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The Wise One

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Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.

​Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s ​always ​been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.

​Whatever the hell that means.

​With the help of a persistent little wren and company of a newfound friend, Mckenna journeys to Ireland in search of her mother and real answers. Along the way, she learns to harness her innate magic and trust her intuition, as best she can anyway—Cillian, a kind and passionate delegate ​who crosses her path, is proving much harder to read.

​Only her mother could truly help her halt her ill fate and prepare her for what’s to come…before she gives in to the darkness she knows is buried deep within.

254 pages, Paperback

First published October 28, 2020

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About the author

K.T. Anglehart

1 book86 followers

K.T. Anglehart has always known she wanted to tell stories. An avid reader of new age books and an enthusiast for Celtic myths and legends, she likes to weave magic into her everyday life.

Anglehart gets a lot of her writing inspiration from Scottish and Irish folklore, as illustrated in her debut young adult urban fantasy novel, The Wise One, the first book in The Scottish Scrolls series.

Anglehart believes that a great book is one that incites you to change in some way. She hopes her readers will learn to find magic all around them, connect with nature, form lasting friendships, and keep following their excitement.

A devoted academic and speaker of three languages, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting; and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Anglehart launched her freelance editing career after dabbling in TV writing and working in digital marketing.

When she’s not writing, diving into magical reads, or studying folklore, Anglehart loves hiking, exploring cities and their local myth (of course), antiquing, amateur painting, and Netflixing with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy. They live in Toronto with their three pets: Nessie, a mysterious mutt rescued from Puerto Rico, and Onyx and Sterling, their troublemaking bunnies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 166 reviews
Profile Image for A_ bookbound _soul.
185 reviews42 followers
October 17, 2020
4 stars!

It was fun buddy reading this book with you, Parul !

"I want every child to know the world is full of light before they discover there’s such a thing as darkness,’ she’d say".

The Wise One was a fun, witchy read! It follows the adventures of McKenna who discovers the truth about herself and her mother on her 17th birthday. After the reveal she sets out on a journey alongside Nissa, a friend full of spirit and who always sees the bright side. During the course of her journey strangers become friends, magical lands are explored and her strengths are tested again and again.

Plot and setting:★★★★★
The best thing about this book was it's plot and setting! I've never visited Ireland via books or in real-life before. Anglehart's vivid description of all those magical places makes me want to go on a tour to Ireland and Scotland. It was very refreshing and wonderful experience reading about a new place.
There are also several references to Celtic folklore throughout the book and I'm quite excited to know more about it!

I enjoyed the writing style. Even though it was slow-paced in few places the writing kept me hooked.

The one thing that this book lacks is character development. They have quite a promising start but as the story progressed I got difficult to relate with any of them. I really hope the author works on this in the next book.

I liked how, apart from the main plot, Anglehart also focused on other subjects like environmental issues.

I'm definitely continuing with the series. I'd recommend this book to all the fantasy and Celtic folklore lovers out thier!

"Because all of this makes me think everything really does happen for a reason. Like if you stay positive, if you have faith, everything will work out in a beautiful way. And that’s magic, isn’t it"

*I recieved an e-ARC of The Wise One from Booksirens and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.*

Profile Image for Genny.
13 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2020
This is the perfect YA novel for someone who is interested in Celtic folklore (with a twist). The setting was painted so beautifully and I find myself wanting to visit Ireland and go on a Wise One tour!

The book starts with Mckenna waking up on her 17th birthday to a really vivid dream about a witch burning at the stake. You think that sets the scene for the rest of the book, but then you're almost immediately pulled back to the modern-day world where she shares a comfy, fairly normal life with her two dads. The reader is seamlessly pulled along by these two realities: on the one hand, we're learning about this girl who doesn't necessarily fit in with other teens at school but still has to go through the motions of adolescence. On the other hand, we're pulled into a much darker and more magical side of her family's past. It's a Quest plot, and I loved that Mckenna was at the heart of it. She has just the right amount of teen angst to be completely relatable and loveable. Also, she's super ballsy! (Don't want to spoil anything, but if you read it, you'll understand lol).

I don't normally go for YA novels, but I found that the author gave the teenage voice a sense of dignity and a realistic texture that sometimes comes off as campy with other YA writers. The pacing moves us along quite quickly, but I never got the sense that I was missing something or needed the author to slow down. And you can tell that it was really well-researched, especially when it came to scene-setting and folklore.

I loved it!
3 reviews
September 10, 2020
The Wise One is very easily the best book I’ve read in a long time, and the book I devoured in the least time once I got my hands on the copy! Anglehart’s light story-telling takes you on the best kind of ride, the kind where you don’t even think to ask “are we there yet?”, because the wind is in your hair and the journey is just as good as the destination. The story in itself is youthful yet timelessly relevant, because among other important themes the author touches on, it is also a story about finding and accepting oneself. Mckenna is a fiery character with just enough spirit and determination to make her a strong role model for young readers but enough character development to make her a three-dimensional literary persona with her own flaws that real adolescents can actually relate to. Her friendship with Nissa isn’t written as perfect, and in a day and age where our children measure relationships by #goals on Instagram, it is a reinforcing example of strong values and a reminder that any true friendship may have its ups and downs, but it is one of the purest joys in life to have a friend you can count on, and to be counted on in turn. We need more literature like this! Anglehart’s sharp plot and breathtaking imagery of enchanted locations like Ireland, Scotland and Boston ensure that by reading The Wise One, you are embarking on a vivid, magical adventure with all of the right twists and turns. A true must-read!
Profile Image for Cielo.
71 reviews45 followers
November 11, 2020
The Wise One is a story filled with magic, strong female characters, historical details and the desire to find out the truth once and for all. Its ethereal and mystical vibe transports the readers straight to Ireland, where McKenna will arrive by ship to finally know the story behind her mysterious and absent mother, and the magical powers hidden deep within her.

