The Will and the Wilds
A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series. Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

The Will and the Wilds Details

TitleThe Will and the Wilds
Author
ReleaseJan 21st, 2020
Publisher47North
Rating
GenreFantasy, Romance, Young Adult

The Will and the Wilds Review

  • Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    267 pagesPublication: January 21stA story of a girl and a monster.I really enjoyed this book. I love fairy tales and am just starting to get more into the fantasy genre so this was a great book that had aspects of both of those. The characters were fully developed and completely awesome, even the supporting characters. There are hero’s and villains, humans and monsters, magic spells, enchanted stones and all that jazz. What could be better?This is the story of a girl named Enna who is a bit of 267 pagesPublication: January 21stA story of a girl and a monster.I really enjoyed this book. I love fairy tales and am just starting to get more into the fantasy genre so this was a great book that had aspects of both of those. The characters were fully developed and completely awesome, even the supporting characters. There are hero’s and villains, humans and monsters, magic spells, enchanted stones and all that jazz. What could be better?This is the story of a girl named Enna who is a bit of an outcast in her village because her papa’s mind is not all there. What most of the villagers don’t know or remember is that her father lost part of his mind in the war against the misting. The misting are monsters from another world or dimension called “The Deep” they come through portal rings to the wildwoods and at one point an Orjan called Shroud had amassed an army of monsters to go to war with humans.Enna’s Mother was killed during that time while pregnant and her father had to cut Enna out of her body. He later went into the deep and brought back a telling stone that Enna now wears on her wrist. It warns her when misting are near. Her father warned her never to let anyone see it. Though he sacrificed a lot to get it and he was the only human to ever go into The Deep. The mortal realm will devour a misting body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind. When Enna is attacked by a Gobbler misting and the telling stone warns of another close, she decides to summon a misting that she can bargain with to protect her. That is how she meets Maekallus who is a Narval misting. I won’t give away any spoilers as to his appearance, but to say he is humanoid. Though all mistings do not have a soul. Enna and Maekallus end up bound and have to work together to save their lives and Enna’s soul. The resulting adventure is truly original and the way the romance built up was very good. (view spoiler)[There was a neighbor, Tennith that is also part of the story. That is brought in to the romance. It is not a love triangle, but it is nice how it is used to show Enna her feelings and Maekallus’s jealousy. (hide spoiler)]I really just got an epic romance fairytale feeling from this book. At one point I was crying like A baby. Because there are sometimes when the differences between two people are just too big to be overcome. Tears threaten my vision, and I blink and shove the thoughts away, clawing for composure. “W-Why are you here?” He gives me that narrow gaze again, then a shrug. “The Deep isn’t a friendly place.” “No, it’s not.” The lump has reformed and chokes my words to a whisper. I swallow again. Take a deep breath. “I—” “He is not me.” I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Amazon|Twitter|BookBub
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    “ What is a soul if not an extension of the heart”!This great quote of the book and Paper Magician series author’s attempt to retell Beauty and Beast made me buy new dancing shoes and work on a new happy dance moves to celebrate it! (This time I went back to retro and added some figures of Vanilla Ice and Janet Jackson to my choreography!)Just a small kiss could determine the souls’ paths between life and death! This book is capturing you from its first page, enchanting you with those magical, “ What is a soul if not an extension of the heart”!This great quote of the book and Paper Magician series author’s attempt to retell Beauty and Beast made me buy new dancing shoes and work on a new happy dance moves to celebrate it! (This time I went back to retro and added some figures of Vanilla Ice and Janet Jackson to my choreography!)Just a small kiss could determine the souls’ paths between life and death! This book is capturing you from its first page, enchanting you with those magical, well-rounded, likable characters and you want to read more, learn more about their well depicted, lyrical, outstanding stories.Maekallus is tempting, charismatic, red-yellow eyed beast steals your heart and you also easily resonate with the narrator, our young, beautiful heroine Enna Ryder.It was a fast, heart throbbing, exciting and interesting reading and I enjoyed the romance parts but I think it failed with the fantasy parts. I wanted to learn more about Deep and mystical creatures walking around at the Wildwood. But they cut short and book is mainly focused on characters’ forbidden, impossible love story.We have a hero a.k.a. monster who wants to eat the heroine’s soul and we have a gold-hearted heroine who sacrifices herself to protect her father, accepting the bargain with the beast. I enjoyed their enemies to lovers kind of dynamics but the malicious antihero, Scroud is barely seen in the book.Actually he had an important role to create obstacles and cliffhanger of the story. But most of the time I felt like he was just an extra of the story with no proper back story. I wish I could learn more about his motives, his schemes, his vengeful acts.So my 3.5 starts eventually rounded up to 4 for the love of leading characters and world building. But I’m sure this book could be better with its powerful potentials and the magical Wildwood theme.Special thanks to Netgalley and 47North for sharing this intriguing ARC COPY in exchange my honest review.
