The Wren in the Holly Library

The Wren in the Holly Library

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Darci's Review

The Wren in the Holly Library is one of the latest releases in the urban fantasy sub-genre. Featuring elements of romance, thieving, and Celtic folklore, Linde’s new novel is in my view one of the best romance fantasy novels on the shelves today. Linde has crafted a fast-paced plot entwined with mystery and intrigue, propelling you along as the main character, Kierse, navigates the new dangers unfolding in her life.

Kierse has grown up in New York ever since she can remember. As a child she was left with no family and was picked up from the streets and trained by a master thief in the ways of thievery and deception. Kierse, now twenty-four, has banded together with her own friends to thieve for a living, while avoiding both the monsters that crawl around the city and the consequences of the Monster Treaty: a law which gives monsters the legal right to kill or maim humans who trespass on their property. At one of Kiese’s bigger jobs, she gets caught by the house’s inhabitant, Graves – a monster who claims magic is real, and that Kierse is the missing key needed to achieve his master plan. But we know this can’t be true, because all her life Kierse was taught the mantra: ‘monsters, not magic.’ To save herself and her friends from the wrath of the gangs and monsters closing in on her, Kierse must accept the job and attempt a heist so dangerous she may never see her friends again.

Linde has built a convincingly real world, with a keen eye and ear for the physical and psychological landscape of New York. The actions and emotions of the main characters are convincingly developed. One of the novel’s main concerns is the contrast between men and monsters, but Linde also presents a complex portrait of the monsters instead of relying on simple stereotypes. This alternate New York is a harrowing depiction of the dystopian society which might occur if the current rate of war and violence continues unabated, as well as the brutal consequences for the oppressed. This political landscape, combined with the passion developed between Kierse and Graves, creates a compelling urban fantasy. If you are a fan of Sarah Parker’s When the Moon Hatched, Brynne Weaver’s Leather and Lark, or Danielle L. Jensen’s A Fate inked in Blood, you will enjoy Linde’s gripping new novel. A solid 4.5-star read.

Publisher's Review 

Set in an alternate day New York filled with monsters, The Wren in the Holly Library is a dark, spicy romantasy loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast — perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab and Leigh Bardugo.

She stole from a monster . . . now she must pay the price Street thief Kierse should have known something wasn’t right. Now she’s trapped in a library — with a monster. She can’t run. She can’t hide. And this man – this being, filled with terrible power and darkness — is well within his rights to kill her. By trespassing, Kierse has broken the fragile peace treaty between monsters and humans. But instead of killing her, Graves does the unexpected: he offers her a job. A chance to find out who she really is. Kierse has always known she’s different. That she can do things a little better, a little faster. And there’s that sense she has when danger is only a breath away. But if the old tales are true, there are worse things in the world than monsters. Like a threat more ancient than legend. Like Graves. Or like Kierse herself . . .

From bestselling author K. A. Linde comes the start of an addictive dark romantasy series where monsters live among humandkind, and ancient secrets threaten to destroy everything . . .