A Sapphic love story with forbidden magic, witches, secrets, and drama set in an alternate England where magic is forbidden. Read my review of Wild and Wicked things by Francesca May.
Genre: Fantasy, magic realism
Publication Date: 31 March 2022
Source Net Galley
In an alternate post World War One Britain, where everyone knows about but is prohibited from practising magic, Annie has been summoned to Crow Island to sort out her late father’s affairs. Annie discovers she knows less about her estranged father than she thought and discovers his secrets that shatter her world and she struggles to understand her own magic. She becomes embroiled in the drama that surrounds her best friend Bea and the magical attraction she feels towards her mysterious neighbour Emmeline. But will Annie survive the danger consuming her life on Crow Island when the punishment for magic is death?
I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.
This book is beautifully written- I fell in love with lyrical prose, the stories and the lush descriptions of magic and Crow Island. The world-building is detailed and dare I say realistic. If magic existed and was banned the descriptions of black-market magic, bootlegged parties, corruption and how normal people will skirt close to the law would be real.
The book is told from the point of view of Emmaline and Annie. Bea is not a point of view character but she is the person who drives the story forward through her actions and motivations.
Emmaline was fascinating- a strong, conflicted woman who falls madly in love with the wrong woman and finds herself putting her life and the people she cares about in danger when she gives in to this woman’s demands. Emmaline was a realistic character, and I could empathise with her alienating her family by making bad choices.
I would love to hate Bea ( but secretly cant )- a woman who is unapologetically selfish and toxic to the people around her.
I loved Nathan and Isobel, the rest of Emmaline’s family who also have their own little heartaches and problems but who stand by Emmaline’s side.
There is a lot of romance, drama, and angst but I didn’t find this slowed the story down. I am not a huge fan of romance, but it enhanced this book and was an essential part of the story. But there is plenty of magic and action that satisfied the part of me who generally skips romance.
Dubious consent, domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse of children
Perfect for fans
I’m not sure why but this book reminded me of Rebecca. Anyone who loves dark fantasy with witches and a strong thread of romance will enjoy this