I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
Also by this author: The Nature of Witches
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 08/02/2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on: Amazon
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Witches comes an immersive, enemies-to-lovers contemporary fantasy standalone.
After a night of magic turns deadly, Iris Gray vows to never let another person learn she's a witch. It doesn't matter that the Witches' Council found her innocent or that her magic was once viewed as a marvel—that night on the lake changed everything. Now settled in Washington, Iris hides who she really is and vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. And while she loves working at the wildlife refuge she runs with her mother, she loathes Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them.
When Pike makes a particularly hurtful comment, Iris concocts a cruel curse for him. But just as she's about to dispel it, an owl swoops down and steals the curse before flying far away from the refuge. The owl is a powerful amplifier, and if it dies, Iris's dark spell will be unleashed not only on Pike but on everyone in the region.
Forced to work together, Iris and Pike trek through the wilderness in search of the bird that could cost Pike his life. But Pike doesn't know the truth, and as more dangers arise in the woods, Iris must decide how far she's willing to go to keep her secrets safe.
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Last year, I was privileged to be permitted to read and review Rachel Griffin’s debut novel, The Nature of Witches. It was a 5-star read for me and so when I saw her second novel, Wild is the Witch, on NetGalley, I knew I had to request it. The problem was, it wasn’t available for request – I had to wish for it. To my great surprise and joy, my wish was granted!
Wild is the Witch is a standalone novel and is in no way tied to The Nature of Witches. The only way you could say it was tied to her first novel is that both books are about witches. Other than that, there are few similarities.
First, I have to say this – I think the cover is absolutely beautiful. I loved the cover to The Nature of Witches and I love the cover to Wild is the Witch. I swear, I’d buy these books for the covers alone, but let me tell you, these books are more than just a gorgeous cover.
So let’s talk about Wild is the Witch, shall we?
I’m only going to detail the two main characters that we deal with for the majority of the book.
Our sweet witch who had to endure an unspeakable tragedy involving her best friend, Amy, and Amy’s boyfriend, Alex. She’s emotionally scarred from said tragedy and its aftermath, making her wary of telling anyone she is a witch. She’s a true animal lover and her connection with animals is so strong and so evident. I love this character. She has depth and layers – she’s emotional, stronger than she thinks, and she tries her best to do the right thing, always.
Pike is the intern at the wildlife refuge that Iris’ mother owns. He’s obnoxious, arrogant, know-it-all. He always thinks his way is the right way. Iris doesn’t like him much and honestly, at the start of the story, I didn’t like him much either. But he grew on me as the story went along and won me over completely toward the end of the book. He’s a great guy in disguise.
Our story is set in the beautiful, if not a tad wet, Pacific Northwest – Washington state to be precise. While I’ve never been there, I’ve seen enough photos and videos to know that if I weren’t such a city girl, I’d absolutely want to be there. These old forests are the perfect backdrop for stories about magic and for the events that unfold in our book.
Rachel Griffin’s writing style isn’t something I can fully describe. Her books are beautifully written, each word chosen with care. It is easy to follow along with the story and the way in which the story flows makes you just lose yourself in the book. I read half the book in one sitting, and barely wanted to pull myself away to sleep.
I love the plot for this book – a curse never intended to be sent to its recipient, but to be given to the earth, escapes and it is up to Iris to stop it from taking hold. The adventures that ensue in the pursuit of directing the curse where it can do the least harm are in some places hilarious, others heartstopping, and finally heartbreaking. You’ll understand when you read the book, because I’m not going to give it away here.
For me, the intrigue of this book was great. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, wondering if this was when everything would fall apart or fall into place. Never knowing what was coming, always needing to know what was next. This is the way a book should be – unpredictable and highly entertaining.
The relationship between Iris and Pike is a great one. They dislike each other – at least it seems that way – from the beginning, but as they grow as people, they start to grow toward each other. It’s a great dynamic and it has the kind of ups and downs that make it seem real, not just a trope.
I loved this book. No, I love this book. It’s just as good, if not possibly a little better, than The Nature of Witches. I was so invested in the book, I didn’t want to put it down. I also didn’t want it to end, but of course, all books must end at some point.
If you’re into witches, real-world fantasy, and a hint of romance, I definitely recommend Wild is the Witch.