The Wicker King

FeaturedHot
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
3264 0
The Wicker King
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 31, 2017
ISBN
1250101549
Buy This Book
      

The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness. Jack once saved August's life…now 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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Bow Down to the Wicker King
(Updated: December 29, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary...

Latest Member Reviews

A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ROSES is an intriguing YA historical fantasy based on a Portuguese legend. The book tackles themes of..."
Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL continues Guinevere's story as she seeks to find her footing in a world that keeps throwing her..."
Loveboat, Taipei
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Ever’s pushy parents have already gotten their way by making her apply to medical school, but..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.3
"SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels..."
The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
How It All Blew Up
 
4.3
"Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker,..."
Now That I've Found You
 
4.0
"Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous..."
Clown in a Cornfield
 
3.3
"When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
4.7
"'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma,..."