Review: Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

Wren Hunt by Mary WatsonWren Hunt
Mary Watson
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published on November 6, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Wren Hunt
Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

My Review
It took a bit for me to really get into Wren Hunt. I feel like I had a hard time understanding the beginning of the story. The boys chased Wren, and she’s terrified, and they’re big enough that they could really hurt her, so obviously she was afraid. But I couldn’t really grasp something about it. Was she afraid because they had physically hurt her in the past? Or that they could start hurting her? I felt like I missed something maybe.

When she has a confrontation with the leader of the boys who harass her, I felt like Wren Hunt got super intriguing. I didn’t understand the Augur’s magic right away (okay, this could really be my fault for being slow? I had just moved when I read this book, so now that I’m thinking back I wonder how much was just me not putting pieces together because I was tired.) but I definitely felt intrigued by it and by the stakes it set up.

I loved Wren’s magic. Her visions and her dreams were super weird but had this fantastic mythical feel to them. I loved how they fit together with the story and the larger legend she ends up uncovering.

Probably the most unexpected part of Wren Hunt came in the form of Cassa Harkness. I thought she would kind of be this big boss villain, and she does have a kind of mafia-esque power and a certain darkness to her, but she’s so much more complex than that, and I loved her for it. I loved the relationship between her and Wren. I loved how the whole story seemed to pivot as Wren learned more and more about the lore and history of the Augurs and Judges.

Wren Hunt on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Major characters are Irish.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently. It was infrequent enough that I kept forgetting about it between instances. Maybe a dozen or so instances.

Romance/Sexual Content
Brief but intense kissing. One scene goes a little further but the characters are interrupted.

Spiritual Content
Two enemy groups use magic against each other. Each has set rituals which are supposed to bring power or reveal the future. Augurs often have a special ability (maybe recognizing patterns or predicting the future). There’s also a lot of lore about magic in their history.

Violent Content
Boys chase Wren and she clearly feels terrified and threatened, even though we don’t witness any direct assault or violence. Her anxiety felt to me similar to what a victim of abuse might feel and so may be a trigger to some sensitive readers.
One of the Judges’ rituals for punishment involves bleeding. Wren doesn’t witness it but the effects on the person punished seem awful. She learns that one group of Judges were assassins with advanced training and terrible weapons.

Drug Content
None.

Wren Hunt on Goodreads

Note: I received a free copy of Wren Hunt in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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