This book is set in 1991, something that immediately makes it stand out from most Fantasy books since it’s not an usual time period authors tend to choose (it’s usually in the present or back in the 1800s, and seeing something different for once it’s really interesting and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story!). Also, the story unravels between Massachusetts and Ireland, and you can definitely see the author did a thorough research on both settings since the amount of details (especially the Irish ones) are very accurate, so I found myself learning a lot while reading this book.

Adding to that, despite having some Irish terms and phrases, it’s not confusing at all. The author takes her time to slowly build the story so the reader can get familiarized with the terminology, and it’s a fun reading and learning experience rather than having to guess or skim through things you don’t understand.

I instantly connected with the main character, Mckenna: her fiery temper, determination and short fuse. She’s weary of her surroundings and gaining her trust is no easy task, which I found very realistic considering the situation she was in and what she has been through. She’s very loving and has a great sense of humor. Nissa, her best friend in the story, was the perfect complement to her as she was, in a way, the water to Mckenna’s fire: always trying to lead her to the right path when Kenna’s attitude threatens with getting them in trouble. But beyond being a mediator, Nissa is also strong and quirky and funny, overall a very positive character to include in the story.

And about Cillian… I’m so intrigued about him. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of him in this book, but I understand his development is something that will continue in the next books, and not the point of focus of this one. However, I liked him and I’m very excited to see what he’ll be up to in the sequel.

The parental figures (and lack of them, in Nissa’s case) also play a big role in the story. Mckenna is the daughter of a gay marriage, and I adored Séan and André’s characters, always being so caring of their daughter, but being their own persons beyond just the fathers of Mckenna and reading about their worries and struggles. John and Brigit weren’t related to any of the characters but also played parental figures to Mckenna and Nissa, and they made me laugh in more than one occasion.

The historical details included in the book were one of my favorite things about reading The Wise One. Anglehart did a great job at mixing reality with fiction in her book, and something about The Wise One made me feel as if I was reading a (very interesting!) history book. There were elements of politics and real stories of witch hunts included, but the best part of it all is that everything flows smoothly and the author only added things that would serve to the purpose of the plot. As I read this book I couldn’t help but notice all the documentation that had to be done in order to write it.

This book has such an ethereal and mystical vibe to it, I loved the scenes of Mckenna taking lessons with Esme; it was one of my favorite parts of the book. The story flows smoothly and the pace is just right; one of those books you can definitely read in one go, preferably on a cozy autumn night. Also, it’s worth to notice that there’s a very beautiful and powerful message of protection of the environment that I really liked seeing in the book.

The things that make me rate this book 4 stars are more personal preferences than anything. While I don’t enjoy books with big chunks of narrated paragraphs, I found that this book was more dialogue than narration and some details could’ve been explored more in depth with a little more narrative. Also, how Séan and Abby handled Mckenna’s disappearance didn’t seem very realistic to me, and seeing them take some actions about it rather than let it be would’ve been better for me.

The Wise One is a very strong debut about friendship, self-discovery and finding the truth. I definitely recommend this one, especially to readers of The Cruel Prince and Lady Midnight. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Profile Image for Sarah.
95 reviews3 followers
September 2, 2020
I got this book as an ARC. And I feel so lucky that I did. The Wise One needs to be on all of the must read lists for 2020. I’m so moved by the storytelling, the setting and the characters K.T. created. I consumed this in a day, I couldn’t tear myself away. Not only did the author suck me into this breathtakingly visual book about magic, witches and faeries, but they stuck in so many life lessons that humans of all ages need to be reminded of. Don’t be a bully, love is love, protect our beautiful planet, accept your faults, family comes first and love your friends unconditionally. In a time where we can’t travel, this books takes you from Boston in the Fall to the inviting landscapes of Ireland and I felt like I was there with the characters. Every McKenna needs a Nissa in their life and I can’t wait to read where they adventure to next.
Profile Image for Steph Elias.
448 reviews1 follower
September 5, 2020
The Wise One is a fantastic YA fantasy book about a young girl named McKenna and how she comes to terms with not only who she is, but also what she is. The storyline is great with lots of magic and a bit of mystery. I loved the settings and the characters. It was just a really well-written book all around with a major cliffhanger for an ending. I can't wait to read the next book!
Profile Image for mari.
245 reviews
November 3, 2020
First of all, thank you NetGalley for providing me an ARC and giving me the chance to read it. It’s been a pleasure.

