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The Witch King

(The Witch King #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,611 ratings  ·  985 reviews
To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound.

Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to chang
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 1st 2021 by Inkyard Press
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Julia You sound pressed. Did your mother not hug you enough?
Bee It isn't super explicit as in having multiple graphic flashback scenes, but a major plot point and catalyst of the story revolves around the main char…moreIt isn't super explicit as in having multiple graphic flashback scenes, but a major plot point and catalyst of the story revolves around the main character being abused by his family and the greater fae world. There is a reference to sexual assault, but it isn't explicit, more like you are supposed to infer what was going to happen. So no, it isn't super explicit, but it is definitely there throughout the entire story. (less)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,611 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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Shadow the Hedgehog
Apr 29, 2021 rated it did not like it
EDIT: This book is like an STD - it stays with you long after you are done. I can't stop thinking about it. Therefore, I decided to lower my score from 2 stars to 1. This is actually the book that changed my policy regarding 1 star reviews.

There is just so much I left out of this review. I could have critiqued the weak, nearly non-existent development of the story's themes; gone further with more examples of the flat worldbuilding; explained how the book barely belongs to the genre of fantasy; a
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Everything in this book lined up to make this a perfect reading experience. I ate this book up like candy. It's a perfect blend of dark fantasy told in a fresh, funny voice that just made it exactly what I was hoping for and so much more. I don't often put off finishing a book but this one, I just wanted to savour, and I didn't want it to end.

Seriously, this is a book deserving of a huge fandom. I can already picture all the fan art, all the memes, all the merchandise. I want this featured in b
[The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.]

CN: violence, gore, blood, murder, death, mentions of parental death, transmisia, misgendering (accidental and intentional), off-page deadnaming, fantasy racism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, panic attacks, trauma

I didn’t know how much I needed this book until I read it. Seriously, "The Witch King" changed my life in more ways than one. I have already read it twice before it was
May 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
The concept really drew me in: a trans boy witch going back to the fae home that rejected him. It's the kind of plot I dream of. But the book... it's not good. From the writing to the world building, it was poorly done.

I almost stopped reading after that really weird "gays are bad at math" remark. No. Just no.

And then the rest of the book happened.

(view spoiler)
Charlie Anders
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Witch King was the magical, romantic "found family" story I really needed right about now --- it manages to be super personal and also extremely political, in a way that's both urgently necessary and extremely deft. Wyatt, the trans witch who's betrothed to a prince of faerie named Emyr, is a rich, compelling protagonist: full of anger and confused feelings and self-loathing. Wyatt has been hiding in Texas for the past few years, trying to escape from his arranged marriage in a faerie kingdo ...more
if i had to sum up the witch king in one word, it would be "anticlimactic" 😔

there are so many cool and exciting elements of this book: stellar lgbt+ rep, starting with protagonist wyatt, who is a trans guy and super gay! everyone has visible energies / auras with a color that is unique to them! there's a dynamic and interesting cast of characters! a gay slow burn romance between estranged childhood besties! and it's a fun fantasy world filled with political metaphors, including oppressed witches
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
CWs: Death and mentions of parental death; blood, graphic violence and injury, mild gore; physical assault; sexual harassment; child abuse; trauma relating to fires; suicide attempt; misgendering and deadnaming (dead name off the page); some graphic references to and depictions of sex

This is like the angry anti-fascist queer fae fantasy romance that I've always wanted. H.E. Edgmon really wrote about a faerie realm that actually has to contend with queerness, transness, racism, systemic oppre
Jun 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
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The only good thing about this book is its synopsis. One of my most anticipated books of the year was such a mess that I was left with nothing but bitter disappointment.

A trans witch escapes from the fae kingdom only to be hunted down by his fiancé, the fae prince, who demand the witch still marry him and return to the fae kingdom but the main character decides to make a deal with the fae prince's enemy to make as much havoc as possible in the kingdom so that they can ta
Nov 27, 2021 rated it liked it
So appreciated the trans and queer representation in this book. H.E. Edgmon centers trans and queer voices without falling back on expected narratives such as transitioning and queer pain. I also liked Edgmon’s sincerity in writing this story. I sensed that they wanted to write a book about overcoming oppression and stereotypes as well as finding love and connection against the odds, and The Witch King succeeds in putting forth those messages.

