The Wren Hunt
NOMINATED FOR THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS TEEN/YOUNG ADULT BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018
‘Beautiful, eerie, dark and dreamy’ MELINDA SALISBURY
‘Watson’s writing has the sort of poise rarely found in a debut’ KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE
‘Thrilling and otherworldly’ SUNDAY TIMES
Every winter, Wren Silke is chased through the forest in a warped version of a childhood game. The boys who haunt her are judges, powerful and frightening pursuers, who know nothing of her true identity. If they knew she was an augur, their sworn enemy, the game would turn deadly.
But Wren is on the hunt, too. Sent undercover as an intern to the Harkness Foundation – enemy headquarters – her family’s survival rests on finding a secret meant to stay hidden. As the enmity between two ancient magics reaches breaking point, Wren is torn between old loyalties and new lies. And trapped in the most dangerous game of her life.
Part thriller, part love story, this captivating debut novel will leave readers spellbound.
The most superb collection of character and fantasy and love and landscape I have read since Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights * Hilary McKay * A modern day fairy tale ... Throwing romance, magical visions and gruesome rituals into the pot, this is a thrilling and otherworldly depiction of Irish culture * Sunday Times Magazine * Beautiful, eerie, dark and dreamy ... An absolutely stunning mix of myth and legend and family saga. I haven't stopped thinking about it * Melinda Salisbury * The Wren Hunt occupies an eerie, in-between place, where fantasy and reality meet in contemporary Ireland infused with ancient magic ... Variously described as folklore, fantasy and mystery, The Wren Hunt wears its labels lightly, shedding one genre for another with a sort of slippery grace ... Engaging contemporary storytelling that rings with ancient resonances. While fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Pead ar O Guilin and Melinda Salisbury will find plenty to savour here, the book is its own thing entirely * Kiran Millwood Hargrave * Beautiful ... This YA novel draws on folktale and myth to weave a story that melds reality and fantasy almost perfectly ... Heartfelt, deeply spiritual; we look forward to seeing more books from Mary Watson in the years to come * SFX * The tentacles of this story reach deep into Ireland's mythological past, in a haunting tale ... The story is riveting, set in a modern country town but at all times laced with reminders of more violent but intriguing times * Irish Examiner * In this moody magical thriller, a girl with a secret identity and a talent that doubles as a curse has to outwit her enemies, survive her own damaging power, and follow her heart. For fans of The Call and The Shannara Chronicles * Buzzfeed * Gripping and romantic, it shares the idea of violent adolescent initiation into adult life * New Statesman * The Wren Hunt rings with ancient, subtle magic, masterfully transmuted into words. A tale that gets into your bones * Samantha Shannon * The Wren Hunt has a dreamy folk-horror sense about it from the outset: the drubbing of an underlying war drum ... A story that unfurls and peels apart like a flower-human hybrid, bleeding as it blooms * Times Literary Supplement * [I have] fallen under the spell of The Wren Hunt, a beautifully written story and unlike anything I have read ... Magical and real * Jenny McLachlan * A beautiful mix of myth and magic and discovering the path you want to tread * Karen Gregory * Folklore, secrets, betrayal, magic, forbidden love and dark discoveries. Eerie, atmospheric, seductive and completely captivating * Katherine Webber * The language is lyrical, the concept unique and, while comparisons are tricky to make, I'd recommend this highly to fans of Frances Hardinge's thought-provoking fantasy * LoveReading * Dreamy ... Protagonist Wren is endearing, and her struggles with a power that threatens her own sanity are a compelling thread throughout the narrative * Irish Times *
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