The Wicker King

The Wicker King #1

K. Ancrum

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+ thriller young adult
adventurous medium-paced

320 pages | first published 2017

The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.

Jack once saved August's can August save him?

August is a misfit with a pyro streak and Jack is a golden boy on the varsity rugby team--but their intense friendship goes way back. Jack begins to see increasingly vivid hallucinations that take the form of an elaborate fantasy kingdom creeping into the edges of the real world. With their parents' unreliable behavior, August decides to help Jack the way he always has--on his own. He accepts the visions as reality, even when Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy.

August and Jack alienate everyone around them as they struggle with their sanity, free falling into the surreal fantasy world that feels made for them. In the end, each one must choose his own truth.

Written in vivid micro-fiction with a stream-of-consciousness feel and multimedia elements, K. Ancrum's The Wicker King touches on themes of mental health and explores a codependent relationship fraught with tension, madness and love.

An Imprint Book

"Ancrum delves into the blurry space between reality and madness. A haunting and provocative read that will keep teens riveted." --School Library Journal

"Teen fans of moody psychological horror will be entranced." --Booklist

"Give this to readers who like complex, experimental fictions about intense relationships that acquire mythic resonance." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"An eerie piece of realistic fiction whose characters revel in intense emotions." --Kirkus Reviews

"An eerie and mesmerizing thriller that questions the space where reality and perception overlap, The Wicker King is a spine-tingling read that will have you riveted." --Caleb Roerhrig, author of Last Seen Leaving and White Rabbit

What the community thinks

summary of 999 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

Expand filter menu View warnings


dark 84%
emotional 82%
tense 47%
sad 41%
mysterious 38%
adventurous 25%
challenging 25%
reflective 18%
hopeful 12%
informative 3%


fast 54%
medium 37%
slow 7%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 78% | A mix: 21%

Strong character development?

Yes: 55% | It's complicated: 34% | No: 8% | N/A: 1%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 56% | It's complicated: 35% | No: 8%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 63% | No: 14% | It's complicated: 12% | N/A: 10%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 92% | It's complicated: 6% | N/A: 0%

Average rating