Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Katie McGarry LLC
Publication Date: 5 May, 2021
Copy: Courtesy of the Author via BookFunnel
Katie McGarry is one of my favourite authors, and has been since her debut novel, Pushing The Limits. Until now, McGarry has written young adult contemporary tales with striking and flawed characters you can’t help but love.
A Wicked and Beautiful Garden marks the beginning of a bold new chapter with the first book of an adult paranormal romance series. The characters are easy to become invested in and complex, they always leave you wanting to know them a little bit better.
Cassie Strega is an empathetic and intuitive midwife with an ability to recognise the Fae living among mortals, but she didn’t realise she was a witch. The day she awakens with knowledge of her power everything changes.
Humanity has awoken with knowledge of witches and they are even less impressed than they were with the knowledge of Fae folk. Burnings and persecutions start in earnest and Cassie is a target.
She dreams of a baby, one who calls to her and she knows she needs to save. In a time of great upheaval the biggest shock comes when Cassie comes face to face with her first love, who shattered her heart 9 years earlier.
A Wicked and Beautiful Garden is as much the story of Cassie and Orion as it is about her search for the unborn baby.
Orion is also searching for a baby, the baby who is the queen of the Fae and will lead the final battle in the war against demons determined to rule the world, the same baby that calls to Cassie.
Cassie and Orion need to work together to find the baby but their close proximity tests the chemistry that hasn’t faded over the years. It calls into question many of the things Cassie thought she knew, more so than discovering that she was a witch.
Until now McGarry’s work has been contemporary so she hasn’t needed to build new worlds, but the Witches of the Island series requires a lot of world building and mythology, and I think McGarry has done a beautiful job of building a world that is engaging and relatable. The mythology connecting the paranormal elements is vivid and cohesive. The relationships and connection between demons, the Fae and witches was well explained and sets the foundation for what could well be a long running series, and I certainly hope that it is.
Orion is a Fae warrior, but of course he is only one of a number of Fae species. McGarry introduces quite a few different species and explores how they all work together to protect humankind.
Cassie is also a warrior, she has had a lot more than her fair share of pain and adversity to overcome, even before Orion broke her heart and the friends they shared deserted her. All that she has suffered through and survived has made her strong, has made her brave, and has made her determined not to let down the tiny voice calling for her to be a saviour.
She is also left in the heartbreaking position of overcoming a complete lack of trust in the group that she is supposed to be working with, because they abandoned her once already. Learning the complete story and gaining an understanding of why all of that happened only goes so far, it doesn’t erase the heartache and it doesn’t rebuild the trust.
McGarry has packed a lot into the first book in the Witches of the Island series and I can’t wait to discover what happens next, the ending was quite the cliffhanger and I’m not happy to be waiting until October to discover how things progress.
A Wicked and Beautiful Garden has it all. The rollercoaster isn’t just emotional, there’s also suspense and action to keep you turning pages well into the night.
If you are a fan of McGarry’s work you don’t want to miss this. If you are a fan of paranormal and fantasy, you don’t want to miss this. If you love your romance larger than life and against all odds, you don’t want to miss this. I can pretty safely say…. you just don’t want to miss this. I have preordered the second book already and I can’t wait to read it.
A Wicked and Beautiful Garden is out now and you can purchase your copy at the links below: