When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.
To me, this culture was an odd mix of things from our current world and things that were just slightly skewed from that all jumbled together. It didn’t have an effect on my enjoyment of the story, just stating something that caught my eye (more than once). I liked the story well enough, but Margaret was a little too hateful at times—and constantly I’m-an-outsider-and-care-for-no-one-else—and Weston was a bit of a selfish brat, but they eventually worked well together. Weston’s family was fantastic. Margaret’s mom, not so much. This is a solid read, but I didn’t find it to be stellar.
Allison Saft lives on the West Coast. A Far Wilder Magic is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)