save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal
fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound.
Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.
In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft… don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.
Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.
Sarah – ☆☆☆☆
This is a fun young adult fantasy adventure with lovable characters and wonderfully complex world building. The story belongs to Wyatt, a witch with a dark past who is an outsider in both the fae and human worlds.
At its heart, this is a simple coming of age story. Wyatt must come to terms with his past and find out where he belongs as he becomes an adult. It’s not a completely fresh story. Fantasy and Urban Fantasy fans will recognise many familiar tropes. Fated mates, a reluctant heir, and an outsider with special powers aren’t new fantasy themes, but they do work well here.
Beyond Wyatt and Emyr, the character development in this story doesn’t feel completely consistent. Emyr is a complicated love interest for Wyatt. It is difficult to trust the beautiful prince – but it is also impossible not to love the tormented and reluctant heir to the throne. The rest of the characters feel somewhat loosely sketched. It’s a huge cast of witches, nobles, guards, and others. Without spoilers, I loved the world building and enjoyed the action. But I wasn’t invested enough in any of the other characters to feel any emotional impact from the action scenes and revelations at the end. The author leaves room to develop these characters further. The ending offers many exciting possibilities for further stories in this world.
I love that Wyatt’s trans identity is a non-issue. He’s a protagonist with a difficult past that has little to do with his gender. He’s a complicated survivor with a unique skill set and the potential to be a hero. This isn’t a book about being trans. It’s a book about a fabulous fantasy hero who happens to be trans. Sadly, that’s still a rare and special treat for modern young adult readers.
EDGMON was born in the Deep South but has had many homes, dropped out of school
to do gay stuff, and is at least a little feral. In both their writing and
daily life, they aim to center the voices of Indigenous people, trans people,
and survivors of trauma. It is always their goal to make fascists
uncomfortable. They have an eccentric little family of their own design,
several very sensitive pets, and a lot of opinions. They can most often be
found on Twitter.
Connect with H.E.
Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Website ~ Goodreads
Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Witch King (The Witch King #1) by H.E. Edgmon to read and review.