The Wise One follows the story of McKenna, a 17 year old teenager that starts experiencing weird and magical things that belong to those stories of fairytales. She then sets off on a journey which purpose is both discovering herself and investigating as well as trying to find someone she never thought she’d ever meet. Now, accompanied by a new friend Nissa and a stranger, McKenna faces new challenges as well as she gets to know more about her past and her origins.

I believe this is the first book in the saga “The Scottish Scrolls” and even though it started really slow-paced, things get interesting as we dive more into the action. I have to admit I was dreading to start it, but that’s what happens to most of the books I read. However, I am very pleased to say it has been worth every second of my time.

Let’s dive into what I liked and I didn’t like, shall we?

** WARNING: this review contains spoilers (I just couldn’t help myself [laughs nervously])

The story is quite slow-paced, at some points too slow-paced for my liking, and sometimes I had to put the book down just to process what I was reading; between all the touristic and history facts that are told about every place they go. However, I can tell I learned great things and that’s one of the things that I find the most intriguing about books.

My favourite character? I don’t think I really have one in specific, I’d have to read more to actually find a character that I can relate to and love. But I do specially like Nissa, the carefree girl who’s all anout nature, who cares so much about nature and constantly thinks of ways to preserve it. She’s really passionate about what she likes and the fact that she reads nature books,,,, that’s what made me like her so much. In addition, her blindly trusting someone she barely knows and joining McKenna in her journey to self-discovery says a lot about her. Nissa is such a baby and by that I mean she’s got to be protected at all costs. I love her a lot. Despite this, I also would like to mention how she’s way too innocent and maybe takes very dangerous risks, for instance when she follows an old lady into a narrow and dark street and when she convinces McKenna to stay with a pair of strangers. That’s what weirded me out quite a lot because we’ve all been told since we were children that we must never trust strangers, lest follow them to wherever they might lead us. I thank the God above Nissa’s been lucky to find trustful and good people.

The characters didn’t actually feel real to me. There’s so many things I find so strange and risky, maybe it’s due to my european upbringing and my lack of knowledge on american culture and habits. First of all we have McKenna running away to Boston to get to Dublin and then go to Ballycastle, leaving a two-line short note to her parents, persuading another teenager to accompany her and not even once caring about what this might do to her parents. Yes, she did end up wondering about what her parents might have thought and feeling guilty, which was a plus because I hated reading how she “didn’t want to think of her parents because they wouldn’t understand her emotions and what she’s going through” at that moment. Seán and Andre are her family, the only family she ever needed and she was fast to leave them behind pursuing a lead to find her mum whom she doesn’t know if is alive or has perished. She sets off on a long journey with nothing planned, a rather improvised decision that shows she was too angry, overwhelmed by her own emotions and thoughts to think clearly and give a second thought before running to find her mum without hesitation.

I’ve got to say Seán was right to go look for her and get her home safely. Andre’s opinion to let her cool down, find her answers and come back once she was ready was one of the most unrealistic things I’ve ever read, but I do understand why he may have said it. We teenagers tend to act rather unpredictable and we tend to take decisions made just when we are overwhelmed. McKenna took a big decision without second thoughts and I felt like Andre was wrong to tell Seán to let her come back when she was ready. Let’s remember McKenna is 17 years old, still a minor. If I were her mother, my first thought would’ve been to go look for her, get her back home and tell her off. And maybe then just be grateful I’d found McKenna and that nothing bad happened to her. Don’t forget she didn’t just run away to another city or town or state, instead she ran away to another continent, which is something to really really worry about. And this may be the reason why I started liking Seán, till he kissed Abby, which with me counts as cheating on her husband. I was really pleased to see Seán and Andre parenting McKenna though.

However, the big big NO was McKenna and Nissa going through her journey and trusting complete strangers: from the adorable old couple to Cillian, whom they just met like maybe 5 days ago, and with whom shared a bedroom and the journey through the green landscape of Ireland. In real life that’s the most most MOST dangerous thing to ever do, but I also understand this is a book and not going to lie, if I were a book character I’d probably do the same. I’ve even dreamed and wondered doing this while sleeping at night.

The story didn’t keep me guessing. I was partly angry at McKenna for acting rather childish and selfish and the other part of me was just soaking up all the information and taking notes on the scottish and irish words used throughout the whole book. I did wonder though if McKenna would ever find where her mother was hiding, and if she would cross paths with her father and her mother at some point. And I’m still waiting for this to happen in the following book.

My favourite part of the book might have been when McKenna met a faerie with whom she exchanged pleasentries and who returned her Converses to her way after she returned to the “real world”. Another favourite moment of mine is when Nissa and McKenna reunite again, after McKenna finally realises her mistake and astral projects herself to where Nissa may be and then, when she goes back to her to apologize, both of them hug each other and then share their findings.

As for the question whether the book made me laugh and cry,,,,,, it’s safe to say I didn’t do either? I did find every scene written greatly which helped me picture every word in my head and play it as if it was a film. However, this is the first book so there hasn’t been lots of pure action,,,, which brings me to the following point: there weren’t enough sad or tense and romantic scenes for me to actually appreciate the way they’re written. I DO love slow-burn romances so I’m cheering and rooting for McKenna and Cillian in the second book.

