Wraithwood (Wraithwood Trilogy #1)
Mountain Brook Fire
Published July 15, 2021
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An estranged uncle, a mysterious mansion, and Arthurian legend–together they lead to a world of magic and bloodthirsty wizards who want teenage Brinnie dead.
Brynna “Brinnie” Lane has always lived a quiet life under the watchful eye of her hovering mother–until she’s sent off for the summer to live with an uncle she didn’t know she had. While her parents get to travel across the globe, she’ll be spending three months in the middle of nowhere: upstate New York. It looks like she might spend the entire summer friendless with her nose in a book.
However, she soon finds that Wraithwood Estate, her uncle’s creepy old mansion, holds as many secrets as the man himself. When Brinnie is warned not to explore any of it, her curiosity only grows. As unnatural events take place and Brinnie hears whispers of a hidden war, she must unravel the truth about her family’s mysterious past if she wants to survive.
Something terrible happened at Wraithwood thirty years ago, and Brinnie is determined to find out what–even if it means confronting the possibility that magic is real.
I’ve read another book that was cowritten by Alyssa Roat before, so I based my expectations of WRAITHWOOD on that. I feel like this book absolutely surpassed them.
It’s hard to go wrong with a mysterious mansion and relatives keeping secrets. I liked Brinnie’s nosiness and her tendency to get into trouble. There were moments that I thought she’d be kind of shoved into more of a backseat role by the adult characters. Instead, she always held her own agency and found a way to take an active role in what was happening. I loved that.
I also loved Uncle Merlin. He’s kind of bizarre, but obviously honorable and loyal to his family, even if that loyalty sometimes leads him to do things he disagrees with.
The only thing that tripped me up at all in WRAITHWOOD was that Brinnie is fourteen in the story. That feels really young for a young adult hero, unless it’s a longer series and the author needs a lot of time for them to grow up. Her age also made her relationship with another character who’s in his twenties a little weird. Nothing inappropriate happens between them, but the setup of their relationship felt like it could lead into a romance. It doesn’t. It just felt odd to have her spend so much time with him.
On the whole, though, I really liked this book and enjoyed unraveling the mystery of the Wraithwood Estate and its connection to an old legend. This is a series I will definitely continue reading. I think fans of Cassandra Clare will like this story about family connections within a paranormal family.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brinnie and her uncle attend church weekly. In service, the pastor strongly condemns witchcraft, and Brinnie feels like he eyeballs her group in particular.
Some characters have magical abilities.
Situations of peril. Kidnapping. Brief battle violence.
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