The Will and the Wilds – Will It Catch You?

The Will and the Wilds

By Charlie Holmberg

Spoiler Alert!


A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series.

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

(Courtesy of

Adult Point of View

One of the best things about this book is that Sandis is angry at Rone! It is too easy for an author to have the characters forgive each other too quickly. Sandis is justifiably angry and she sustains her feelings even as Rone is trying to heal the breach in their r

I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.

I’ve read many of Holmberg’s books and there are a couple of overriding comments about why I like her writing.

1- She develops new worlds and doesn’t rehash all her old ideas
2- Every magic system in the new world is unique and has a set of rules
3- How the characters don’t know how to solve their problems, but they keep going anyhow

One of the strengths in The Will and the Wilds is the relationship Enna has with her father. It feels so genuine the way he is slipping away with dementia and how she guides or misdirects him because of his failing memory. When she discovers the root of his mental problem, I felt like it brought the issue to a new level.

I also enjoyed her relationship with Tennith and Maekallus. In both cases, she is tentative but for different reasons. Tennith is kind and handsome, and the boy she’s crushed over, so her hesitancy is believable. Maekallus is a supernatural being with a horn and knife-like tail, so there is no need to describe her hesitancy in this case. Who does she fall for? The good boy or bad monster? The biggest component of the relationship with the possible male romantic lead characters is how Enna’s compassion grows. She is multidimensional and takes the reader on a trip through all her emotions as she works out her feelings and problems.

This story was being written at the same time as The Paper Magician. I didn’t know this fact until after I’d finished. The awesome thing about this is seeing how different the two worlds are.

If you’re a fan of fantasy with a fairytale bent, I think you’ll enjoy The Will and the Wilds.

I would consider this a clean read. There are a couple of swear words and some innuendo, but nothing is over the top. This is listed as adult fiction because the protagonist is 20-years-old, but I’d allow my upper teens to read it.

5 out of 5 stars

5 star
  • Michelle

If you loved The Will and the Wilds, try Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, and The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

If you can’t find anything to read, send me a message, and I’ll help you find a book. The world is full of adventure, and we all deserve to live it.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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