Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
When Lowell Sencha finds the strange girl lying as if dead on the riverbank, he is startled to find that she is like them: waer. Human, but able to assume the form of a wolf. The Sencha family’s small community has kept itself sequestered and unnoticed, free from persecution. The arrival of a fellow traveller, and a hunted one at that, threatens their very survival.
Sure enough, the soldiers of the blood-purist Daeman Leldh soon descend on the village searching for her, burning and slaughtering. Lowell and the mysterious stranger are among the few to escape. And now they must find their way to the city of Luthan where, she says, they will find people to help them bring down Daeman Leldh.
If she can persuade them not to kill her.
There is a fear when you start a debut novel that the writing will be subpar or struggle to pull off the premise of the novel due to inexperience. WAER did not have this problem. At all. Every element of the story was constructed well and it reads like some of my fantasy series I’ve been following for years. Nothing confused me and I was more than happy to sit there and enjoy the ride. It even managed to shock me a few times (which twists I really should have seen coming but didn’t because I was too busy enjoying it). I don’t think I can find one element to criticise!
Oh my god the characters! I loved every single one of them so much, and I loved them a lot very quickly. The reasons I loved them were the same as usual: they’re strong, determined, and grow so much over the course of the novel. Each character have their own struggles and drives and are incredibly unique, even the side characters. My favourite is Lycaea, which should be no surprise. She’s angry, and troubled, and strong, and determined. The other main character, Lowell, was precious. Everyone needs to be more like Lowell, so kind and compassionate.
WAER is narrated in alternating first person POVs from Lowell and Lycaea, with the occasional third person part from someone called Kaebha. The voices of both characters were easy to read and what surprised me was that, despite the character names at the top of the chapter, it was so easy to tell the two apart. As soon as I switched to Lycaea’s first part she developed a different voice in my head. Her voice was so distinct to Lowell’s. I enjoyed them both immensely.
I put off study to finish it
This book does not let you go once you start. I was enjoying it from the very beginning and with that fast pace I never wanted to put it down. Every reading opportunity to read was snagged so I could progress through this story and see more of the characters (this almost led to me leaving this book in a lecture theatre. The horror!) When I got to the last 100 pages when the action started I couldn’t help but abandon study just to get to the end.
It’s a standalone
Yes, it’s the rare fantasy standalone! And one that wraps up brilliantly in only 300 pages. Who even knew that was something that could be achieved? Every question is answered and you’re not left hanging. The story is very self contained and delivers exactly the right amount of information you need to understand the world and character pasts, not too much or too little. It’s perfectly balanced and very well constructed.
WAER is the first story I’ve read featuring werewolves in a long time and I loved it. Incredibly addictive and fast paced with some amazing characters. If Meg Caddy’s future books are as good as this debut I may have to add a new favourite author to the list!