G. Bianco, 2019
In her sophomore novel, Allison Saft brings readers into a mystical fantasy world filled with alchemy, prejudices, and love. A Far Wilder Magic, which was released on March 8th, is a captivating and enthralling story about two people who find comfort in each other despite their vast differences.
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. 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. He's been fired from every apprenticeship he's landed, and his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret. She begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her. Although they make an unlikely team, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. 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.
Saft’s sophomore novel is brimming with alchemy, tales, and romance. While the plot got off to a slow start, the story picks up about a third of the way through and has you yearning to see what will happen next.
Though it’s classified as a young adult book, I’d probably say it’s more on the mature side of YA. While I think 17 year old me would’ve loved this book, 14 year old me might have been a bit confused with all of the lore in the beginning (and a bit scandalized at some implied steam).
Our main characters, Margaret and Wes, are both vastly different people on the surface, yet find more similarities as they get to know each other. Saft also makes it a point to show how religious prejudices play into a person’s life and how it shapes us and our dreams. This addition to the world-building of the story artfully crafts an allegory to modern day’s persecutions and injustices.
Despite a slow start, this standalone fantasy novel is well-written and is sure to be a fan favorite in the book community!
*I received an ARC from Wednesday Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!