All in all, the surprising thing has been the ending. With a cliffhanger like that, who expects the book to no longer give you more scenes? It basically cuts off your supply on chapters right after she finally meets her mother through astral projection. It’s frustrating and I’m just waiting for the next book to come so I can read what’s going to happen but at the same time I wanna leave it because I’m dreading what might happen next. I am ready for the next book but at the same time I’m scared what the next book might bring to the characters. I do want, of course, Andre and Seán meeting and fixing their marriage, because these two are the best thing in the whole book. And I just wish them the best.

As I’ve said before, I found it hard to like the main character, and maybe that’s just me but I didn’t actually like her a lot. She had her reasons to do what she did and I respect that, but I do not find myself relating to her in any aspect and maybe that —and also how she barely cared about what her parents might go after her fleeing their home and country with no clue as to where she was going (well there was one but not explicitly stated)— is what made me so reluctant to emotionally attach myself to her. Despite this, though, I ended up liking her a little bit more in the end. Do not ask me why because I wouldn’t be able to tell you precisely what I like about her.

To summarize, I’d like to thank again the publisher for giving me an ARC and letting me read this story. As for what public this may be directed to, I’d daresay this book is perfect for teens (teenagers) around 14-18 maybe 14-17. For young readers who love a slow-burn romance and slow-paced story that might teach you quite a lot of things about Ireland and its myths.

Despite the things I’ve learned and the new vocabulary, I give this book a solid 2 star rating. I really hope the next one picks up and gives us more action as well as more backstory and maybe shows us the character development of McKenna. I truly wish to love her with all my heart and I want to be able to say I love McKenna after the following book.
1 review
September 18, 2020
Ok, I haven't binged read a book since Harry Potter 7 yeaaaars ago. This made me do that. I read it in two sittings, and if I could've, I would've read it in one.
It was a breeze to read, with fun characters and a really intriguing storyline. Loved Nissa. She's adorable. I thought it'd be a little too young for me at first but it hooked me pretty fast. AND THE TWISTS...I'll say no more.
But it ends quickly too! For me that's good though because I love the feeling of wanting to read the next book right away lol. Now I have to wait! But anyway, it's worth it. Really recommend if you love magical journeys!
6 reviews
September 7, 2020
This was a fun read with, I felt, a creative take on modern mysticism and a relevant backdrop of radical environmentalism. The author does a lovely job of taking you along for Mckenna's journey, with a page-turning international road-trip amidst beautifully described scenery and adventure.
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,182 reviews169 followers
August 13, 2021
Magic, fairies, and Celtic lore are some of my favorites. That made this book a "no-brainer" for me to pick up.

The book is set during the 1990s. McKenna is a teen who doesn't fit in with most kids. The first thing is that she is teased because she has two dads. It was definitely something that set her apart during the time period. She likes to do her own thing, she isn't super social, and she just found out that her biological dad had a relationship with her mom. She has a mom out there who shipped her and her dad to America from Ireland.

The book is one of self-discovery. McKenna begins to realize she is different in her journey across the sea and to Ireland. She begins to "see" things and to have dreams about people and places from the past. The book really became interesting to me when she started to meet friends of her moms who taught her magical skills and prepared her for her role as a "wise one".

She makes a few friends along the way. Some are wonderful, and others are not so great. The joy really is in the journey. The story is told from multiple viewpoints as a reader, so I knew who had ulterior motives. I'm just waiting for McKenna to catch up.

I would recommend the book to an older YA reader. It contains language, underage drinking, and innuendo that may not be appropriate for some YA readers.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

1 review
September 4, 2020
Loved this book, the way the author describes the different settings makes you feel you are actually there and you feel you really know the characters and get attached to them . Amazing storyline from beginning to end, I was transported to a different world yet many modern day topics are touched...definetely worth reading and re-reading! Looking forward for more material from this young promising author!
- Sandy
September 12, 2020
If you are as Fascinated as I have Always been by Irish myth and folklore and it’s breathtaking countryside you will love this book !

Pure enchantment as you Embark on an Adventurous journey of Irish Myths ,Tales and magic .

Where mystical fantasy world becomes reality as you are transported in the magical fantasy world of Faeries, changelings and witches!
Must read! Looking forward to book 2!
Profile Image for Nancy.
Author 2 books8 followers
September 18, 2020
Oh my gosh. This is one of the books where I was so disappointed that I finished it! I'd been crawling under the covers every night with this book, and I looked forward to it every night! Hopefully, Book 2 will come along soon. I love McKenna but I think my favorite character might be Nissa, a sweet little underdog who is the perfect supporting character to McKenna. Hopefully, we saw more of her in a future book!
Profile Image for Erin Mackey.
Author 6 books8 followers
September 20, 2020
I loved reading this book! You connect with the characters right away and are engaged to the very last page. The author makes the scenery come to life in vivid color and you place yourself there with the characters. It made me even more excited to visit Ireland for our anniversary trip in a couple of years! I will definitely add this author to my regular reading list and I can't wait for my next read from them.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,473 reviews
October 16, 2020
When McKenna turns seventeen, strange things start to happen to her. Birds are communicating with her, she can feel what others are feeling, and she has a compulsion to know her birth mother to help explain everything. She journeys to Ireland and begins to learn about the country, her heritage, and the large role she will play in the future of the world.

