Reviews

The Witch King, by H.E. Edgmon

redus_reuse_recycle's review

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adventurous emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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triskellionquinn's review

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slow-paced
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

ashlyn's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

lilyp7's review

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5.0

Thank you so much, Inkyard Press and NetGalley, for the chance to read and review this book!

TW: violence, child abuse, sexual harrassment and assualt, misgendering, deadnaming, murder, mention of suicide, infertility and miscarriage

In Asalin, fae rules and witches, like Wyatt Croft, don't, living as second class citizens. Wyatt's betrothal to his best friend, prince Emyr North, was supposed to change things, but one devastating night Wyatt lost control of his magic and fled to the human world. Years later, a cold and distant Emyr finds him, with no intention of dissolving their engament. In order to keep his throne and prevent a civil war, Emyr wants them to get married, so, Wyatt, willing to do anything to get back to his home, the human world and leave Asalin behind for good, strikes a deal with Emyr's enemy. But as slowly he and Emyr start to get one other again, he discovers the best friend he loved isn't lost. And as he realizes what he can do for the witches in his realm, he has to decide what's more important, his love and people or his freedom.

I LOVED The Witch King! The worldbuilding is lush and evocative, the characterization is really brilliant, the characters wonderfully complex and flawed in their fears, doubts, anger, traumas and bonds, there's a huge queer rep, with bi, gay, trans, lesbian, nonbinary, witches and fae, lesbian queens and gay kings with family and the plot is filled with twist and an emotional rollercoaster.
Waytt is the main character, he's strong, stubborn and despite his pain, traumas and anger, he's capable of incredible humor and strength, and even though he doesn't realize it in the beginning he's incredibly wanted, supported and loved.

After the terrible night, after he escaped from Asalin, Waytt found a family in Briar and her family, but duty, engament and a magic bond forced him to get back to Asalin and face the reality there.
In a skillfully, heartwrenching and moving way, through flashbacks, the reader is able to know Wyatt while he grows up, as a child, a teenager, facing discrimination and abuse, from his own family and the fae in Asalin, nurturing his anger, fear and confusion.

At the same time it's clear the profound bond and love with Emyr, reading how much their relationship grow, how they love, help and support one other and how difficult is to face each other when Emyr finally finds him and brings him to Asalin.
Their bond is one of the things I loved the most in The witch king. Despite being mates, the blood pact and their duties, it's obvious how much they love one other, how they would do anything, but their situation is complicated by the throne and duties. Wyatt and Emyr are young men, flawed and they make mistakes, there are misunderstandings, fights and so much love between them and I really loved exploring their relationship, cheering them on and hoping for the best.

Wyatt's relationship with Briar is another beautiful thing in this book. They are very close, they are a wonderful found family and Briar's biological one was a heaven for Wyatt, helping, supporting and giving him a place to stay and where to feel safe and protected.

In The witch king the author tackles issues as child abuse, violence, sexual harrassment and assuault, discrimination and injustice. In Asalin there's a distinct separation between fae and witches, the latter being mistreated and abused by the Guard (a sort of police in Asalin), the witch children abandoned or killed.
Seen as tools and only for what they can do for the fae, when Wyatt and Emyr are mated, Wyatt refused to be seen as a thing, a property, a baby making machine, wanting to be seen as a person, as who he really is. His resentment, anger and fear, his inability of controlling his magic, brings him to the fateful night and to escape to the human world. He was mistreated by those who were supposed to love him, refused by a place where he doesn't feel he can belong to, he's scared because he feels he doesn't have any choices and his future is already set in stone.

His anger, fear and resentment, his sarcasm, his guilt for the people he lost, his desire to be seen and loved are skillfully written.
It was intense and moving reading how much Wyatt changes and grows in this book, how he slowly starts to accept himself and his power, to trust people, to see Emyr for who he is, to realize how much he's wanted and loved for exactly who he is. How much he's willing to fight for the right thing, for protecting the people he loves, their and his own freedom.
Wyatt and Emyr are amazing characters, both strong and stubborn, weighed down by traumas, misunderstanding, fears, doubts, but unable and unwilling to lose one other. This slowly realization, the slow burn was at the same time wonderful and painful to read, because it was so clear how much they love one other, but duties, politics and throne complicated things. It was amazing reading their journey, bond and love.
I was upset, swooning, crying and laughing so much while reading this book. They are truly amazing and the friendship between Wyatt, Emyr and Briar is pure gold.

It's a book about profound love and friendship, finding one's family, a found one, a queer and supportive community, fighting against injustice and discriminations, for one's freedom and love.

literarycavy's review

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adventurous challenging funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

ARC provided by the publisher, all opinions my own

Wyatt, an angry transmasc teen witch escapes from his former life as the promised bride of a Fairy prince and finds a new family in the human world - until aforementioned prince shows up at his new home, gets skewered by some garden shears, and takes our furious protagonist back to Fairy. There are a few complications in this plan, beginning with the fact that Wyatt left the place in flames when he escaped, and his utter distaste for all things magical results in being embroiled in a scheme or two.

This book was absolutely amazing and I can't recommend it enough. Angry trans guy, arranged marriage trope (that somehow manages to not be transphobic), found family, and arson. What more could you want?

hedits's review

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  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

nina_s's review

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adventurous emotional funny inspiring mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

sixofravensreads's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

la_dee_da's review

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adventurous dark funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

This book is the first thing to show me what queer media made for queer people is like. The way all the queer related is written, from the inner monologue of our trans MC to  the conversations about queerness with our cast of characters, it’s all done from this authentic, inside view of sexuality and gender. The world building was really nice, and the cast of characters compelling, and the book was absolutely great up until the end, where the author dropped a lot of plot twists all at once. Personally, I’m not a fan of that, since the twists just don’t hit the way they should. However, I would not put that as a deterrent to reading the book. It’s a strong first book, and I’m excited for the next to come out. 

Representation: Trans MC, plus size indigenous bi/ace MC, non binary side character, nblw side relationship 

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kestrl's review

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75