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The Wicker King

(The Wicker King #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,462 ratings  ·  2,203 reviews
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to qu ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Imprint
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K. Ancrum This is a friendship-to-love slow burn scenario from the perspective of an unreliable narrator clinging to the closet door with his fingertips. Jack i…moreThis is a friendship-to-love slow burn scenario from the perspective of an unreliable narrator clinging to the closet door with his fingertips. Jack is bisexual, August is Questioning until the end. Both characters have relationships with girls while obviously being sexually attracted to each other and don't get together until the end of the book. [SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT]

The accusations of queerbaiting honestly filled me with dismay. Maybe because this is a journey where someone slowly comes to terms with his attraction for the whole book, rather than being "out" the whole book some people assumed that this was queerbaiting. <spoiler>But the words "I love you" were definitely explicitly used. August has sex with another character while thinking of Jack (and then panics). In addition, every single character in the book besides the MC tries to point out to the MC that his feelings for his friend may not be platonic. The book is mixed media and one of the art pieces is a note where Jack asks August out-- which he writes in the beginning of the book and doesn't give to August until the end of the book--and August says yes (Which was available in the ARC).

In the final version, not only is the confession more fleshed out, but they also kiss. And more, in the book to be released after this, they are in a Poly family with another character (R) and are raising a child together, who is a major character.

This book was never intended to be anything but queer. It just takes these kids a while to get there, that's all. :)</spoiler>(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
K. Ancrum Both. The love would have always existed without the codependency, but I'm not quite sure if codependency can even develop without love or without an …moreBoth. The love would have always existed without the codependency, but I'm not quite sure if codependency can even develop without love or without an environment of care/dependence.

If August and Jack had normal lives, with normal parents and Jack never got sick, the story of them wouldn't cease to exist, it would be a standard, softer friends-to-love story where they maybe had a cute homecoming love confession. Or maybe they'd still wait until the last minute and only become brave enough to kiss at graduation. They'd probably spend the whole 4 years flirting terribly and having fun with their friends. Or maybe Jack would have the energy and confidence to be bolder, maybe seduce August and treat him to the whole stereotypical nerd/jock dynamic of a love story while reminding him that technically he's both the nerd and the jock because he gets better grades than August.

They would laugh more. And hang out for fun instead of necessity. And they would touch each other with less desperation.

The love would always be there. It would just have been easier. (less)

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chai ♡
There is a unique sort of agony to this book that I can’t exactly describe. My heart feels both hollowed out and so heavy my chest could not hold it. The Wicker King beckoned me closer with delicate claws then sank its fangs into my heart and I think a part of me will never fully escape it.

See, there are books you like and then there are books you end up thinking about in the middle of the night with a cosmic ache in your chest, feeling like what still existed of you has been wrung out with all
C.G. Drews
[read 3 | Dec 2019]
because I just needed to feel my heart absolutely melt in my chest before this year ends. I teared up in the author letter AGAIN and I seriously am just over here feeling thoughtful and sad, but in a good way. This book so deeply means a lot to me. I think the thing that stood out to me in this read is: how you can do your best and still fail, but it's not your fault. Please don't beat yourself up or hate yourself for failing when you tried so so hard.

also they all deserves mo
Elle (ellexamines)
Have you ever read a book that you love, but also feel as if you'd be judged by everyone for recommending? This is that book for me. The Wicker King is a weird, weird book, and one I'm sure will be polarizing. But the immersive atmosphere and developed characters absolutely saved this one for me.

Let's talk atmosphere. The Wicker King is told with gradually darkening pages, beginning white and slowly getting darker and darker, and with incredibly short chapters. I found it very hard to put down a
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 The Wicker King ★★★★★
#1.5 The Legend of the Golden Raven ★★★★☆

I originally read this book as an ARC, and was really bothered by a few things in it. I was so disappointed that I gave it 2.5 stars, but as the finished copy released, I started receiving messages from friends, saying it was different from what I had reviewed. I was confused, but didn’t look too deeply into it until the author contacted me and explained. She told me she had changed a lot of what bothered me in the ARC, and asked w
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melanie by: chai ♡

“Would you do something bad if you knew it would have more good in it, in the end, than bad?”

Okay, I just want to start this review off that this book will forever be sentimental to me, not only because it was the first book I read this year and that I absolutely loved it, but also because it was the very first pick for the Dragons & Tea Book Club and the author came into the group and answered so many questions that made this one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had in my e
Kayla Dawn
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was fucked up in the best way possible! 🙌🏻
(Regularly editing this review so people see it on their feed and pay attention to this book!!!)