This takes place in the 90's, so there are no cell phones and less technology. This is good because McKenna and her friend Nissa are able to sneak aboard a ship and travel to another country without needing passports which is pretty insane. My favorite part of this are the descriptions of Ireland. The land, the history, it's all painted so beautifully. I've been to some of these places and it definitely brought back memories.

The story of the scrolls wasn't elaborated enough for me, I don't entirely understand them or what their purpose is. I also didn't love Sean's parts, especially with Abby. I was worried about Sean falling for Abby again and want him to reunite with Andre. McKenna also isn't super likeable and I'm hoping she'll mature in the next book and not be so rude, especially to her friends.

The ending is so abrupt, it just cuts off all the sudden and I wish it eased into it more. I hope the sequel will give us some answers that we didn't get before and we'll see McKenna come more into herself.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Lucia.
68 reviews14 followers
October 5, 2020
I’ve received The Wise One from the author in exchange for a review. Thank you very much for the ebook.

The Wise One is a book somewhere between YA and Teen for me. Nevertheless, if you want to read a perfect witchy story inspired by Celtic folklore and visit some ancient places in Ireland, this is for you. Honestly, I know that the Irish atmosphere had a huge some influence on me (because I love everything related to this country), still I enjoyed this book a lot and I highly recommend it.

The plot, characters, mysteries, twists, and magic work so well in the story. The plot is little bit slower, but this is the first book from the series, so it also serves as a perfect introduction into the urban fantasy world of witches and other creatures. The main events were happening in 1991, but there are also some flashbacks from the past. They tied the story together and I really love the idea of past lives, so for me the present-past feature worked incredibly well and I’m pretty sure we are not done with mysteries from the past. As a bonus, you will learn some interesting stories about some places in Ireland (+ history) and how they are related to the main story. Also, I appreciate the author’s work and research here. As someone who studied and visited some of the mentioned places, I could spot a lack of research easily. There was none.

Atmosphere was another thing that was super enjoyable for me. Some parts were truly atmospheric and very well described – I felt like I am there with the main characters standing in front of the ancient monument or middle-age castle (well, I was there last year). Simply, you are going to visit Ireland at least through pages thanks to this book.

One would expect some stupid teenagers as the main characters who are going to drive you mad with their stupidity. Well, it didn’t happen here, I’ll tell you that. Ok, there is some naivety as always with such young people but wait till the end. We follow our main character McKenna as she discovers that her nightmares aren’t just nightmares and there might be another secret behind them, but her dads want to protect her and her real mother too. And with that her witchy journey has started. Following her journey and how step by step she uncovered her past and present, how she learnt about her abilities and the hidden world of witches, it was super interesting. This revealing process was quite slow (also they travel a lot from a place to place) so don’t expect any crazy action but personally I didn’t mind lack of it. The mysteries and hundreds of questions kept my mind pretty busy even without more dangerous action stuff. Also, ancient scrolls, some kind of a prophecy, past lives, witchcraft - that’s all my cup of tea.

There are also great secondary characters, Cillian – a mysterious boy, Nissa - McKenna’s best friend (I adore their friendship) and two perfect cinnamon rolls, McKenna’s fathers Andre and Seán. Plus, some other mysterious figures, witches, faeries (oh yes, they played a huge role, but I won’t tell you more. At the end, some reckless things will make sense).

The writing style was also great, and it only added to my overall enjoyment. I’m interested in the story, I want to know more, I want to see family together, friends being friends, more character development and maybe some changing a side moment. This is one of those series I truly want to read the second book as soon as possible because that quick ending left me gaping and wanting more. Personally, I see a huge potential in the next books, so giving The Wise One four stars is a great start for a new series.
Profile Image for BookQueen.
69 reviews7 followers
July 14, 2021
I wish I knew where to begin with this review. Firstly, I'd like to thank K.T. Anglehart for send me a copy of The Wise One. It was fantastic and I absolutely adored it.

To get right into the juicy details, McKenna is a badass. The novel takes place in the 90s, so there are no cellphones and travelling by yourself may be a teeny bit easier if you don't want to be found. Anywaysssss, when Kenna starts showing signs of magical abilities, her dads (yes plural. we love that LGBTQ+ representation) deny what's happening. Kenna must figure out for herself what's going on and why conversations about her birth mother are always pushed under the rug.

When Kenna can't take the secrecy anymore, she and her bestie Nissa run away and go to Ireland where the story takes place and ultimately where Kenna wants to discover who she is. Naturally, we need a good love interest and here is where Cillian comes in, a youth delegate who wants to save the planet and have peace throughout Ireland. As perfect as he sounds, he is keeping secrets and things always go bad when secrets are revealed.

K.T. Anglehart has put together an amazing story. By using Celtic folklore, and Irish and Scottish mythology, she has created a new world for us to love and characters we begin to root for. The scenery in this novel is breathtaking and it actually feels like you're there right along with Kenna. It's a dream just to visualize these places and knowing that they're real makes the reading experience even better.

