Do I know what spooky fox noises sound like? No, no I do not. Will that stop me from screaming my spooky fox noises into the internet oblivion in the spirit of this book? Oh, absolutely not. *Spooky fox noises intensify*
*Biggest thanks to Wednesday books for sending me an advanced copy to read and review! This did not impact my opinion of the book in any way!*
Book: A Far Wilder Magic
Author: Allison Saft
Expected publication: March 8th 2022 by Wednesday Books
CW: animal death and injury (the dog lives!), antisemitism, nationalism and xenophobia, PTSD, neglect and emotional abuse by a parent, mentions of parental death, graphic descriptions of blood and wounds
When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long. (from Goodreads)
Allison Saft, in my mind at least, has been elevated to word wizard status. Like, seriouly, I don’t understand how a person could word so eloquently??? Sorcery.
Her writing is so lush, so vibrant, with each word and metaphor transforming the scene and bringing it alive. Everytime I read Saft’s work it reminds me of why I love words so much. Everything about A Far Wilder Magic is so painstakingly crafted and alive that it makes my story-loving heart want to cry.
Not only does she bring her atmospheric worlds alive, but her characters as well. Maggie and Wes are perfectly flawed characters and most certainly the heart of this story. With the external conflicts (meaning the whole fox hunting competition) taking more of a backseat to the internal conflicts (Wes finding a role within his family, Maggie and her relationship with her mother), the characters are really allowed to shine.
Each action of Wes and Maggie is so deliberate and had me falling more and more for these characters. I will say, though, that I wish this book had been single pov or it was a bit longer. It never felt rushed per say, but I would have liked to linger on a couple more moments.
Romance definitely takes the forefront of this one. With romantic tension to die for, A Far Wilder Magic is definitely worth picking up if you are a sucker for the sunshine x grumpy dynamic. I loved how these characters teased each other and built a tentative trust between them. SO GOOD?????? Romance at its finest.
With the characters and the romance being at the forefront of it all, the plot sort of faded into the background. Personally, I didn’t mind it, but I could see how it would be an issue for some readers. Given the synopsis tells the reader about the fox hunt and the partnership between Maggie and Wes, those events not occurring until moderately far in could make for a slow start. Again, it wasn’t a huge deal to me because I was invested in other parts of the story (read: the romance), but it is definitely something to know before going in.
All and all, A Far Wilder Magic is the perfect atmospheric read to curl up under a blanket with. It reached it’s bookish tendrils out and took such a grip on me. Definitely worth checking out if you love fantasy with a focus on romance or lush writing! Be sure to add to your TBR or preorder so you’ll be ready when it comes out on March 8th! (Also! There are all sorts of swaggy preorder incentives you can check out here) (And yes, it is open internationally!!!!)
Are you planning on reading A Far Wilder Magic? Have you read Saft’s other works? What did you think?