Title: The Witch King
Author: H.E. Edgmon
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 1, 2021
To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound.
Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.
In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.
Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.
Wyatt is a witch who ran away from his home and his marriage contract with a fae prince. The prince, Emyr, finds Wyatt in Texas, where Wyatt has found his transgender identity. Emyr has to bring Wyatt back to their kingdom, Asalin, so they can get married and fulfill their blood contract. However, Wyatt has bad memories of Asalin and doesn’t want to return. He will do anything to get out of this marriage. Wyatt is forced to travel to Asalin with his human best friend Briar, where he discovers Emyr may still be the boy he used to love. Tensions run high between the witches and the fae, leading Wyatt and Emyr to make life changing decisions.
This is the YA fantasy book I’ve been waiting for! I loved that the main character was transgender. Wyatt’s gender identity was an aspect of his personality but not his entire character. There were many moments where Wyatt commented on when someone treated him respectfully or not. Some of the ignorant and mean characters misgendered him or used his deadname (former name). He felt respected and acknowledged by characters who used his correct pronouns, even to refer to moments in the past. These were informative scenes that taught me about being transgender.
In this fantasy world, witches are non-fae children born to fae parents. Since they are considered outsiders in their family, they are ostracized from society and are often abandoned as children. Wyatt compared being a witch in that world to being queer in the real world. Wyatt had experienced being a witch and being queer. This metaphor of the witches and fae compared to being queer was a refreshing take in a fantasy novel.
The Witch King is a fabulous, diverse fantasy! I highly recommend it!
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Infinity Son by Adam Silvera
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve
About the author:
H.E. EDGMON H.E. Edgmon was born in the deep south but has had many homes, dropped out of school to do gay stuff, and is at least a little feral.
In both their writing and daily life, they aim to center the voices of Indigenous people, trans people, and survivors of trauma. It is always their goal to make fascists uncomfortable.
They have an eccentric little family of their own design, several very sensitive pets, and a lot of opinions. They can most often be found on Twitter @heedgmon.
Where to buy:
Have you read The Witch King? What did you think of it?