I can't wait for the next book in The Scottish Scrolls series. I need answers and naturally K.T. won't simply give them to me!!!!
Profile Image for Caitlin.
131 reviews49 followers
November 6, 2020
✨The Wise One✨

Thank you to netgalley, the publisher and K.T. Anglehart for providing an e-arc.

Summary: Mckenna has always been different and on her 17th birthday a nightmare of being burned at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, abilities that her two dads knew about but didn’t tell her. Mckenna is forced to confront her abilities and is forced to set off to find her mysterious mother. Mckenna has to face some harsh realities all the while trying to harness her powers, will she be able to find her mother and avoid the one who wishes to harm her?

Rating (out of 5)
Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Adventure: 🧭🧭🧭🧭
Fantasy: 🧙🏻‍♀️🧙🏻‍♀️🧙🏻‍♀️.5

Review: This is the first book in the new, young adult urban fantasy series, the Scottish Scrolls. Set in the 1990s, the journey starts in Massachusetts and very quickly progresses to a tour of Ireland with a final stop in the Isle of Man.

Whilst the MC has mystical powers, I found the fantasy elements a little overshadowed by the more environmental and political elements. I would love to see it more at the forefront in the rest of the books.

I liked the diversity with Mckenna having been raised by a gay couple in a time that was definitely less accepting, it was refreshing to see. However, Sean’s bi-sexuality could’ve been represented a lot better as there seemed to be some bi-erasure.

Overall, it’s a cute Celtic urban fantasy that is fairly fast paced and enjoyable whilst reading, I hope to see more emphasis on the fantasy side of things in the books to come and hopefully some of the issues are ironed out
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2 reviews1 follower
October 28, 2020
From the captivating first chapter to the surprise ending twist, K.T. Anglehart really reeled me in. I love quick-paced YA books, and I was instantly left wanting to learn more about the mystery that is McKenna’s mother, the High Priestess’s intentions and what it meant to be a wise one.  The author truly succeeded in bringing her readers on a magical journey alongside Mckenna and Nissa on their quest for answers. And what I loved most about it was that it wasn't just about discovering secrets, it was really about discovering themselves. 

I also love anything to do with Ireland, and I felt like I had literally been transported there. The author painted such a beautiful picture of the Irish countryside. As an admirer and avid reader of all that is fairies and magic, this book really intrigued me and surpassed my expectations. I really enjoyed the youthful and light-hearted read. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for Allison.
363 reviews2 followers
November 3, 2020
I was given an e-copy of The Wise One for a fair and honest review. So, honestly, K T Anglehart better be working on Book 2, because I’m in serious book withdrawal. The friendship between McKenna and Nissa felt so real, I wanted to be on their crazy journey with them. Almost every other character, I must have questioned their motives at least once. I love characters that have depth; are a blend of good and bad, doing the right things for the wrong reasons and the wrong things for the right reasons. The way the landscape and culture of Ireland was woven through and around the story has me dreaming of visiting. If you love contemporary fantasy, the mythical and the magical, or just good books in general, I highly recommend this complex and delightful tale.
January 6, 2021
KT Anglehart’s debut novel is a thrilling adventure that expertly blends magic, environmentalism, and folklore. I really enjoyed the fast pace, it made for a very exciting read.

You can tell a lot of thought and research was put into the world of The Wise One. KT’s descriptions of the locations made me crave a trip to Ireland with a guide like Cillian! I can’t wait to find out where the story will take Mckenna and Nissa next.

Highly recommend for any magic lover out there! One of my favourite books of 2020 :)
Profile Image for Ilana Costello (patel).
144 reviews2 followers
October 1, 2020
Amazing scenery. Fantastic use of language. Characters that you immediately bond with. This book has everything, especially a great way of explaining and describing magic. The only reason my review isn't 5 stars is the cliff hanging ending.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elliot .
24 reviews3 followers
October 9, 2020
I loved this book! All around a great read. It does make you want a sequel though...

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
195 reviews44 followers
October 15, 2020
“We always have choice, boireannach glic—no destiny is written. We’re all born with gifts; all we can do is harness them, and walk the path that feels the truest. Stay grounded, stay centred” (235).

On the day of her 17th birthday, Mckenna begins experiencing strange dreams accompanied by a new magical connection to a stranger named Nissa. She comes home to her fathers holding a deep secret that her mother was a witch. With the possibility of her mother being alive, Mckenna embarks on a voyage to discover her whereabouts with Nissa by her side. Every encounter along the way will test Mckenna and unshackled powers to find the truth.

“There was a sudden chill in the air, and a rush of cold swept across her body. She looked down at her arms—they were covered entirely in goosebumps, as though wrapped in bubble paper” (126).

I loved that the setting is in the 90’s with glimpses of other centuries. The novel’s pacing is subsequent with it being the first in a saga/trilogy/series. Slow paced with some rapid moments filled with information until things really pick up in the last chapter. Due to this I did feel bored at times, but the history pushed me through. I admire the fact that K.T. Anglehart did research on the historical topics, both of folklore and geographically. Also, I really appreciate that the sources are included at the end. Gives the reader more insight to the topics presented especially if novice to the subjects. The prose, when describing nature, is beautifully written. There were a few editing instances such as the sentence structure and grammar. Nothing too severe.

