Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli is a YA fantasy read brimming with an atmospheric and woodsy setting.
Emeline Lark left the small town of Edgewood to try to make it as a musician in Montreal. The thing is, whenever Emeline sings, moss and the scents of the woods physically manifest, so try as she might, it’s not that easy to leave her hometown behind.
One evening, Emeline receives a call with news that her grandfather has gone missing from his care home. She ends up rushing back home to try to figure out how her Pa magically disappeared. When she finds out that no one has searched the woods right behind her Pa’s house, she sets out to do it herself.
Emeline has always believed that the tales about the woods were pure fantasy and silly superstitions. She has never put stock in the stories of monsters and fey kings and the giving of tithes. That there was a reasonable explanation behind the town’s misfortunes and accidents. That there could be nothing sinister behind the things that go wrong in Edgewood.
Emeline’s beliefs are proven wrong as soon as she enters the woods. Almost immediately, she begins bargaining with the Wood King for her grandfather’s freedom. She agrees to sing for the king. If the king enjoys her singing, he will free her Pa. If he doesn’t, tough luck.
Review of Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli
I thought I would love this book. I usually gobble up fantasy reads with lush writing, a great magic system, and strong female characters. But I never truly warmed up to this one. Edgewood does have beautiful prose and interesting characters, but I couldn’t tell you much about the magic system. It could have used some more explaining.
There were moments when I felt frustrated with Emeline. For some reason, she couldn’t seem to grasp that the “Mad King” was actually unhinged and was constantly shocked by his behaviour.
At first, the romance was alright. Usually, I don’t mind the enemies-to-lovers trope. But it soon went downhill and into icky territory.
I found the pacing to be a bit inconsistent too. It dragged in quite a few parts. I generally prefer slow-burn books, but this one was a bit too slow.
Despite those issues, I still felt compelled enough to read to the end. I think YA fantasy readers will still find lots to love in this book, but I may have not been the right audience for this one.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Expected Publication: 01 March 2022
Thank you to Wednesday Books / St. Martin’s Press for an arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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