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  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestTHE WILL AND THE WILDS took me a while to read because it's a slow and odd book that, despite its length, builds up to its climax slowly. I ended up liking it because it reminded me a lot of the fairytale stories I read as a kid by authors with triple-barreled names like as Diana Wynne Jones and Margaret Peterson Haddix and Gail Carson Levine and Vivian Vande Velde, but I already know that some readers probably aren't going to like it Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestTHE WILL AND THE WILDS took me a while to read because it's a slow and odd book that, despite its length, builds up to its climax slowly. I ended up liking it because it reminded me a lot of the fairytale stories I read as a kid by authors with triple-barreled names like as Diana Wynne Jones and Margaret Peterson Haddix and Gail Carson Levine and Vivian Vande Velde, but I already know that some readers probably aren't going to like it precisely because it is so slow and non-confrontational. Epic, fast-paced fantasy this is not.Enna lives on the edge of the wildwood, which is, itself, only a stone's throw away from the monster world, a place called the Deep, which seems to be a sort of Unseelie faerie land where creatures that are part demon and part fae, called Mystings, come and go at their leisure. Sightings of them are rare-- in part because many of them are deadly-- but Enna's grandmother kept a journal of them and Enna uses that info to survive.She lives with her father, a man who fought the mystings and lived, escaping with a rare and odd jewel that she wears around her wrist because it warns her when mystings are near. But his escape cost him his sanity, and now he appears to be suffering from dementia, living halfway in the past every day of his life. It's an odd life, and Enna is regarded with suspicion by the villagers for being a witch. All that changes when mysting visitations become more frequent, and she is forced to enlist the help of a being named Maekellus.Her deal with him goes awry and the pact they made becomes a curse, binding the two of them together. If they can't break the curse, the two of them will perish, and kissing him to ease the curse will steal her soul. It seems like the two of them might be doomed, especially when she starts to fall for the magical man with the unicorn horn and the cloven feet who seems like he might be the devil himself. But will he end up proving to be her greatest ally-- or her destruction? Only time will tell, and time itself is running out. (Seriously, why haven't I been hired on as a blurb writer, yet?)As I said before, I loved the dark fairytale elements of this book and any time you throw in a dangerous man who could be the heroine's destruction, I melt like butter. It's even better that he's a redhead, because apparently I have a thing for those. I also really liked the idea of the Deep-- really, the author spent way too much time in that creepy world, I wanted more-- and the mystings. I could have learned way more about them and their world and their creepy powers, which actually brings me to my biggest complaint: the ending was so anticlimactic. I understand why the author did it and I do think there is strength in grace, but the book seemed to be building to something epic and I kept holding my breath, wondering how something so big was going to go down in such a small amount of pages... and yeah, it turns out it wasn't going to. Not saying any more on the subject, but boo.Also, at the end of the book is a piece of what looks like handwritten sheet music called "Enna's Wildwood." Obviously, I whipped out my flute (heh) and played it to see what it would sound like. It sounded a lot like creepy video game music that you'd hear in an enchanted forest in one of the Mana or Zelda games. I was kind of into it. So that was fun. If you can read sheet music, give it a try!Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!3.5 stars
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  • Constantine
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5/5.0Genre: Fantasy + Romance + Young AdultEnna lives with her ill father in the wildwood. Many kinds of mystings roam there all the time. They are after something she has. She needs to get rid of them by making a deal with one (Maekallus) but what is the catch? To give up her soul? or give up her heart?I always wanted to read the Paper Magic series by Charlie N. Holmberg but that has not happened yet. I decided to pick up this standalone fantasy since it is her latest work. First Rating: 3.5/5.0Genre: Fantasy + Romance + Young AdultEnna lives with her ill father in the wildwood. Many kinds of mystings roam there all the time. They are after something she has. She needs to get rid of them by making a deal with one (Maekallus) but what is the catch? To give up her soul? or give up her heart?I always wanted to read the Paper Magic series by Charlie N. Holmberg but that has not happened yet. I decided to pick up this standalone fantasy since it is her latest work. First thing, isn't that a stunning cover? I love how Enna is depicted on that cover. Both cover and title are totally fit for the story. The author's writing style is lyrical, sometimes I felt she was overdoing it. I would not say it was completely over the top but I felt it needed to be toned down a bit to fit the story more.I know this is a short book but still when we talk about fantasy one will think about a bigger cast of characters that have significant roles in moving the story forward. This is what The Will and the Wilds lacked. I mean besides the two main protagonists there were two side characters that had no big role in the story. So we are left only with the main protagonists. I expect more than that from a fantasy book.I felt the romance dosage was way more than the fantasy elements. Although somehow I liked the chemistry between Enna and Maekallus, I still felt that their relationship or romance had a bigger focus than the world-building. I would call this more a romantic story with a fantasy element than a fantasy book with romance. The story is enjoyable but it is forgettable, at least to me. Available on Kindle Unlimited
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "Monsters are only ever fascinating from afar."The Shape of Water meets Beauty and the Beast in this enthralling retelling that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and your heart beat ten times faster. Enna has a personal connection to Mystings and knows the fear that they bring out. Her Mother was killed by one while she was pregnant with Enna. Her Father saved her life by cutting her out of the womb. Now it’s only the two of them and her Father isn’t in the best of health. "Monsters are only ever fascinating from afar."The Shape of Water meets Beauty and the Beast in this enthralling retelling that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and your heart beat ten times faster. Enna has a personal connection to Mystings and knows the fear that they bring out. Her Mother was killed by one while she was pregnant with Enna. Her Father saved her life by cutting her out of the womb. Now it’s only the two of them and her Father isn’t in the best of health. Living near the Wildwood isn’t safe for them since Mystings roam those woods. When one attacks her one night, she uses a Mysting to fight back. Using a Mysting comes with a price and a price that could cost her dearly. Maekallus is the Mysting that she made the deal with. His price is a kiss but that kiss can cost her her soul. But she has an ability that one of else has. It comes to a shock not only to her but to Maekallus as well. That one small price has lead Maekallus to be trapped in the real world and that begins to eat him alive. The suffering goes both ways and it starts destroying Enna too. Enna must give a kiss willingly to save them both temporarily. To break the binding that dooms them, they must hunt down their Mysting attacker and destroy that Mysting before it’s too late. The Will and the Wilds was definitely a unique retelling with quite the twist. This epic fairytale romance will make that Romeo and Juliet romance come alive. That people from two different sides of the realm can be together happily. Fingers are crossed for a story just involving Tennith.
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: (4/5 Stars)Title: The Will and the WildsAuthor(s): Charlie N. HolmbergCharacter(s): ― Enna Rydar: 20 years old, Brunette, Blue Eyed― Maekallus: Red, Yellow EyedSetting: ―Tag(s): Romance, Fantasy, SupernaturalContent Rating: PGPOV: First Person (Heroine)Smexy Level: SubtleFavorite Quote(s): ― "Beware the narvals, formed from the spilled blood of bastards. They feed upon souls, and will steal one with a willing kiss."― "Little mortal, you’ve just half a soul left. Be careful how you Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 Stars)Title: The Will and the WildsAuthor(s): Charlie N. HolmbergCharacter(s): ― Enna Rydar: 20 years old, Brunette, Blue Eyed― Maekallus: Red, Yellow EyedSetting: ―Tag(s): Romance, Fantasy, SupernaturalContent Rating: PGPOV: First Person (Heroine)Smexy Level: SubtleFavorite Quote(s): ― "Beware the narvals, formed from the spilled blood of bastards. They feed upon souls, and will steal one with a willing kiss."― "Little mortal, you’ve just half a soul left. Be careful how you divide it."― "What is a soul if not an extension of the heart?"― “I am the afterlife. I was created by death. I am the end. When I perish, I am gone.”Overall Opinion:To think that a kiss, a small and brief kiss, could change one's soul and pushed the characters towards a life or death predicament when a sudden bargain is made. The author was able to graced us with a whimsical fantasy novel that she was able to bring to life with her easy going writing style, unique and diverse characters and intriguing plot. From page one, the reader is brought into this fantasy world filled with mortals and mysting, and the stone that alters the lives of Maekallus and Enna forever. Despite how much I adore this read I will notate that I wished the author would have touch more base on the Deep (a supernatural realm so to speak) and the creatures that lurked around Wildwood. That was an element of the story that initially drew me in and I was slightly disappointed she deferred from providing more details in regards to that aspect when it was obvious the romance portion was the main focus of the plot, causing that to be pushed aside. Which wasn't bad mind you but I was left wanting to learn more about the mythical creatures that lurked through the woods, their history and horrid behavior. Nevertheless, it was an enthralling supernatural and fantasy read that ended on a high note (finally an ending I can stand by) in which case I would recommend to just about anyone to pick this up and give it a go. You won't be disappointed.
