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. August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.
After reading Darling, I was ready to devour all of this author’s other books. I had The Wicker King on my shelf, so that was the one I gravitated towards. Plus, a boy experiencing hallucinations of an elaborate fantasy kingdom and his best friend trying to unravel what is real and what is not. I knew this book would cause me a lot of pain and was ready to see what this book would have in store for me.
K. Ancrum is a genius. And this book is pure brilliance.
One of the best things about this book was the way it was formatted. It doesn’t even really have chapters. It’s told in short little bursts, with letters and forms here and there. Also, as the book goes on, and Jack’s delusions begin to spiral deeper and deeper, the pages literally start turning black. It created a fascinating reading experience, one that fit the story amazingly well. It creates a book that is special all around.
This book is haunting, with a touch of terrifying seeping through the pages. It has an ocean’s worth of deepness held between the pages. It’s spills onto the story and tugs emotions straight out of the soul.
This is a hard book to describe, because it feels like it’s more than a book. It’s an experience, one that left me reeling and hurting and feeling. It made me want to sob, but it also made me want to cry.
I have a wealth of feelings about this book, but they are the kind that I have a hard time translating into words. It made me uncomfortable, because August and Jack have to go through some seriously dark stuff. They have to look their pain and their fear in the face and deal with it themselves. They have to cling to each other because they don’t have anything else to cling to. They have to make their own home, and that isn’t a pain free journey. My heart hurts for them, but their story was one that left me aching.
I also loved how this book was written, full of blunt edges and sharp words. Truly, the way that Ancrum writes is something amazing to witness. The pure talent that she has is amazing. The way she is able to tell this story, and also the way she is able to weave words together. It’s incredible.
This book left me feeling so many things. It’s a book that evokes so many emotions and one that brings about a lot of pain, but it is one that I adored so much. It’s dark, but there’s still light in the darkness. There’s pain, but it’s not something that will be drowned in. It’s an incredibly written book, and wow, I love it a whole lot.