(But please be aware y'all that the relationship that's portrayed in this book is not healthy by any means ok that's it thank you for your attention goodbye)
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘to all the kids whose arms are filled with too much for them to hold, but who are trying their best not to drop a single thing.’

and as if this books dedication was an inevitable premonition, my body is now working overtime to hold the immense weight of this story.

this story is a dark and heavy scrapbook of feelings, thoughts, fantasies and hallucinations. as jacks mental state grows gloomier and more frantic, the reader encounters darker and more unorganised pages. what a phenomenal representa
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Wicker King is an original and hard-hitting YA Contemporary.

This novel left me breathless. It was like being sucker punched in the gut, but in a good way. I felt it in my heart, my bones and my head.

August and Jack.

This is the story of their relationship, but at its heart, it is so much more than that.

Oddly enough, as touching as this story is, the overwhelming emotion I had while reading was anger.

I wasn't angry at August and Jack though, I was angry at the characters we didn't really kn
This was good beyond expectations. I loved August & Jack and I, not only felt for them but with them.
There’re so many thoughts going through my mind and want to say so much but think I need a little bit of time to process it all.

I loved their connection and their intense friendship (SO MUCH) which enables both to survive parental neglect and absence however while you’re reading, you get a sense of an impending doom kind of feeling because you know their incredibly unhealthy, toxic codependent r
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Elle (ellexamines)
Don't sleep on The Weight of the Stars, The Wicker King's companion novel! Preorder it here

Upon closing The Wicker King, I opened my eyes and I just... blinked, in that forlorn way we do when we're so affected that the real world around us has stopped making sense. It's the kind of novel that fails to be contained in any kind of genre, but honestly, it delivers just the kind of weird, dark atmosphere that never fails to enrapture me. Think Charm & Strange. Teeth.

I swear I'm going to do my best
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

🌟 I have been thinking how to review and rate this since I have finished it and I decided that writing my thoughts might help me in the final say about this book.

🌟 I also should say that I added this as a recommendation and then kind of lost interest in it but then was in the mood to read it again which I did!

🌟 I a
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi mc with anorexia, anxiety and depression, bi mc with peduncular hallucinosis, Indian li, polyam relationship

Review also on my blog.

Things I loved about this:

» the characters. August & Jack are utterly lovable (and spoiler alert: in love), but also “problematique”, by which I mean they both struggle with their mental health, while not getting any help from adults around them. Their relationship was one of the most intense ones I have ever read about & there are no clean lines there, but t
Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Melanie
Has anyone seen my heart? I think it was shattered by this book and I need to put the pieces back together. 😭😭😭
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Holy F. What a heart wrenching, beautiful queer love story. One of my favorite books ever, hands down! I just want more more more more Jack & August ...I’m begging for more here. Oh and did I say more?

1. More because I loved the book,
2. More because I loved August,
3. More because I loved Jack,
4. More because I loved Jack & August,
5. Also more because the ending?!?! How could she do us like that, man?!?! So short! Way too short!

I feel as if the end of this book is like one
Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword

This was just. Oh mY god. I am, no words, I. FUCK. I relate so much to this story like I never expected.

I started disliking this book for at least 60%. then I start relating so bad. then my heart broke into tiny pieces. and finally, I was shedding tears by the Author's note.

I now that if I were to rate this right now by the last 20% I would give it 5 stars. But then what about the first 80%. I really wanna re-read this, knowing how the story will unfold and what to expect. I wo
may ➹
I’m quite shook by how good this was, it’s very rare that books ACTUALLY live up to my expectations!!

and tbh if you don’t add this to your TBR for its fabulous premise, at least add it for that cover

4.5 stars

// buddy read with a sweetoe rat
4.5 stars

So many amazing reviews have been written about this book. I have got nothing more to add.

-I freaking Loved it.

-This is so fresh.

-Beautifully written.

-Amazing characters.

-Amazing friendship.

-Codependency. I love that shit, i know it is unhealthy but i freaking love it.

That's all!! highly recommended

My only problem is that it is short.
Jade Ratley
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
9.14 on CAWPILE.
lily ☁️
I wish I could say that I loved this book, but … well. I think everyone knows what’s coming. I was Disappointed. (rtc)

➽ buddy read with the queen of badassery

Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | TumblrTwitter
Tina Haigler
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, lgbtq
First off, I have to say that this book is gorgeous! The pages start off normal, but progress slowly darker and darker, until the pages are black and the text is white. It added an extra layer of enjoyment. I honestly wish more novels had pretty pages like this. I also thought including each main characters mix tape was an especially creative touch, that when listened to, gives you a glimpse deeper into their personalities, which mere words simply cannot do.