With those positives stated, I found the execution of
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
This was...this was a mess. Lots of potential, big ideas, fantastic characters, rousing social justice and equity themes with fabulous parallels to today, and yet, it failed to really land or come together.

It felt like too much was trying to be stuffed in all that once (ironic in a book this size), and like nothing really happened? Wyatt was a catalyst, for sure (and had a lot of stuff to work through/learn to cope with), but without him, everything would pretty much have happened as it did wit
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: trans gay mc, Black achillean li, Native American bi ace side character, nonbinary lesbian side character, sapphic side character, side polyam relationship, side sapphic relationship
tw: transphobia, abuse (verbal and physical), blood, gore (chapter 14 & 15), panic attacks, fire, burning, mention of past sexual assault

3.5 ☆

things sure happen but i'm mostly here for the way the mc kills his abusive parents & also how the witches are lowkey a metaphor for lgbt folks and their treatment mimics
Oct 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbtqiap, fae, witches, romance
this truly looks perfect

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Jun 03, 2021 rated it did not like it
DNF'd at about 25%, unfortunately.

trigger warnings - violence, arson, misgendering, deadnaming, infertility, lesbophobia.
tws from the author (because i stopped reading) - violence (gore, arson, murder, attempted murder), misgendering & deadnaming, abusive parents, childhood sexual harassment and assault, grooming/predatory behavior between an adult and a teen, infertility/miscarriage mention, panic attack, suicidal ideation, mentions of suicide, drug use

I really wanted to enjoy this, especially
Amy Imogene Reads
4 stars

The structure wasn’t perfect, but I absolutely loved the characters and the world itself. Call it what it is: a very good debut that stands well with the others in a sea of similar concepts.

Uniqueness within YA fantasy tropes: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Plot/Pacing: ★★★

The Witch King is such a fantastic example of the future of fantasy, and urban/young adult fantasy in particular. When intersectionality, identities, and honest discussions on family and healing find their place in fiction, our
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars

First of all, I am so incredibly impressed with H.E. Edgmon; They are certain to be a force to be reckoned with in the YA stratosphere after this amazingly fantastical YA queer fantasy DEBUT ! YES. THIS WAS A DEBUT. Can you believe it?! Because you could've fooled me!

Honestly, this book was JUSTTTTT... utter, & complete perfection. The fantasical as hell, dark fantasy, 'portal writing' style atmosphere was just SO perfectly crafted.
The LGBTQIA+ representation & how it wa
Mara YA Mood Reader
Here I was feeling all extra because I just conceptualized an original WIP with a very, very similar plot 😭😭😭

Can’t wait to read this though 😆
Jun 01, 2021 rated it did not like it
Wow this book was so bad lol. Where was Edgmon’s editor this whole time?

I wanted to love this book so badly but it was a huge mess. Juvenile writing, nonexistent plot (I mean, there is a plot, but it disappears 1/3 of the way through so Wyatt can fuck around and do nothing despite promising himself that he’d get out of his situation), flat characters, flimsy worldbuilding, awful dialogue...

Edgmon wouldn’t know subtlety if it whacked them in the face. Some of the lines in this book are just... *
cel ✼ readwithcel
“that's enough cis men for today. i would like to cancel all cis men and go take a nap.”

i’ve been trying to read more books with trans and non-binary characters. to learn from each book, celebrate these stories, how powerful they are, and be blown away by so many new authors who are out here sharing their stories with the world.

the witch king was on my priority tbr the moment it was released but this mood reading brain didn’t let me get to it until this month. how i wish i'd read this earlie
Sage Agee
Aug 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2021 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reread July 2022

