Thank you to the Little Brown Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May is a standalone historical fantasy set after the First World War where witchcraft is outlawed and the glamorous backdrop of the Jazz Age is a buzz with scandal and gossip.
“A tiny thought at the back of my mind whispered that when I looked at this place I could almost taste magic on my tongue, could feel its promise of transformation humming in my veins.”
After being informed of her absent father’s passing, Annie travels to Crow Island to organise his affairs. She moves into a small cottage and is soon besotted by her mysterious neighbour.
The infamous Emmeline Delacroix throws legendary parties where booze laced with magic flows, bargains are made and blood magic runs wild. Annie is soon drawn to her enigmatic neighbour by a curious tether that bonds the two and soon discovers that the art of practicing magic comes with devastating consequences.
Wild and Wicked Things felt very familiar. I think this is because it clearly takes elements of The Great Gatsby and intertwines them with Practical Magic. The slow-burn queer romance delicately fizzes throughout and I also adored the supporting cast of characters such as Isobel and Nathan. The flashbacks of their tragic childhoods were actually my favourite parts of this book.
I wish that Emmeline’s backstory had taken a more prominent place in the book as Annie felt very underdeveloped and her childhood friend, Bea, came across as selfish and very conceited. I would have loved to explore the dynamics of Isobel, Nathan and Emmeline’s relationship instead.
I actually thought Wild and Wicked Things was going to be book one in an ongoing series. I still have so many questions regarding the nature and origin of their magic, the lingering presence of the Witches Council and the aftermath of their actions. Surely the events in the finale would cause ripples throughout the entire island and magic community?
It was a beautifully written atmospheric read. I loved the dazzling backdrop of the roaring 20s against the gothic haunting imagery, however, I felt like we skimmed over the potential for these flawed and fascinating characters.
Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May is available to purchase HERE.
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