Updated: Jun 18
(4/5) Beware of the mysting and beware of the Deep. Coming January 2020. What would you do to protect your soul?
Enna is considered an outcast by her village because of her papa. Few remember that he was called upon for the war when an army of mystings—monsters—threatened the human realm. Fewer still know that Enna’s mother died at the hands of gobblers, monsters from the Deep, and that her father had to cut her from her mother’s belly. To keep Enna safe—so that she would never suffer like her mother—Enna’s father found a way into the monster realm where he rescues a Telling stone that will allow Enna to sense the presence of mystings and avoid them to stay safe.
When monsters from the realm of the Deep begin appearing in the wildwood beside Enna’s home, each in search of Enna’s precious Telling Stone, she uses magic from her grandmother’s journal and summons a mysting of her own to protect her. Maekallus is different than what Enna suspected as a mysting. He’s more human, with a sense of humor and a trickster personality. Soon they are tied together, and the fate of Enna’s soul rests within Maekallus—literally. With each fragment of Enna’s soul that Maekallus is forced to consume to stay alive, he becomes more human, more like Enna. With each kiss, she breaks off a part of her. And so blossoms a budding romance. But Enna and Maekallus are in danger, and if they do not free Maekallus from the human realm that binds him, they will both parish.
“The mortal realm will devour a mysting body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind.”
This is a beautiful story of change, new love, and sacrifice. It has all the right fairy tale vibes and moves quickly enough to keep you turning pages. I found myself crying by the end. Overall, I’m quite happy with how it ended.
In terms of technicality, this was an easy read—a plus for me. However, I think this story would have been more enjoyable had it been presented in past tense. I find present tense awkward to read, but that’s just me. The majority of The Will and the Wilds was presented in first person present, while the point of view of Mikallus was always presented in third person present. It took some time getting used to switching from present first to present third. However, after I got past that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I also felt some of the world building could have been hashed out in greater detail. It is for those reasons that I have given it four instead of five stars.
The Will and the Wilds is a definite must-read if you like fairy tales, monster inspired creatures, portals to another realm, magic, and fantasy inspired love stories.
I would like to thank NetGally and 47North for the opportunity to read an advanced review copy, and have offered this as my honest review in exchange.