cover image The Will and the Wilds

The Will and the Wilds

Charlie N. Holmberg. 47North, $14.95 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-5420-0500-5

Holmberg (Siege & Sacrifice) remixes elements of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and other familiar tales to create an immersive, dangerous fantasy world. Enna lives at the border of the town of Fendell and the wildwood, caring for her ill father. Though Enna is terrified of the mystings and monsters that roam the forest, she’s devoted to continuing her late grandmother’s study of the creatures. When a monster called a gobler attacks Enna and her father, Enna knows she’s not strong enough to fight back on her own and takes the risk of summoning Maekallus, a mysting trickster, to hunt down the attacker. Maekallus agrees for the price of a single kiss, but with that kiss he steals part of Enna’s soul. When the gobler binds Maekallus to the forest during a confrontation, Enna and Maekallus work together to free him from the curse. Holmberg draws readers in with a fast-moving plot, rich details, and a surprisingly sweet human-monster romance. This is a lovely, memorable fairy tale. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Jan.)