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  • JenacideByBibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    “The strong prey on the weak, it has always been so. The setting is just happenstance.” A species called mystings have been wandering the human realm and the wildwood near Enna’s village for years. They lurk through the darkness of the trees, killing and consuming those left unprotected or caught unawares. But Enna has always been kept safe by a charm on her wrist that warns of a mystings proximity-a charm her father stole from the monster realm. So when her home is suddenly attacked by not “The strong prey on the weak, it has always been so. The setting is just happenstance.” A species called mystings have been wandering the human realm and the wildwood near Enna’s village for years. They lurk through the darkness of the trees, killing and consuming those left unprotected or caught unawares. But Enna has always been kept safe by a charm on her wrist that warns of a mystings proximity-a charm her father stole from the monster realm. So when her home is suddenly attacked by not one, but two goblers, Enna is forced into the wildwood to summon a mysting in the hopes of striking a deal. She has heard that some mystings may be persuaded into work by mortals, and Enna hopes that a mysting will kill the creatures that seem to be hunting her. But the deal Enna makes will cost her more than she planned on bargaining with, and her soul might not be the only thing up for shattering. “Mystings should never be trusted. Ever.” The Will and The Wilds is set in a much earlier period where horses are the primary use of transportation, food is traded in a market of a small village and talk of witchcraft is either whispered about or scoffed at. Enna and her father are practically shunned by their fellow villagers due to Enna’s fascination with the mystings that plague their world, and because her father experiences frequent lapses in his memories. Though there have been reports and sightings of mystings in the wildwood near their village, many villagers assume that they do not exist or think they have left. But Enna knows full well they are still very close and prowling the woods.The day that Enna was born, some seventeen years ago, her father and mother were attacked by a species of mysting that delights in consuming humans. With Enna still in the womb, and her mother being horribly eaten alive (ugh, I know), Enna’s father is forced to cut her out of his wife and flee. Her father then finds a way into the monster realm (where the mystings originate from) and steals a charm from a powerful creature, which he brings back to Enna and gifts to her for protection. The charm that has hung on her wrist ever since warns of a nearby mysting. With this charm, several herbs and rituals to keep mystings at bay, and a journal that has been passed down in her family which holds vital information about the monster realm and its creatures, Enna is able to keep herself and her father safe. Until, of course, their home is attacked. From her journal, Enna learns that sometimes mystings will make a bargain with humans if a summoning circle is cast. So naturally, the poor dear casts the circle. “Some of the intelligent species of mysting are tricksters-these are creatures more interested in toying with mortals than feasting upon them. However, do not let that fact convince you they are docile, for often a trickster will claim something far more valuable than flesh.” Enter: Maekallus.Devilish mysting creature with a razor-sharp tail, a horn sword and the kiss that will do more than just take a girls breath away……it’ll take her soul too. ❤Maekallus is a type of mysting called a Narval, who consume human souls with a kiss. After a deal between Enna and Maekallus turns south, and Maekallus is bound to the mortal realm with his body slowly decaying into a bubbly black tar, Enna makes the decision to willingly kiss him in order to save him. But what would normally leave a human completely soulless, somehow, only a piece of Enna’s soul is given to Maekallus. “The mortal realm will devour a mysting’s body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind.” This story is such a fantastical and beautiful tale. It blends two of my favorite genres (Fantasy and Historical Fiction) into an old-timey tale where portals to realms are opened, and a human becomes bound to a monster. It has a slight Beauty and the Beast romance mixed with a Grimm fairy tale darkness. Instead of angels and demons, it’s demons and humans, and it is totally swoon-worthy! The romance doesn’t overpower this wonderful plot by making it an eye-roll fest full of forced physical contact or stomach roiling one-liners. It feels natural and purposeful, and fully adds to the story that the author tells.“It’s nothing like Tennith’s kiss. There’s desperation in the movement of his lips. They’re rough, but in a different way. Tennith was much warmer.Maekallus is like kissing the twilight.”There is a slight love triangle that happens, but trust me, it is so inconsequential to the big picture and it actually adds an amusing scene to the story that I was LOVING. I found Enna to be a very proper, strong, loyal and good-hearted character who is incredibly selfless. On more than one occasion she is willing to sacrifice herself for someone else, and she exudes a determination and strength that is to be envied. Maekallus is…mysterious. As a mysting he doesn’t have a soul, so he does not understand human emotions like fear, sadness, happiness, love or regret. He finds amusement in toying with humans and delights in consuming a soul to feel the short-lived traces of their emotions.Though I fully enjoyed this story and read it in a day, I did find that there was a lot of moments that were either left unexplained or just weren’t tied up properly. The world-building wasn’t really there, the explanation of how a portal from the monster realm opened into the human world was vague, and scenes that didn’t center on Maekallus and Enna were left off to the side without a second glance. There was a lot of exciting moments that kept me hooked throughout the read, but I do wish there was more emphasis put on descriptions and extra history/research on the mystings in proximity to humans. But with that said, I also don’t think it takes away from the story at all. The writing is beautiful and eloquent, the dialogue is a fantastic representation of the times and the story as a whole is truly beyond creative. It was a perfect blend of fantasy, romance, sweetness and darkness.
