My relationship with this book is strange. I didn’t dislike reading it, but if you asked me now I wouldn’t say it was a book that I liked. My review is mostly positive, yet I gave it just two stars. It’s a strange book and I don’t know how else to explain except to let my review speak for itself.
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
This book was a strange one. It was powerful and emotional, but I also found it hard to connect to. I felt the story rather than understood it. Jack and August are complex characters with a wealth of problems. They’re let down by almost everyone around them who is supposed to help them, left fending for themselves and making all the mistakes they should be protected from.
This is written in a unique format, with nearly every chapter slightly less than a page long. It’s in tiny digestible chunks, but as these aren’t always directly connected it can be quite jarring. I won’t claim I understood the story. It was symbolic, it was written in tiny pieces, it was mostly in Jack’s head. At the end of it all, it was about two broken, mentally ill boys who hold on to each other in place of the support they lack from the grown ups around them.
The part of this book that impacted on me most was the author’s note at the end. It was heartfelt and meaningful and told everyone who is struggling that it is not their fault. It made me cry. At the end of the day, I didn’t love the book, but I love what it stands for. And that’s enough.
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.
Have you ever read a book you felt positively about but rated low? Have you read The Wicker King? Talk to me!