Title The Wren Hunt
Author Mary Watson
Description from Amazon
Once a year, Wren is chased through the woods near her rural Ireland hometown in a warped version of a childhood game. Her pursuers belong to the judges, a group in control of an ancient, powerful magic they stole from her own people, the augurs . . . but they know nothing of her real identity. If they learned the truth, the game would surely turn deadly.
Though she knows the risks, Wren also goes on the hunt, taking a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern at enemy headquarters, the Harkness Foundation. If she can uncover a long-buried secret, she can save her family and end the judges’ reign once and for all.
But as the web of lies, deceit, and betrayal thickens around Wren, she hurtles toward a truth that threatens to consume her and reveal who she really is. Not only has she come to the attention of powerful judge Cassa Harkness, but she is also falling dangerously in love with the one person she shouldn’t. And she may need to decide which she’d rather lose, her heart or her life.
The setting 😍 – I love Ireland. I went on vacation there two summers ago and it was just amazing so when iI saw this book was set in Ireland, I had to read it.
The magic in the description is pretty vague, but that didn’t deter me.
The cover is simple and conveys the title well. It’s not too much but you definitely know that “Wren” in the title is a reference to the type of bird.
Is it mean if I say the end was my favorite part? This book seemed to drag on forever and I really wasn’t a big fan. I was just glad to finish it. The magic system is not fully explained. Wren’s family is absolutely terrible. She’s basically surrounded by terrible people and she really doesn’t do anything to stop that. It’s like she has Stockholm Syndrome and she can’t leave all of these awful people behind. I just wanted this story to be over.
Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About
As I mentioned before, I was not a fan of the magic system. It’s vague in the description because it’s vague in the book. There’s mention of rituals and other events that are never fully explained. Overall, the world building was convoluted and confusing. Furthermore, I couldn’t tell the time period at all. Is this modern-day? Some weird dystopian near-future? I had no idea. There were some small context clues but nothing definitive. Maybe this is just me, but I think you should either commit to using the real world, or make up an entirely new one. This story was told in a bizarre semi-fictious, semi-real setting, and I hated it for that.
I also wasn’t crazy about the boys. They basically routinely assault her and yet nobody seems to care? What kind of world is this where a girl can get chased through the streets and not a soul lifts a finger? Again, it calls back to is this dystopian or realistic fiction?
This book took me over a week to read. I couldn’t stand more than a few chapters at a time. The setting annoyed me, the characters annoyed me, everything about it annoyed me. I had high hopes and they were not even close to met.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Emerald’s Fracture by Kate Kennelly – if you want a real book about Ireland and magic, check this one out. Yes, it’s a fictionalized version of Ireland but it’s way better than The Wren Hunt.
- Ever the Hunted and Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill – again, these are Ireland-feeling stories but the magic system is much more developed. There is also a sense of different types of magic users discriminating and hunting each other.