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    ARC Received via NetGalley for an honest review You can find this review and others on my blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...Charlie Holmberg, you've done it again!!!I fell in love with Charlie Holmberg back when I read her Paper Magician series. I have always been a fan of origami so when I read the synopsis that it was about a magical origami I couldn't pass it up. Instantly I knew that I found a new favorite author. I flew through that series and couldn't help but want more!!! ARC Received via NetGalley for an honest review You can find this review and others on my blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...Charlie Holmberg, you've done it again!!!I fell in love with Charlie Holmberg back when I read her Paper Magician series. I have always been a fan of origami so when I read the synopsis that it was about a magical origami I couldn't pass it up. Instantly I knew that I found a new favorite author. I flew through that series and couldn't help but want more!!! So when I saw The Will and the Wilds pop up on NetGalley I couldn't help myself and instantly started smashing the request button. Then to my happy surprise, I was approved!!!! The book gods were looking out for me that day because I could hardly contain my excitement. Now here we are the day before its published out into the world and I finally can tell all my friends to READ THIS BOOK!!!! It was exactly what I was hoping for when I read the description. Dark and twisted yet still in that same feel good Charlie Holmberg fashion, you are left with a happy contented feeling that you just went through quite the adventure and found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.If I could compare this book to anything, I would definitely say that it has a Labyrinth feel. Complete with a forbidden romance and monsters and magic and all the ingredients for a book that you can't help but devour. It starts off with our main character Enna narrowly avoiding a gobler attack in her home. But what's strange is that normally the monsters of the wildwood don't venture close to the people of her village and definitely not past the wards and herbs that are supposed to keep them away. But when she wakes up to find a monster in her home in the middle of the night she knows something is different. It soon becomes clear that the stone her father risked his life to find and give her for protection might be the very thing that is putting her in danger. So Enna takes it upon herself to find a solution, but at what cost? Can she save herself and her father without creating more danger? Has she made a huge mistake? You know that saying that if you're going through hell, keep going? I think that was probably the mindset our sweet and innocent Enna had to keep to in order to try and right this horrible mess she gets into,.And of course no story can be complete for me with out some sort of love interest, and one of my favorite tropes lies within these pages... FORBIDDEN ROMANCE! I love when two characters can't be together but against all odds they fall for each other anyway. This is one ANGSTY love that you are rooting for helplessly throughout and ugh its so good too!!! I loved this love!!!This book was a wonderful journey through the dangerous wildwood and beyond to the Deep. Full of dark monsters, magic, and love there really isn't anything that this story lacks. Not to mention it all wraps up neatly within one book. No waiting for the next in the series, no cliffhanger ending. Just pure enjoyment from beginning to end. There weren't any dull moments, any lags or parts where I was just waiting for something to happen. It was one of those books where every part had meaning and was put there for a reason. Which is why I appreciate Charlie Holmberg so much as an author. She is a wonderful writer that doesn't get the notice that she deserves because everything she writes is just so damn good!!! If you're looking for that dark but lovely story to kick off your 2020 look no further, its here!!!
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to 47North for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
  • Caitlyn McFarland
    January 1, 1970
    I got to read this as Charlie was writing it. Heavy romance + gorgeous fantasy with a dark and whimsical edge--this really is Charlie at her best.
  • Alexandria ☾
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a free arc of this to read and review. What is a soul if not an extension of the heart? This was so freaking good. Like Jesus Christ, I didn't expect this.I went back and forth on whether to give this 4.5 or 5 stars, since this is an arc and I tend to be more strict about books I'm obligated to review, but I've decided to rate this 5 stars simply because I feel that the overall enjoyment this book gave me far outweighs its flaws, not that there are many to Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a free arc of this to read and review. What is a soul if not an extension of the heart? This was so freaking good. Like Jesus Christ, I didn't expect this.I went back and forth on whether to give this 4.5 or 5 stars, since this is an arc and I tend to be more strict about books I'm obligated to review, but I've decided to rate this 5 stars simply because I feel that the overall enjoyment this book gave me far outweighs its flaws, not that there are many to begin with.I've had terrible luck with arcs in the past. I've always picked out books I was certain I would enjoy, but they've all been two star reads for me for various reasons. Until now.Enna is a twenty year-old girl that spends her days taking care of her father and using various plants to protect them from the wildwood, a forest near their home filled with monsters called mystings, the majority of which are hostile towards humans. Enna wears a bracelet with a stone that can sense them, and after being attacked by one and sensing another, she summons an intelligent mysting named Maekallus to kill it for her. This is where the story really begins. This book grabbed my attention from page one. The author wasted little time jumping into the story, and her writing really drew me into what was happening. I really liked Enna as a character. She was caring, ambitious and intelligent. She was flawed like a real person but wasn't one of those weak, timid main characters that I despise. I liked how no-nonsense and borderline hostile she was to Maekallus in the beginning. It wasn't one of those stories where the female lead starts off headstrong and fierce and ends up this sappy, whiny, useless blob. It took a while to change, and when she did, she kept the most likable aspects of herself and I enjoyed that. I didn't particularly like Maekallus in the beginning but he grew on me as his character developed. I disliked his dishonesty, but I realize I probably would've been just as deceptive in his situation. Again, another flawed but likable character. I also really appreciated his character design, more specifically his horn and hooves. Most authors would avoid adding traits like that to their male lead, since I feel like some readers wouldn't like it. Especially in the young adult romance genre. His hair & eye color didn't hurt either 😏One of the main reasons I read fantasy is for the magic and the creatures. This book did not disappoint. There is nothing I love more than the suspense and the anxiety given to me from a book filled with dangerous fantastical creatures, and a main character that lives/works close to them. These creatures in particular were fun to read about. I enjoyed their weird descriptions and reading about their habits and the things that can hurt or deter them.The little descriptions and tidbits of information at the beginning of every chapter were a nice touch, as were the formal way the characters spoke. It really gave me a sense of feeling that they were actually in another time and another place, and unlike some other fantasies, I never forgot it wasn't my world.However, I do feel that the ending was a tad rushed and definitely could've been extended into more than one book had the author chosen to do so. Sadly though, I have a feeling this will be a standalone novel since everything was wrapped up by the end of this, albeit leaving a few unanswered questions.I'm very upset at that, since I would've loved a sequel where (view spoiler)[Maekallus stayed as a mysting for longer and followed Enna and either started developing feelings for her as a mysting or became so curious about her that he wanted to become human. I also would've loved to read about Enna becoming a scholar, studying more mystings, and of course dealing with more conflict because I live for that shit. (hide spoiler)]I also felt that some things came too easily to the main character at times. There was the occasional plot device here and there and a couple of scenes were a bit anticlimactic.But the only real issue I had with this book was that I felt like every loose end wasn't tied up and it could've been so much longer and so much more. I hope that the author writes a sequel even though I don't think she will. Overall, this was a very fun read and I would recommend this to young adults and new adults that like fantasy, dangerous creatures, & romance that takes time to develop.
