The Wicker King Review



Title: The Wicker King
K. Ancrum
YA Contemporary
Hardcover, 305 pages
Goodreads page


When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

This is a dark, intense story about mental illness and 2 teens trying to make it through on their own. Huge trigger warnings for depression, eating disorder, anxiety, and Agoraphobia.

My Review


I read this for the Dragons and Tea Bookclub with the lovely Mel from MelToTheAny and Amy from A Court of Crowns and Quills. If you haven’t checked out the bookclub definitely join us for the next book!

This book was an emotional rollercoaster. This is a multimedia story told from August’s point of view. I definitely recommend picking up a print copy of this – there are illustrations throughout the story and the pages darken as the mental illness progresses. Which really adds to the story in my opinion!

What I Liked

  1. This was a really intense but wonderful representation of mental illness. K Ancrum clearly did lots of research. And the pacing and writing style just added to the intensity. I felt anxious and on the edge of my seat the entire time. Definitely make sure you are in a headspace to handle these topics, they could be very triggering.
  2. I became very attached to August. I want to step into the story and hug and protect him. It was so hard to read about him taking on everything on his own.
  3. The relationship between Rina, August, and Jack was handled beautifully. This is a type of relationship I personally can’t relate to but fell in love with anyways.

What I Didn’t Like

  1. I found the story mildly confusing for the first half. The story is written in third person from August’s pov and I didn’t realize until over half way through that he was an unreliable narrator. So some of the scenes made little sense and I didn’t know why.
  2. August and Jack have a very intense, codependent relationship that I had a hard time connecting with it at first. And at times their relationship felt mildly abusive and unhealthy.

Overall this was a beautiful story that I’m so glad I picked up. It was way out of my comfort zone and I don’t think I would have read this without this book club. So thank you Mel and Amy for choosing such an amazing first book!






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