As for the story itself, I was pretty
♛ may

this book just made me really sad and idk how i feel
my heart hurts

3.5 stars!


Buddy read with a mango

apparently this book is amazing and ruins your life at the same time and well, that sounds good to me
Julie Zantopoulos
"It's not weird. It's just...unusual And even then, just because it's unusual doesn't automatically make it bad."

I don't know how to put into words how I feel about this book, all I know is that it spoke to me, connected with the darkest and most painful parts of me, and made me feel so damn much. It's not secret that I deal with depression and anxiety, that mental illness is a part of my reality. It's also not a secret that I have a degree in psychology and love anything that explores mental il
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judith by: Moony Eliver

"How long have you been waiting for me?"

You know the prospect of starting a new book that you have absolutely no real clue what to expect?

This is one of those.Late last night I thought I'd just take a quick look .....and that was it.This book has never left my side all day.I just devoured it.

-it's memorizing,

-the writing,
-the way it's written,
-the characters....August especially.Beautiful August who completely stole my heart.

I simply adored it.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nazanin by: Lola
Shelves: young-adult, 2017, m-m
4 Stars

Your best is not good enough sometimes…
Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.

Told in single POV, 3 rd person, it’s the first installment in "The Wicker King" series. It’s not really cliffy but it’s not HEA either! Maybe HFN?! That was one of my issues because, in the end, I wanted so so much more. That ending wasn’t enough for me. My other problem was I wanted Jack’s POV! I wanted to experience what he went through, I wanted to se
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
I loved this so much. I read the whole thing in one day!

How the page colors slowly changed from white to gray to black along with the incorporation of the playlists and little trinkets from their story added to the tension. I don't know if that really comes through in the kindle edition but it has an impact and adds a layer of foreboding that I reveled in.

This is a coming of age story told from August's perspective of him and his best friend Jack who, because of the deficiencies of their parents
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Stayed up until 1:30am to finish this last night and I think that was a mistake. What even happened????????? This book was very strange and I KNOW that this could very easily be a favorite for someone else, but I just could not wrap my head around the writing style. What an odd read.
Karima chermiti
Dragons & Tea Book Club book of the month

Warning: This review contains spoilers, so if you haven't read the book but want to, you're better of not reading this review but I really think it's important to read the trigger warning just to know what you're getting yourself into

Trigger warning : (view spoiler)

This book hurt me and I’m not saying that because it was so good and I loved it,
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, 2018-reads
. : ☾⋆ — 5 ★

this was so beautiful in such a messed up way

i will say that this book heavily romanticized mental illness but in a very respectful and deliberate way. what i mean by this is that our main characters, jack and august, are explicitly described as codependent and are both canonically diagnosed, jack more importantly. this is not a case of “wah wah, the writer didn’t do enough research and she’s portraying mental illness in a very unhealthy way”, but rather a case of “this writer did h
ash | novelly rooted
[read 2 | feb 2020]
wow. wow. wow. please for the love of all things get on this stat. it’s a crime that only 24 of my 600+ gr friends have discovered this incredible hidden gem. i urge you all to consider reading this book. i first read the wicker king in 2018 and i think about this story just about every single day. it's unlike anything you have read before.

the wicker king is a ya tale of friendship to love slow burn from the perspective of an unreliable narrator (august). it's one of codepende
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like other reviews have said, this is one of the strangest and most unique books I have ever read. I actually read the author's note before starting the book, so I understood the characters and their experience a bit more than if I hadn't as the story was happening. It breaks my heart that there are children in the world trying to understand and deal with their problems themselves and have no adults in their lives to rely on for help. August and Jack have such a unique relationship and it was in ...more
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K. Ancrum, is the author of  the award winning thriller THE WICKER KING,  the interstellar lesbian romance THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS and the upcoming Peter Pan thriller DARLING. K. is a Chicago native passionate about diversity and representation in young adult fiction. She currently writes most of her work in the lush gardens of the Chicago Art Institute. 

Other books in the series

The Wicker King (2 books)
  • The Legend of the Golden Raven (The Wicker King #1.5)

Articles featuring this book

November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
99 likes · 23 comments
“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.” 45 likes
“I never said I didn’t feel the same,” Jack said harshly. “Just because I don’t see the kingdom doesn’t mean it doesn’t still exist,” Jack said furiously. “As long as one of us remembers it, it still counts. We decide the end of the game, not them. Not anyone else. You’re so stupid, August. You’re so stupid and I love you so much.” 36 likes
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