“A lake of mystic topaz stood silent and still beneath smooth mountains, gradient green as though stroked by a paint brush. Beckoned by a light wind, the water drifted ever gently, almost shily towards the bordering hills. Not a sound emanated from the elements. It was a space for thinkers and observers. No one else deserved to be in its presence” (162).

Even though the main premise is Mckenna coming-of-age, I did appreciate Nissa and Sean’s own journeys of truth. It's interesting to see this small family of three to grow so much character wise and quantity wise in 200+ pages. I’m also interested to see where things go with Cillian and how his brother's eventual appearance comes into play in the sequel. Overall, an enjoyable YA fantasy filled with history, witches, fairies and family.

“A Wise One has lived many lives as a witch before this one, and carries the burden of these past existences with them into their next life, and every life after that” (158).

Thank you to BookSirens and K.T. Anglehart for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 15 books296 followers
September 6, 2020
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Wise One in exchange for an honest review.

The Wise Ones is a fun low fantasy read, its just being targeted at the wrong audience.

Following 17 (I think, she might have been 16) year old Mckenna after she learns that the woman she'd assumed to have been a surrogate to her gay fathers was actually a witch as she travels from Boston to Ireland and gets wrapped up in a centuries old prophecy, The Wise One hits all the hallmarks of middle a middle grade low fantasy adventure. Even Mckenna and her best friend act more like preteens than actual teenagers. Although targetted at a YA audience, I'd recommend this to middle grade readers because the pacing and predictable plot would definitely be more well received there.

While I love that queer family dynamics are becoming more common in fiction, the portrayal of Mckenna's fathers here felt a bit off to me. At first I was excited to see the close relationship the two had with each other and with Mckenna, but when Mckenna's mother was introduced as a plot point bio-dad Sean started to feel a little bi-erasing. He claims to have been in love with both her and his husband and his husband seems shocked at this confession, stating that he'd been told Mckenna's bio mum bailed on them when she found out he was gay. Mckenna also seems confused, questioning Sean's sexuality and the only response we're given is him saying something along the lines of 'gay, straight, I don't really like labels. I sure did love both of them though' and while its totally okay to not want to use a label, the combination of only gay and straight being listed and Sean having lied to his husband made it feel like the plot necessitated him to be bi but either didn't know or bother to look up the terminology or willfully ignored it. Again, I read an ARC and it was definitely more of a throwaway line, I just hope it's better addressed in the official version.
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,945 reviews215 followers
October 11, 2020
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wise One was a pretty cute and quick book to dive into. In it, you will meet McKenna who slowly, but surely, discovers more about herself throughout the book. Now I have no idea how I would handle any of the information that she received but I am happy with how she handled everything. Especially with all the secrets that came out in each chapter.

Even though this book had it's cute moments.. it also had it's boring ones. Maybe it's just me but things felt a bit predictable or underwhelming. For example, when it's revealed that someone knew who she really was the whole time, when we finally meet the big bad villain, or the ending. I also feel like nothing happened for most of this book, unless you count the journey to all the places.

Other than that, I hope that the characters themselves become a bit more interesting in the next book. I want to see some sort of growth for them due to that little cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Pauline Reid .
314 reviews98 followers
October 13, 2021
Two strong female protagonists, seperate families, not related, each searching for answers, both trying to find their mothers.

So we have Mckenna, who wants to find her mother who she still believes is alive, she has also just discovered she has gifts, but she doesn't know yet how to use them, so leaving her 2 Dads behind she seeks knowledge of two kinds. Then we have Nissa, nerdy, doesn't fit in, seeks for her own answers on where her own family are. Both of these girls become friends and search together for questions unknown.

Points of interest
- map at the beginning, which makes a huge difference of the lay of the land.
- travel through, Englan, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Isle of Skye, Maschettes.
- Authors Notes - Some historical figures in this story include alleged witches Alice Kyteler, Petronella de Meath, and Elizabeth Dunlop.
- Reiki/meditation references/astro travel/Wiccan Rituals.
- fae, fairies, spiritual creatures, gnomes and cats
- centred around the season of Samhain

This was such an amazing story, which you could tell had a huge amount of research into, amazing plotting skills and the added reaction of being scared to read this during the evening I'm sure, the desired effect the author was wanting ... yes there ARE scary bits in there readers, so be aware 😬.

I would like to thank the author for gifting me this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This is a 5 star review, and comes highly recommended by me and will suit readers interested in witchy books, a good one for Halloween, for anyone interested in Celtic myths and legends involving Ireland and Scotland, also this is a coming of age story, YA Fantasy.
Profile Image for The LitBuzz.
321 reviews27 followers
December 21, 2020
Witches, Faeries, and Ghosts: The Perfect Samhain Read
The Wise One is a delightfully spooky tale starring a reincarnated witch, mystics who are conservation radicals, and a host of mystical creatures found in Scottish and Irish folklore. As any fan of the Shadowhunter universe would sagely caution: all the stories are true. This is a lesson that Makenna (the Wise One) will have to quickly accept, if she wants to stay one step ahead of the magical forces hunting her, and her mother, whom she has never met. The only problem is that Makenna is very logical, and has been told nothing of her supernatural heritage by her father Sean, and his husband Andre. In fact, they have always led her to believe that she was the product of a surrogacy, and that they have no ties to her mother. But when Makenna discovers that this is untrue, she sets off on a highly illogical journey to Ireland, with her new best friend Nissa, to uncover that truth of who she is, where she came from, and what happened to her mother. See the source image