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  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    This book tried really hard to be all creepy and mystical and haunting and magical, and stuff. Like The Bear and the Nightingale or Uprooted or something. Unfortunately, it didn't quite make it. PLOT The plot centres on 20-year-old Enna Rydar, an only child who lives with her mentally disturbed father near the wildwood - a forest where the barrier between the mortal realm and mysting realm is notoriously thin. Mystings are basically fae, and they're highly dangerous. Enna has a Telling Stone This book tried really hard to be all creepy and mystical and haunting and magical, and stuff. Like The Bear and the Nightingale or Uprooted or something. Unfortunately, it didn't quite make it. PLOT The plot centres on 20-year-old Enna Rydar, an only child who lives with her mentally disturbed father near the wildwood - a forest where the barrier between the mortal realm and mysting realm is notoriously thin. Mystings are basically fae, and they're highly dangerous. Enna has a Telling Stone which her father stole from the mysting realm for her when she was born, and it warns her if there are any mystings nearby. One night she wakes up to find that, despite all the protective barriers placed around her house, a gobler (particulously vicious type of mysting) has got in. She only narrowly escapes with her life. Enna determines to make a bargain with a mysting for protection, and ends up summoning Maekallus, a narval born from the spilt blood of human bastards who steals souls with a kiss. Though he agrees to kill a gobler for her in exchange for gold, unforeseen mishaps mean that their souls become tied together. They have only a limited time to free themselves before they both waste away. MY THOUGHTS Holmberg's writing is pretty good. Not the most lyrical I've ever come across, and perhaps not quite lyrical enough for this type of story material, but it did the job well enough. The part I actually took the most issue with was the romance. Enna has spent her whole life afraid of mystings - it felt implausible that she would be getting snippy with Maekallus from the moment of their meeting, without any fear over the consequences of talking to a mysting like that. I also felt no real chemistry between them and was underwhelmed by the inadequately-explained ending. The reasons for them falling in love with each other never struck me as realistic. The worldbuilding also had nothing new to offer. It was every basic pseudo-medieval fantasy world ever. Enna was too much of a good character - she's willing to sacrifice her life to save that of Maekallus, literally a mysting who wants to kill her, without a second thought. That level of thoughtless self-sacrifice has never appealed to me in a heroine because it feels so unrealistic. At least think about what you'd be sacrificing if you died for someone else, before you go off and do it! I'm not saying I'd never die for anyone, just that I'd probably have a regret or two before I went off and did it. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to read this after my friend Nenia read it and mentioned the movie Labyrinth in one of her updates. Naturally, I had to request it from NetGalley, because any comparison to Labyrinth, however minuscule, must not be taken lightly.I ended up really enjoying it! It was a rather slow-paced novel, and as a result, I took a while to read it. Not for lack of interest, but because the book seemed to demand it.For such a short book, the characterization and world-building were great. Without I wanted to read this after my friend Nenia read it and mentioned the movie Labyrinth in one of her updates. Naturally, I had to request it from NetGalley, because any comparison to Labyrinth, however minuscule, must not be taken lightly.I ended up really enjoying it! It was a rather slow-paced novel, and as a result, I took a while to read it. Not for lack of interest, but because the book seemed to demand it.For such a short book, the characterization and world-building were great. Without saying too much, I really enjoyed the progression of the relationship between Enna and Maekellus. It was flawless. I'm not exactly thrilled with the way the author chose to end things, but I'm not complaining either.In general, I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but this is exactly the type of fantasy I enjoy. It was quiet, the scale wasn't too large, and it concentrated on just a few characters rather than several. I'm glad I requested it, even though I had so many other books ahead of it in my never-ending TBR.Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to review!
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  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think is deliberately a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast but I can certainly understand that some readers would consider it so because it's a book about a girl of good heart entangled in the life of a rather unattractive male. I personally thought it reminded me more of the infamous Loki because I as a reader was tricked as much as the heroine Enna was but then again that's entirely my own fault because Maekallus never tried to hide his true nature. Instead we follow this journey and I don't think is deliberately a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast but I can certainly understand that some readers would consider it so because it's a book about a girl of good heart entangled in the life of a rather unattractive male. I personally thought it reminded me more of the infamous Loki because I as a reader was tricked as much as the heroine Enna was but then again that's entirely my own fault because Maekallus never tried to hide his true nature. Instead we follow this journey and as much as it felt like a traditional dark fairy tale it also completely enamoured me with twists and revelations along the way. This is a romance of sorts, it does feature magic and curses and there is a villain although sadly I thought him underused. I think for me this world the author has created was imaginative and interesting with an unlikely hero who whilst not completely monstrous was capable of being a monster and yet the power of a young woman's soul taught him that with love anything is possible.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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  • Dawn Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Sigh. I love this author. I have loved every book I have read by her and was truly excited to see this on NetGalley and then to receive it as an ARC. And then I started reading it and that is when my excitement ended. From almost the beginning, I knew this book was not really for me, but I kept reading because as I said before, I LOVE this author. And as I read, the more it became apparent I was not going to love this book. This book was boring. B O R I N G. I didn't feel anything for Enna at Sigh. I love this author. I have loved every book I have read by her and was truly excited to see this on NetGalley and then to receive it as an ARC. And then I started reading it and that is when my excitement ended. From almost the beginning, I knew this book was not really for me, but I kept reading because as I said before, I LOVE this author. And as I read, the more it became apparent I was not going to love this book. This book was boring. B O R I N G. I didn't feel anything for Enna at all - she was a foolish girl who kept doing foolish things and then sat around wondering just HOW she got into this mess and how was she going to get out of it ALL while getting the very thing that is lying to her and stealing her soul. Yeah, no. And while Maekallus is an interesting character, his arc is also boring. It just all fell so flat for me. And then to read 33 chapters of this and get THAT ending? R E A L L Y? Sigh. I still love this author and I will still read her books. But I certainly hope that this book was a fluke and that she will get back her stride. She is an awesome writer and can write so much better than this and her fans deserve a better book than this ultimately was. Thank you to NetGalley and 47North Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a cool world! I liked the idea of this book and the world has so much possibility. The magic and mystic creatures and half bloods are so interesting and I'm really hoping for more in this universe. I enjoyed Enna and Maekallus as characters and their relationship was slow and beautiful and well written. I also liked seeing Enna with her father and how much she loved him. I can't wait for the world to see this!
