Review Detail

 
The Wicker King Featured
Young Adult Fiction
(Updated: December 29, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Bow Down to the Wicker King

K. Ancrum’s debut novel, The Wicker King, offers a glimpse into the unraveling of the human psyche.

August Bateman and Jack Rossi have always been friends. Their mythology reaches from the shadows of the past into the present narrative of the novel, affecting every moment that comes to pass. While the chapter structure is clipped, the style lends to tension and an anxious energy which hovers over the reader in much the same way it does the characters of the book. And through it all, remains Kayla Ancrum’s lyricism, which is equal parts spellbinding and haunting.

This poetic style of writing lends itself well to the notions of magic and fantasy that fill the dark nature of this novel. But Ancrum’s story is not damsels in distress or happily ever afters, but rather filled with brambles and dead birds eating living flesh, champions and kings and more secrets hidden beyond the wild wood of Jack Rossi’s mind. In this formidable fantasy, August is ready to follow Jack, even if he can’t see anything himself.

What emerges from their adventure is both horrific and heartbreaking, testing the bonds of friendship and exposing the toxicity of August and Jack’s codependent relationship. Even as these friends do things they shouldn’t, it is clear they have little in the way of resources or choices, and so they choose to go to the edge of insanity in order to bring Jack back into reality. And readers are forced to follow them into the darkness; quite literally as the pages turn from white to gray to black. The book’s design lends itself to August and Jack’s descent into darkness, serving as a tangible reinforcement into the ways we fail and fall as humans.

Between poems written on walls resembling the nonsensical writing of Lewis Carroll in his “Jabberwocky” poem to prose written in poignant and heartbreaking ways, Kayla Ancrum’s debut is one that haunts long after the last page. What’s left is not a simple coming out story, but rather a story about people trying to find their way around the limitations of love and loss and human resilience.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince (Emily Windsnap, #8)
Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ice Garden
Allergic to the sun, Jess sets out to explore the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Three Little Superpigs: Once Upon a Time
Everyone thinks they know how the Three Little Pigs defeated...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Song for a Whale
In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Maybe Tomorrow?
Elba has a big block. She's been dragging it around...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Very Impatient Caterpillar
HEY! What are you guys doing? ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wonders of Nature: Explorations in the World of Birds, Insects and Fish
Bright-eyed birds, evanescent butterflies, tropical fish and other pleasures await...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Final Step (Lock and Key #3)
The New York Times bestselling author of the Peter and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pretend She's Here
Mega-bestselling author Luanne Rice returns with a ripped-from-the-headlines story of...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
You Made Me a Dad
In this touching celebration of fatherhood, the close bond between...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cicada
Cicada tells the story of a hardworking little cicada who...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam
Naval aviator Jeremiah Denton was shot down and captured in...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Swap'd
After her Click'd catastrophe, Allie Navarro is determined to redeem...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stick Dog Gets the Tacos (Stick Dog #9)
When Karen sprints into Stick Dog’s pipe and declares an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tin
Tin
In an alternative England of the 1930s where the laws...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ruff vs. Fluff (Queenie & Arthur #1)
From the outside, Queenie the cat and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince (Emily Windsnap, #8)
 
4.0
"EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE PIRATE PRINCE is the eighth book in the Emily Windsnap series, but easily functions as a..."
The Ice Garden
 
5.0
"THE ICE GARDEN follows Jess, a 12-year-old with extreme photosensitivity, which means she cannot go out safely during the day...."
The Three Little Superpigs: Once Upon a Time
 
4.5
"THE THREE LITTLE SUPERPIGS: ONCE UPON A TIME is an adorable and fun retelling of the classic story of the..."
Song for a Whale
 
5.0
"SONG FOR A WHALE is a heart-warming middle grade story about being different and finding your place. Iris is deaf,..."
Ruff vs. Fluff (Queenie & Arthur #1)
 
4.0
"Arthur, an enthusiastic but somewhat misguided mixed breed dog, and Queenie, a particular and discerning cat, both live with their..."
The Strangers (The Greystone Secrets #1)
 
4.0
"The Greystone kids have a good life, even if their father died when they were all very young. Chess remembers..."
Focused
 
4.0
"lea really wants to do well in school, and thinks it is her own fault that she doesn't get all..."
Maybe Tomorrow?
 
4.5
"MAYBE TOMORROW covers some big and important topics in an approachable way, mainly friendship and grief/depression. Elba carries around a..."
The Very Impatient Caterpillar
 
5.0
"THE VERY IMPATIENT CATERPILLAR is a laugh-out-loud story that will charm parents and young children alike. The very impatient caterpillar..."
The Final Step (Lock and Key #3)
 
4.0
"Moira and James, still reeling from the death of their father and of Ralph in The Downward Spiral, are back..."
Stick Dog Gets the Tacos (Stick Dog #9)
 
5.0
"When Karen comes back from looking for barbecue potato chips in a garbage can that a dog is being abused,..."
Yay for Vaycay! (Pug Pals #2)
 
5.0
"Sunny and Rosy's human packs for vacation, but doesn't take her beloved dogs with her! Instead, they get to visit..."
Braced
 
5.0
"Rachel is very concerned about starting middle school and getting a good position on the soccer team. She is struggling..."
Where the Heart Is
 
4.0
"Rachel's summer is not off to a good start; her parents don't remember her 13th birthday right away, and new..."
You Made Me a Dad
 
5.0
"YOU MADE ME A DAD is a charming story of fatherhood, beginning before the child is born through when they..."
Cicada
 
3.5
"CICADA tells the story of working in a corporate job. Cicada is a good employee who works hard and doesn’t..."
Swap'd
 
4.0
" Allie gets tickets to Game On Con because of her previous coding experiences, and wants her friend from coding..."
Tin
Tin
 
4.0
"Christopher is an orphan boy who works for Mr. Absalom, an engineer who creates mechanicals, a 1930s version of robots...."
Game of Stars  (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #2)
 
4.0
"Kiran has survived her ordeals in The Serpent's Secret, and is back in Parsippany, New Jersey. and is trying to..."
Stone River Crossing
 
4.0
"Martha Tom lives in a town in the Choctaw Nation in 1804, right across the Bok Chitto River from a..."