Title: A Far Wilder Magic
Author: Allison Saft
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: March 8th, 2022
When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.
In A Far Wilder Magic, Allison Saft has written an achingly tender love story set against a deadly hunt in an atmospheric, rich fantasy world that will sweep you away.
After loving Allison Saft’s debut novel I knew I wanted to read her sophomore novel, but I wish I loved A Far Wilder Magic half as much as I loved Down Comes the Night. I was disappointed with how hard this book was to get through for me.
Margaret Welt’s mother is an alchemist, and she often leaves for weeks on end to do research and Margaret is left alone. Until Weston Winters shows up on her doorstep looking to be her mother’s next apprentice, Margaret had been alone for several months. Margaret is used to being alone and she is best described as a prickly human, whereas Weston has charm down to a science. Both characters are religious and ethnic minorities, which plays a large part in the story (though it isn’t really explained why).
This book had too much plot going on, not enough world-building, and characters that I didn’t buy into or care about. I had a hard time getting through this one because it just didn’t hit any positives for me. I didn’t really care about the romance, though it eventually got sweet, but it started with Weston literally being repulsed at the sight of Margaret and then he suddenly comes to think she’s beautiful almost overnight. There seemed to be several plot holes as well.
There is so much I could say more about what I didn’t vibe with in this book, but I don’t want to come off like I’m discouraging anyone from reading this. Just because it fell extremely flat for me doesn’t mean it won’t be the next person’s five star read. So if you’re a standalone fantasy romance fan, maybe check this one out and see if it’s a new favorite for you.
Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!