Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca MayWild and Wicked Things by Francesca May is a deliciously dark and witchy sapphic gothic horror and historical fantasy novel that was heavily influenced by The Great Gatsby.

On Crow Island, people talk about real magic. The sinister kind of magic that prowls in every dark corner, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Annie Mason doesn’t want to have anything to do with real or faux magic. Not after it ruined her life. Even though Annie has never been far from home, she’s only on Crow Island for the summer because she wants to settle her deceased father’s estate and reconnect with her former best friend, Beatrice, who ran away from their dull lives in Whitby for a more enchanting and high profile one.

Nevertheless, Crow Island is filled with dangerous temptations, and Annie is drawn to her mysterious new neighbor.

Emmeline Delacroix’s past is an enigma to the residents of Crow Island and her reputation has been tainted by rumors of witchcraft. When Annie witnesses a terrible argument between Bea and Emmeline at one of Cross House’s lavish parties, she gets caught up in a glamorous and eerie world. It’s a world where the boundary between good intentions and wickedness becomes blurred. Problems can be solved and desires can be granted but the solutions come with steep price tags and the fee for using forbidden magic might be a gruesome and untimely death.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

I’m here for all the gothic horror and fantasy novels that portray wild and wicked sapphic witches who slowly fall in love with each other and this story did not let me down! I was blown away by the captivating world-building and the magical atmosphere of Crow Island. I love the fact that witchcraft was embedded in Crow Island’s history and I also enjoyed learning about each character’s backstory because I could easily understand why they made certain choices or behaved the way they did. I will always have a special place in my heart for Annie, Emmeline, Isobel and Nathan because I had the pleasure of tagging along with them while they were throwing parties, drinking kazam (a beverage infused with herbs and magic) and performing arcane rituals. By the way, I fell in love with this gorgeous book cover from the moment I laid eyes on it!

Cons And Heads Up

As much as I enjoyed this awesome story, it was slow paced from the beginning until I got to the thirty percent mark and then the excitement and intrigue finally kicked in. There were graphic descriptions of multiple murders, death of a loved one, alcohol and drug use, anxiety and panic attacks, audio and visual hallucinations, homophobia, domestic abuse, forced blood draining (blood magic), parental neglect and emotional abuse, abortion, necromancy, sexual assault and self-harm (cutting for magic use).

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksIf you’re a huge fan of bewitching stories that feature a world full of secrets, deception, extravagant parties, spells and incantations, forbidden blood magic, divination and lethal blood bargains, then you should definitely read this book!

Excerpt from Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

“I’m Annie,” I said, surprising fire in my voice. I belonged here. “Annie Mason. I live next door.”

“Hello, Annie Mason,” she said, her tongue rolling languidly over the syllables. She drew the second chair from under the table and sat down. The pulling sensation started in my chest again and I tried to fight it back, failing as she pursed her lips thoughtfully. “You’re not from around here.”

It wasn’t a question, and yet an answer tumbled out. “Yorkshire,” I blurted. “I’m from Whitby. I’m here for the summer.”

There was a magnetism about this woman that made me want to speak, to tell her everything. I wanted her to know me. I wanted to know her. I wanted her to want to know me. She could have asked me to get undressed right there in front of her and I might actually have done it.

The thought sobered me and I unconsciously scooted my chair back, pulling away from her until I could breathe freely again. She smiled, exposing two sharp canines.

“Who are you?” I asked.

She raised an eyebrow and cast her gaze over me appraisingly.

“I’m Emmeline Delacroix. This is my house.”

“Is it true?” I asked urgently. “That you can turn into a crow at night? People say you can.”

“I don’t know,” she answered. Then she paused, almost as if she was surprised by her own honesty. Her eyes twinkled with it. “I’ve never tried.”

She watched me for a moment. I was sure she could see every inch of me. Every fear, every wish—the dark parts shone as much as the light.

“It’s not a joke,” I said. “People say awful things about you. What do you really do here? I’ve seen the parties. You brew kazam, don’t you? It’s illegal.”

“Technically I don’t brew it. I just…embellish.”

“What if you get into trouble?”

Emmeline threw her head back and laughed, exposing her throat in the same way I’d seen this afternoon. It felt careless.

“I don’t get into trouble,” she said. “I maybe make a little of it, but it’s only what people expect. They come to me for desires. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Even though you know you shouldn’t be?” A sudden coldness swept through me. “What is your greatest desire, Annie?”

My skin was flushed. I couldn’t wrestle my thoughts. Things about Sam, about my father, Bea, they all tangled inside me.

Adventure, I thought. I want to be brave like Bea.

Emmeline smiled, surprise tinging the edges. Almost as if she could see it all on my face.

I couldn’t tear my gaze from her lips, from her gem-like eyes, from the sharpness of her cheekbones. I shook my head, pushing the chair farther away, thinking if I could just get some distance I might be able to think clearly again.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9780316287159

Publisher: Redhook

Francesca May Online

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