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the idea of this book but the execution was really disappointing. The characters were one-dimensional, the world wasn't explained well and it felt like everything happened too quickly but it was still somehow boring. It was also told in duel perspective and it shouldn't have been. I felt like knowing what was going on from Maekallus's perspective gave too much away. Overall, it felt like a poorly written debut and it shouldn't have with as many books as this author has written.
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  • Dany
    January 1, 1970
    Will and the Wilds follows Enna who "oops I summoned a demon and he asks my soul" and Maekallus "I'm a broody smirking hottie with horns who's gonna steal your soul , babe"Enna is the plain YA protagonist who's living far from the town and has her own plantation and doesn't need to actually talk with people. Except for her really sick father she has to take care of. Her family history is obviously a "mystery" with her dad's slipping memory.Maekallus is that character who can be easily found Will and the Wilds follows Enna who "oops I summoned a demon and he asks my soul" and Maekallus "I'm a broody smirking hottie with horns who's gonna steal your soul , babe"Enna is the plain YA protagonist who's living far from the town and has her own plantation and doesn't need to actually talk with people. Except for her really sick father she has to take care of. Her family history is obviously a "mystery" with her dad's slipping memory.Maekallus is that character who can be easily found roaming in the YA woods. Silent , saving , caring and doesn't show it. Ugh.Next , the plot.The plot didn't have the Charlie's touch I've accustomed to , in the Numina series. The story fails all the elements it promised. It tried to be an epic fantasy and turned out paranormal but not quite.The tale as old as time , retold in the worst possible version.Poor woman but brilliant , accidentally summoning a demon and obligated to help him and everything is just a bloody mess.Characters:Ermmm , you get it.World building:Small town + Monster mixer = Will and the Wilds world building.And sidenote , there's actually a Groot lookalike.I don't really feel like recommending this trashy retelling to anyone.Butt if you wanna read a great beauty and the beast retelling , Read Language of thorns by Leigh Bardugo. It has a short story of the retelling and I love it.
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  • julie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Sheila Goicea
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from 47North via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.Content Warning: Gore, Death, Mental Health Without a soul, she doesn't have a will. The Wild and the Wilds is a story about how a soul ultimately defines the line between the human and the monster. The town of Fendell is situated on the edge of the Wilds—a I received an ARC of this book from 47North via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.Content Warning: Gore, Death, Mental Health Without a soul, she doesn't have a will. The Wild and the Wilds is a story about how a soul ultimately defines the line between the human and the monster. The town of Fendell is situated on the edge of the Wilds—a large, magical forest teeming with foul mystings. Mystings, monstrous creatures not unlike tricksters, goblins, and such, are not to be trusted. Enna and her father live in the Wilds. Having lost her mother before she was even born (view spoiler)[(her father had to cut her out of her mother's body) (hide spoiler)] her mother was attacked and killed by a pack of ruthless mystings. Her father, having traveled to the monster realm to find a charm to keep her safe, lost his mind in turn. Mankind cannot linger in the monster realm, just as mystings cannot abide here long. Our worlds are too different, and they reject those who don't belong. My father stayed too many hours in the monster realm, and in exchange, it claimed the sharper bits of his mind. And so he retired here with the Telling Stone, learned to grow mushrooms, and the rest of our lives have been uneventful. With her father's intermittent lucidness, Enna must take care of them both. Recently, mysting appearances have been more frequent. Enna knows, because the charm her father gave her tells when a mysting is near. After a direct attack on their house and Enna being marked by a Gobler, Enna turns to desperation and summons a mysting to help her against the Gobler threat. A humanoid/equine creature known as a narval appears, and she strikes with him a deal—he will hunt down the Goblers threatening her, and she will give him two war medallions of her father's in turn. Soon after, Maekallus finds the Goblers, but is defeated, cursed, and trapped in the human world to die. Enna finds him, deteriorating quickly, as her world won't allow him to live for long. To save him, she offers him a kiss. The tricky thing about a narval is that they steal one's soul with a willing kiss. Enna kissed Maekallus willingly, and her soul fractured. Healed for now, Maekallus—the soul eater—begins to lose his monstrous form, and Enna begins to hollow out from the missing pieces of her soul. The two, working together for their own purposes, begin to work together to solve their predicaments. Can the curse be broken to send Maekallus back to his home? Will Enna's soul remain fractured forever? With the threat of the mystings all around, searching for the charm Enna possesses, their time is wearing thin. But for every mysting who's willing to cooperate, there are five others who will eat the flesh off your bones, if you but give them the chance The Will and the Wilds is undoubtedly an intriguing story. I was sucked in the the plight between these two characters immediately. The uniqueness of this story is apparent, as it's not just a story—it's also a lesson. The concept of one's soul is discussed frequently, and how it makes us who we are—human. Humans with a will, at that. If that soul is taken away, or broken, what would happen? While these musings got me thinking, I couldn't help but notice the lack in world-building. Here is an incredible forest, the Wilds, a monster realm, in a seemingly Medieval era with little to reference it all by. These details aren't exactly necessary since they aren't the main point of the story, but are needed to make this story great, in my opinion.Despite the world building, I appreciated the attention that the author delegated to these characters. Watching Enna slowly descend as her soul became more fractured, whilst Maekallus ascended towards a pure form of humanity kept these characters in a pendulum-like-state with Enna's soul anchoring it all at the center. Mystings are creatures born from ill-does of humans. Throughout the entire story, Maekallus character is represented as something impure and inhuman, but moves to become something whole. All-in-all, I thought this was a very creative, unique, and thoughtful read.Vulgarity: Mild.Sexual content: Kissing.Violence: Moderate with some gore.My Rating: ★★★1/2My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook
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  • Rebecca Crunden
    January 1, 1970
    Description: Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive.Me:
  • Kaycee Sterling
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been so excited for this book and I wasn’t disappointed at all! As always, Charlie N Holmberg tells an amazing story! I loved this book as much as I love the rest of her work. Great characters, unique world, and amazing love story! Thank you 47North for allowing me to read this book through Netgalley for an honest review.
