The wickerlight

Mary Watson, 1975-

Book - 2019

In the tiny Irish town of Kilshamble, Zara's investigation of her sister's mysterious death leads her into an ancient magical war.

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Watson Mary Checked In
Watson, Mary, 1975- Wren hunt ; 2.
Fantasy fiction
New York : Bloomsbury 2019.
Item Description
Series information from
Sequel to: The wren hunt.
Physical Description
401 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Mary Watson, 1975- (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Zara is obsessed with learning what her sister Laila was doing just before she was found dead on the village green in their small Irish village. David is determined to follow his clan's traditions, up to the point where innocents are harmed. As their lives collide, they must work together to stop a war between ancient enemies during the wickerlight, the time when the old magic is at its strongest. In her atmospheric follow-up to The Wren Hunt (2018), set in contemporary Ireland, Watson blends magical lore and rituals with mystery born of family secrets. Some readers may struggle with unfamiliar names, such as Oisin (oh-sheen), Mamó (mam-oh), and the Battle Crow known as Badb (bah-v), but Watson understands the power that names and local flavor wield when creating an immersive world for readers. Zara, who is of South African and Australian descent, and David share narration duties, which allows the author to control the pace of discovery and peril. Readers do not have to have read the first book to enjoy the second.--Cindy Welch Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Kirkus Book Review

An outsider encounters a secret magical war in this sequel to The Wren Hunt (2018).Zara's family is unraveling following the unexplained (perhaps inexplicable) death of her older sister, Laila, in their new home, the Irish village of Kilshamble. Zara has few friends and soon earns enemies as she haphazardly attempts to solve her sister's mysterious last days and death. Brown-skinned Zara's isolated, not set apart from the mostly white residents because of her parents' South African background but because of her mundanity and humanity. Wading through grief and guilt, Zara stumbles on the secret war between the manipulative magic-wielding augurs and militant judgesfeuding descendants of the semi-Druidic draoitheand repeatedly crosses paths with neighbor David. Spurred on by his father and a "black-and-white vision of the world," white 18-year-old David simultaneously competes to succeed his disgraced brother, Oisn, as the judges' War Scythe and searches for a missing, potentially apocalypse-triggering, item. Swerving between Zara's grieving process and the erratically escalating draoithe guerilla war, the unevenly paced plot gets bogged down by extraneous details and side plots. Watson exhaustively explores the protagonists' current angst and agony but offers minimal backstories for the characters and vague and contradictory mythology for the draoithe. Zara's family is cued as being of Indian Muslim heritage.A bleak and brooding contemporary fantasy that sells magic short. (glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.