In order to avoid any spoilers, I don’t want to discuss the plot in any more detail. I will say only that it moves quickly, and for the most part believably, from adventure to adventure as Nissa and Makenna uncover the secrets of their pasts, and race against time to keep Makenna safe from a fate she doesn’t yet understand. One aspect I particularly enjoyed is that the villain in the story is far more interesting than a typical evil sorceress, in that she and her followers are trying to end human abuse to Mother Nature, in an effort to stop climate change. The only problem, of course, is the methods they plan to use to accomplish that noble goal…involving the destruction of millions of souls. This naturally gives Makenna no small incentive to try to stay out of their reach until she can find her mother, and learn how to fulfill her fate without causing mass destruction. Pretty heavy concepts for a YA Fantasy novel right? But, I believe young people will enjoy pondering the question: what can be done to reverse the damage being done to our planet, while still allowing for longer life spans and expansion of the population? While a massive purge of souls is clearly not the answer, something must be done, and I firmly believe that our current young adult population will be the ones to find an answer to that question.

Image result for ireland gifThis book is fun and spooky despite all that, as Makenna faces down a vengeful ghost, meets a coven of witches, and explores the beautiful Irish countryside. As Makenna and Nissa travel, they learn as much about Irish folklore as they do about Irish politics in the time of The Troubles from their mysterious guide, Cillian. There is a budding romance between Makenna and Cillian as well, that is tested by his loyalties and goals for Ireland’s future. I have a feeling that the series being set toward the end of The Troubles (the time period of violent strife between Protestant loyalists and Catholic nationalists, over whether Northern Ireland should be part of the UK or the rest of Ireland) will have greater importance in future books of the series, and I look forward to seeing how that will be interwoven with the need for conservation…and with the magical fate of the Wise One. Image result for samhain gif

All in all, this is an excellent YA fantasy…it ends on Samhain, making it perfect for this season that we are moving into, and serves as a reminder of the natural world’s cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. After all no matter how dark the metaphorical night, or how cold the metaphorical winter, eventually spring will arrive, bringing new hope for the future.

A solid 4.5!
Profile Image for Susan.
39 reviews
September 25, 2020
McKenna O’Dwyer has always felt “different” somehow. When she wakes up from a vivid dream of a witch burning at the stake on her 17th birthday, her dads are forced to reveal her heritage. Her mother was not an anonymous surrogate as McKenna believed; she was married to Mc Kenna’s dad, Sean, and was a witch. Now, it appears that McKenna also has powers. Her mother, Abby, referred to her as a Wise One.

McKenna discovers an old note from her mother to her father and immediately knows that she must go in search of her mother. She and her new friend, Nissa, get on a bus to Boston, and unbelievably, travel with an older couple on a ship to Ireland. Once they arrive, McKenna and Nissa begin their search and start to discover their true selves.

This book is enjoyable on many different levels. Anglehart’s characters are multidimensional and likable. The friendship between McKenzie and Nissa seems genuine even though they’ve only known each other for a short time. There is also a theme of loving oneself/ others as they are. McKenna’s dads are a bi-racial gay couple and their relationship is just like that of any other long-term partners I especially enjoyed John and Brigit, the couple that McKenna and Nissa sail to Ireland with; they capture the care, exasperation, and give and take that characterize loving partnerships. Then there is the magic that weaves throughout the story and makes The Wise One a must-read.

The Wise One is also a relatively short book that will make the novel accessible to reluctant readers. There is also some swearing and sensuality, but neither is explicit. The book will be a welcome addition to any secondary or public library collection. My only question? When will Book #2 be published?

Thank you to NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Alexa.
Author 18 books45 followers
October 13, 2020
I really enjoyed this book. The storytelling is great, the characters are fun... it was a great trip down memory lane for me to remember what life was like in the 1990s when you actually could hop in a car with a stranger... and travel the world. (Maybe not the smartest thing, but we did it!) The main character Mckenna discovers around her 17th birthday that she is not as "normal" as her two dads have tried to raise her, and her tingling intuition may actually be powers. She meets a new friend, Nissa, who is my kind of girl, free spirited and devoted to saving the earth, and they set forth on a grand adventure to find out about Mckenna's mother and her legacy. It's got great Irish folklore, adventure, fun characters, and is an easy and quick read. I loved the journey to Ireland and the descriptions provided as her friendship grows while she tries to figure out exactly what her legacy is and what it means to be a "Wise One." Stories about a young woman discovering her new powers are always a fun read for me and I appreciated this different take on the witchcraft storyline. The storyline is fast-paced and intriguing and I loved that. I looked forward to reading this each evening and was sad when it ended, but so glad that this is part of a series! Can't wait to see what K.T. Anglehart does with the second book, and I hope it comes soon since this ended leaving some questions I need answered! Overall, I thought it was a great debut book from this author. Thank you #netgalley and the publisher for a review copy.
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