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  • Shannon (discoverelysian)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.Available on Kindle Unlimited!This is a story about a human girl who lives with her father near the Wildwood, where mystings roam free from where they came from, The Deep. There, she takes care of her ill father. One day, a mysting come close to her home. To get rid of it, she decided to make a bargain with another mysting. But little did she know that something dangerous is coming. And she forgets Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.Available on Kindle Unlimited!This is a story about a human girl who lives with her father near the Wildwood, where mystings roam free from where they came from, The Deep. There, she takes care of her ill father. One day, a mysting come close to her home. To get rid of it, she decided to make a bargain with another mysting. But little did she know that something dangerous is coming. And she forgets one thing important every human needs to remember: never trust a mysting.I have a hard time deciding whether or not I liked this book. The premise is promising, I'll never tire of magic and monster. But throughout the story, most of the time, I felt distant with the characters. I didn't care about them, I just want to what will happen in the end.Told from the first POV of the main character, Enna, it has a good start. But after a while, it just goes round and round. I wished things would go a little faster but I was stuck with Enna contemplating her love life. I think those pages would be better used to exploring The Deep or other important things. Because the story has a nice background but it was all for nothing. I was disappointed when the climax turned out to be the biggest turn off of this book.So why I gave it 3 stars?Near the end, I was fascinated with Maekallus. As a mysting, he ought to be cold and calculating. But after everything he's been true, he has the most satisfying development. I didn't really care about the romance, but when he said to Enna “He is not me” I BREAK INTO THOUSAND PIECES.Not everything about this book is a letdown. I liked how the magic work and the mystings. There's a little knowledge about them at the front of every chapter. I found it really helpful to get insight into the world and very interesting. If only those things were getting more exposure, I believe I'd love this book.Overall, The Will and The Wilds is a fun read. Easy to get into with various magical monsters called mystings and a star-crossed romance, this is perfect for you who enjoys YA fantasy and is looking for a good new release.Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Babel
    January 1, 1970
    What a pleasurable read. This book is a cozy fantasy rich in monstruous folklore and the value of the soul.Set in the deep of the woods, against a backdrop of superstition and bigotry, two opposing worlds collide in the form of a bright girl and a wild creature. I loved it all. I took a liking to Enna right away because she is smart, brave yet cautious, sweet and caring yet driven and hungry for knowledge. She dabbles in herbs, craves to find out the secrets of the monsters lurking in the What a pleasurable read. This book is a cozy fantasy rich in monstruous folklore and the value of the soul.Set in the deep of the woods, against a backdrop of superstition and bigotry, two opposing worlds collide in the form of a bright girl and a wild creature. I loved it all. I took a liking to Enna right away because she is smart, brave yet cautious, sweet and caring yet driven and hungry for knowledge. She dabbles in herbs, craves to find out the secrets of the monsters lurking in the dangerous forest, and is assertive in the face of threat. Unfortunately for her, that attitude leads her to make a devious pact with a hooved creature intent on trickery and violence. And so the exciting race to live or die begins. I was mesmerized to learn along with her how to get free from the mess magic had created. And Maekallus is so fascinating with his dark-fairy nature and his netherworld powers. I loved their predicament, how it evolved as well as their complex relationship. It has so much mystery doused in fear, but also tiny seeds of sensuality. I enjoyed learning about the different monsters, the workings of the two worlds.This paranormal Faustian pact is atmospheric, intimate and metaphysical. A battle of wills ensues, of faith and trust and forlorn love that left me staggering and breathless. The forest with its primitive beat becomes as much a character as the trapped, red-haired mysting and the valiant girl who never relents in her mission.This tale may not encompass epic battles, yet it feels trascendental and powerful in its life-or-death pursuit. And the mortal kisses, too! Enna's despair and broken heart jumps out of the page, the threat from the monster underworld pulses between realms, and the impossible qualities of a soul bring on unforseen consequences. For a story about stealing and losing souls, this book is soulful. I loved the sacrifices that were made. They cut the characters deep and my heart went out to them. And I loved how hopeless it seemed to be that they would succeed in liberating the tethered mysting or saving the stolen soul, yet I loved even more the painful, poetic ending that brought a different kind of tears to my eyes.I'm in love with this fabled fairytale touched by Labyrinth and fae folklore in such enticing ways. I wholly recommend it to the curious and the romantic.Favourite quotes : Monsters are only ever fascinating from a far. I'm too tired to cry, so the rain weeps for me.
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  • ℳacarena
    January 1, 1970
    ~This ARC has been gently provided in exchange for an honest review~Enna is a twenty-year-old woman who lives with his father. He was a swordsman many years ago; he fought in The War That Almost Was between mystings and humans. As a consequence of being in the monster realm, his brain has been damaged, so he forget things, and he tends to lose the notion of time. Therefore, Enna takes care of his father, and they only have each other. Enna’s mother died when she was little; she was killed by ~This ARC has been gently provided in exchange for an honest review~Enna is a twenty-year-old woman who lives with his father. He was a swordsman many years ago; he fought in The War That Almost Was between mystings and humans. As a consequence of being in the monster realm, his brain has been damaged, so he forget things, and he tends to lose the notion of time. Therefore, Enna takes care of his father, and they only have each other. Enna’s mother died when she was little; she was killed by mystings. They live near the wildwood, so Enna has a mysting garden, with most of the plants and herbs mystings don’t like, because as she says, "one never knows what will emerge from the wildwood, or when”. One day, Enna realises there’s a gobler -a kind of mysting- near their house, so she places the necessary elements, such as red salts and some herbs, to stop the creature from entering the house, although, it didn’t work at all. Enna decides to summon a mysting who could help her get rid of the gobler. And that’s when Enna meets Maekallus, a very human-like mysting. They make a deal, Maekallus must find the gobler and kill it, but she must give him something in return. What seemed like the best solution, turned out to be one more problem. Enna and Maekallus are now connected, and the price is bigger than she expected. Her soul is at risk. I liked the story, although, I was expecting something different. Sometimes, I felt like it was a bit slow-paced and kept wondering, where’s the action?, but I liked it overall.
