I always have a hard time with fantasy books (the worldbuilding can be intimidating) so I was hesitant to start this one. A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft is a standalone novel that transported me to a magical version of the Pacific Northwest. I was completely absorbed by the atmosphere: the dull grey skies, the foggy coastline, and the thick, lush forest brimming with magic. It stole me away, and I never wanted it to end.
In this book we meet Weston Winters, an aspiring alchemist who’s failed out of all his apprenticeships so far. His last opportunity to further himself and help his family is with a famed alchemist who hasn’t taken a new student in a very long time. After traveling to her house, he doesn’t find her: instead, he finds her daughter, Margaret, who is stubborn and independent and wants absolutely nothing to do with Wes.
That is, until the legendary hala is spotted and the Halfmoon Hunt is set to start. Teams of hunters and alchemists must work together to kill the god-like, magical creature, and Margaret knows that if she’s successful her mother will come home and love her once more. She teams up with Wes and although the two make an unlikely pair and are hated by most people in town, they’re both driven by their desire to prove others wrong and better themselves and their families.
I absolutely loved the setting and atmosphere of this book. I know some people would find the descriptions to be too much and drag on, but I thought it was perfect. I was able to picture everything in my mind, and the cold, foggy daylight warmed my heart because I want nothing more than for it to be Fall year-round.
The characters were passionate, complicated, and the slow-burn enemies to lovers gave me L I F E 🖤 I was cheering for them both separately and as a couple. The pining, the yearning, the attempt to push feelings away only to be overcome with emotions. It was perfection.
This book was an easy 5 stars for me, and I highly recommend it for those looking for a standalone, atmospheric fantasy read with a bit of romance.
Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending me a digital ARC via NetGalley. A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft came out on March 8, 2022, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.