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.13
Trigger warnings: violence, child abuse, childhood sexual harassment and assault, allusions to pedophilia, suicidal ideation and mentions of suicide, misgendering, drug use, and mentions of infertility and miscarriage. (Loc. 22)
The Witch King is so good that I foresee sequels and prequels.
H.E. Edgmon takes us from the slow, lazy, dry heat of Laredo, Texas to the fast-paced political intrigue of Asalin. Hidden appropriately in New York, Asalin houses the entrance to Edgmon’s new fantastical world of faes, witches, dragons, royalty, and death.
A young man on the run after a horrific incident hides in Texas until his contracted betrothed finds him and forces him back home and his past. Emyr needs Wyatt to honor the agreement their parents came to when they were children so he can save his kingdom from familial threats. Wyatt, on the other hand, just wants to forget the past and move on. Life has different plans for these once close friends. Three years may have passed since they last saw each other, but everything has changed in both of their worlds.
Edgmon creates a world of security for Wyatt and then blows it all up…totally freaking awesome. In Texas, we get to see Wyatt be comfortable in his skin and with who he is. His best friend, Briar, is a bisexual ace who holds all of Wyatt’s secrets and accepts and loves him anyway. When Wyatt’s life is threatened, the two face down the past and Wyatt’s very uncertain future together. I love their friendship, though I have to admit that it is tainted a bit by the secrets that come out. Briar still gets major kudos for going to the land of “make believe” and potential death to save her friend.
Edgmon then muddies the dynamic even more by introducing a slew of characters who you immediately want to know more about and I will be honest, I want to see future pairings of. Asalin is filled with cultural, gender, and sexual diversity. This is realistic because of the extreme phobias that exist in Asalin.
Faes detest the witches and everything else that is different. If you are born different aka a witch, then usually you are tossed into the woods never to be talked about again. Edgmon’s world bears many similarities to the world we live in today, but fortunately for us it is filled with magic.
Edgmon admits to their own growth while writing this novel and I can see how it came about. I have to admit as a reader of trans books, I have never come across the body self-acceptance that Edgmon iwrites of. I love this type of self-acceptance and I am so happy it is here for others to read. It also is a key part to Emyr and Wyatt’s love story.
The political intrigue of old ideas versus new ideas is not a new one, but it is a consistent one that we still battle in the real world today. What is family? Does what you look like, bleed, or love matter when it comes down to survival or leading others to be better than they thought they could be. Edgmon is realistic in this fantasy and as they show there are no easy answers.
There is lots of drama and some great magical scenes written. I love the secondary cast and want to read more about them. Never mind the wham dinger that Briar introduces and what will result from it.
I want to see the potential pairings that I can see, or maybe I am just a romantic and want to see it (laugh). I want to see how some couples got together, especially from the other kingdoms so hello: prequels!
Edgmon has created a world that is dying while it is growing and I want to read more of it. I want to watch Wyatt and Emyr spar more. I want to see Emyr in battle with his sword. Tessa, Wyatt’s sister, has great ideas and a new role. Wade totally needs a love interest. Plus, there are still mysteries to be solved and I have some guesses.
Edgmon has created a world you want to delve in and stay awhile as long as the goblins don’t spot you. I want to hang out with Boom, eat popcorn, and watch more of the drama in and beyond. The Witch King feels like a beginning that you will want to get in on.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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From the Author’s Notes:
“(F)or every single reader fighting for that tomorrow alongside me. For everyone living in the margins who wants to burn it all down and building something new from the ash. This one’s for us. Let’s get to it.”Loc. 4146
Publisher: Inkyard Press, 9781335212795, 1 June 2021
Editor: Natashya Wilson; Narrator: Dani Martineck
Series: not yet; Settings: Laredo, TX, US and Asalin located within New York on Earth
SC: Enby, Bisexual, ACE, Poly, Lesbian, Gay, Multi-Cultural