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  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely love when a cover perfectly represents what is inside. This one is so pretty too- I love the colors.Enna is an endearing character. Her soul is a main source of focus in this story and for good reason. It really does burn brightly and purely. As Enna shares her soul with Maekallus, he begins to feel and realize things long forgotten. I loved the contrast between dark and light in relation to Enna's soul. The relationship develops slowly between Enna and Maekallus as they work I absolutely love when a cover perfectly represents what is inside. This one is so pretty too- I love the colors.Enna is an endearing character. Her soul is a main source of focus in this story and for good reason. It really does burn brightly and purely. As Enna shares her soul with Maekallus, he begins to feel and realize things long forgotten. I loved the contrast between dark and light in relation to Enna's soul. The relationship develops slowly between Enna and Maekallus as they work through a common problem that binds them. The story also progressed slowly but picked up a bit about half way though. I just finished reading a fast paced, high intensity book so maybe the contrast between that book and this one made it feel extra slow to me. This book definitely wasn't intense and didn't involve my emotions much. It was however, sweet and gentle with a unique plot and likable heroine. This author does a good job of weaving in the magical to spark imagination. While this wasn't my favorite book by this author, I did enjoy it and would easily recommend it to teenage (and older) fantasy lovers. The ending really was magical. 💜 3.5 starsThis book is on Kindle Unlimited.Content: kissing, mild peril, mild violence- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Joanna Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    This book will make you Feel Things. Gorgeous and strange, in the best way.
  • April Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC received from #Netgalley in return for an honest review*Video Review: https://youtu.be/ke8OFlk-5N8This story has a very 'Beauty and the Beast' vibe. Which isn't at all surprising given the characters involved. It was a very standard young adult read with a dark, hard heart creature loving a soft woman.You have a story of a very heart-wrenching romance. I felt Enna's grief the most. She was the character that compelled me. She was very strong-willed and wanted to be very educated, so I *ARC received from #Netgalley in return for an honest review*Video Review: https://youtu.be/ke8OFlk-5N8This story has a very 'Beauty and the Beast' vibe. Which isn't at all surprising given the characters involved. It was a very standard young adult read with a dark, hard heart creature loving a soft woman.You have a story of a very heart-wrenching romance. I felt Enna's grief the most. She was the character that compelled me. She was very strong-willed and wanted to be very educated, so I grasped onto that.This was also a very character-driven story. You get a lot of eternal dialogue going on as both Enna and Maekallus start to learn a little bit more about themselves, learn a little bit more about heart, and a little bit more about soul. The world has a very Russian feel to it. The mystings reminded me a lot of Russian folklore and the creatures that reside in those stories. They've been translated into mystings, these demonic entities. They are creatures that can't stay very long in our realm, which also gives them a little bit of a Fae feel. It all it this very fairytale-like feel. Which I enjoyed quite immensely. However, Enna and Maekallus were the only characters that ever had any true development. Everything else was very flat. Even the world still felt very surface level. There were a lot of things that were hinted at in the story but they were never brought to fruition. I had a lot of questions about dad, about mom, about grandma, about all these side characters, that felt like they had some significance in the story. Especially in the ways that they were mentioned. You never really got the completion of these tidbits that started to play out in the story but then fell away as some of the action sequences started happening and it came closer to the end. Which made this world feel very fuzzy. There was a lot of vagueness.It felt like a story could have been developed a little bit more. At least the world and everything outside of the romance that is happening between these two characters. There are little bits and pieces that are put in there to help push them forward but a lot of it's very much character-driven. It's them internalizing a lot of things and dealing with a lot of things and slowly coming together through all of that. Which isn't bad. It was almost too simple outside of that and didn't feel like it held up the rest of the story. It was a very quick read, enjoyable read and it is something that is good for a quick weekend read.
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  • Keri
    January 1, 1970
    ***Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR and 47North for sending me a physical copy for review***Actual Rating: 3.5 stars Welp, this book kept me up until 3:30am one night because I couldn’t bear to put it down. This romantic fantasy standalone was such a refreshing read and I’m sad that I devoured it so quickly!The Will and the Wilds follows Enna, a young woman considered an oddity among her small town. She spends her days minding the household, selling mushrooms from her and her father’s small ***Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR and 47North for sending me a physical copy for review***Actual Rating: 3.5 stars Welp, this book kept me up until 3:30am one night because I couldn’t bear to put it down. This romantic fantasy standalone was such a refreshing read and I’m sad that I devoured it so quickly!The Will and the Wilds follows Enna, a young woman considered an oddity among her small town. She spends her days minding the household, selling mushrooms from her and her father’s small farm, and expanding her deceased grandmother’s research on Mystings, demons that frequent the human realm and roam the wildwood. When Enna suddenly starts to draw abnormal attention from vicious Mystings, she summons another Mysting to bargain for protection. But the plan falters, and she finds herself bound to the Mysting, Maekallus. Enna begins to trade pieces of her soul to see their bargain through, but she has to decide how much she’s willing to give up to protect not only herself, but also Maekallus.What I loved best about this book is functioned as a great palette cleaner and a fun book to start off the year on. The Will and the Wilds is a light, fun, and sweet read. Though I believe it’s being marketed as Young Adult, Enna’s age of 20 years old technically makes the book New Adult. Nonetheless, this PG-rated (chaste? Basically there’s lots of kissing scenes but no smut) makes it readable for both young YA readers and adults alike. Paranormal romances will never get old in my mind, and this story did not disappoint. I adored the hate-to-love romance that occurred between Enna and Maekallus.Functioning as a light read and a palette cleaner doesn’t mean this novel is without depth. The Will and the Wilds explores the concept of what makes a monster, and in turn, a human. We also see Enna grapple with her own personal desires to become a scholar and researcher of Mystings while also being tied down to her small town and to the care of her father.As one would expect from a short (less than 300 pages!) fantasy standalone primarily focused on the romance, the book was relatively light in its worldbuilding. As I flipped through the pages, I could almost glimpse beyond the corners into other parts of Holmberg’s world, but for the most part, only the bare minimal was touched upon throughout the novel. That being said, threads of eeriness and mystery still manage to snake their way into the book’s atmosphere.The element that I primarily struggled with was the narration. The Will and the Wilds is relayed through a first person perspective of Enna with the occasional chapter from Maekallus’s POV. Though I appreciated seeing inside of Enna’s mind, I found her narration heavy-handed in “telling” (as opposed to showing). Throughout the story, Enna repeatedly reminds the reader of things already known, clarifies the already obvious, or bluntly introduces backstory.Overall, I had a great time reading this book. I know it was intended as a standalone, but if Charlie N. Holmberg ever decides to revisit this world in another book, I would definitely pick it up. I’m looking forward to seeing what Holmberg writes next.Trigger Warnings: lying, manipulation~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~You can see this review, my other reviews & additional bookish posts at my blog: Are You My Book?
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