Original review
I legitimately loved every single second of this book and have nothing bad to say. It just may be perfect. From the actual story and the characters and the diversity and the rep is just so freaking good. I laughed really hard at all of Wyatt's gay panic moments. Wyatt and Briar's friendship / QPR? Is amazing and I need more. Emyr and Wyatt have their own little thing going on and, I'm not going to lie I liked Emyr from the very beginning and I just felt for him.
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-s-books
this book. this book! this book!!! this was a great debut and i loved how queer and magical it was. wyatt is an amazing character and so many moments i felt so excited to see myself relating with a magical creature, who is also funny but also angry and i hope others have the opportunity to read this book too!
Eva B.
THE WITCH KING is an excellent allegory for oppression and fascist regimes set in a world where Fae oppress witches and Wyatt--a witch once betrothed to the Fae prince Emyr who fled to the human world--finds himself torn between two choices: make the engagement fail and go back to the human world, or become the first witch king of Asalin.
Right off the bat, the writing is a fun mix of intense and memey, and Edgmon is able to make scenes appropriately chilling while also having the word "yeet" us
ale ‧ ₊˚୨୧ ₊˚
I am broken, and need the next book NOW. Yes I know it doesn't even release for 7 more months, but no I am not willing to wait to see what happens next. How dare this book get me so emotionally invested and then end on a cliff hanger. Now, I'm gonna try and be as spoiler free as possible, but warning that I might ref some small things.

This book is everything I have ever wanted. I am a gay transman with a Thing for supernatural creatures, so this book was practically made for me. This book has it
Jun 07, 2021 rated it did not like it
I preordered this book because this sounded absolutely amazing, and that cover! But it's bad. Really bad. Probably one of the worst books I've read this year.

The writing was atrocious. It was so juvenile and underdeveloped that it left me wondering how the hell it got past editing, let alone publishing. There was even an error where random numbers were within the text; how did no one catch that?

The story is so muddled and aimless. Wyatt gets to the kingdom, decides he doesn't want to be king, th
H.E. Edgmon
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi! I wrote this book! And now there's a preorder campaign going on!

You can read more about it on my Twitter: https://twitter.com/heedgmon/status/1..., or my website: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-p....

Also on my website, you can read about the trigger warnings: https://heedgmon.com/the-witch-king-t...

Okay, now I'm going to stay far away from Goodreads forever and ever until I have another book to promote thank you bye. <3
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon, I was immediately engrossed in its pages. Not only is it full of elements that fans of other popular YA fantasy series are sure to love (Fae! So many fae! Witches! Soulmate-type bonds!), it tells a wonderful and at points challenging story of found family, healing from past trauma, and learning to stand in your own power.

The Witch King is told from the point of view of Wyatt, runaway witch and gay trans guy. After three years of living in the human
Nicole Field
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you’re into gay betrothals, friends to enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine duos, monstrous fae, queer found family, and trans kids fighting the fuck back, you should read it?


Wyatt fled the fae realm and his engagement to his childhood friend Emyr, the current heir to the throne. when Emyr finds him and whisks him back to fae, Wyatt figures he can escape, even if that means betraying him. but maybe he'll find a
Sean Whatshisface
Feb 11, 2021 rated it did not like it
DNF. Ultimately I can't recommend this book. I found all the characters unlikable, and the story was poorly-paced. There was one line in it that just... ruined the whole experience. "It's a good thing I'm gay, so no one expects me to be good at math." I can't quite articulate why that offended me so deeply, but it did. There were other throw-away lines throughout that hit a bad nerve for me, and I couldn't enjoy the story because of them.

As far as pacing -- there's a line of dialogue (literally
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H.E. Edgmon (he/they) is a high school and college dropout, a militant queer, and an author of books both irreverent and radicalizing. His stories will always center the perspective of Indigenous people, trans people, and survivors of trauma. At present, he’s probably biting off more than he can chew, emulating the aesthetic of Dwayne from The Lost Boys (1987), and living out the found family trop ...more

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In the world of books, witches have been enjoying something of a moment lately. Stories about witches go waaaay back, of course. But in the...
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“That's enough cis men for today. I would like to cancel all cis men and go take a nap.” 7 likes
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