. I don’t know, I’ll probably re-read it in the future to see if my opinion would change.
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