Wandfasted by Laurie Forest
My Rating: 5/5
Magic, romance and adventure collide in WANDFASTED, the irresistible ebook prequel to THE BLACK WITCH
Twenty years before Elloren Gardner enrolled at the illustrious Verpax University, Erthia was rent asunder during the devastating Realm War. When Tessla Harrow is driven from her home by the fighting, she discovers a depth of power she never knew she had…and an irresistible draw towards Vale Gardner, the son of the most powerful mage her people have ever known – the Black Witch.
Trigger Warning: Effects of War, Forced Marriage, Sexual Assault, Xenophobia, racism, Misogyny, homophobia and religious fanaticism to sexism, bullying, and physical and mental abuse.
I wrench away from Vale, my mouth open in horror. His eyes are on me, white-hot, his fire coursing higher. “How could you?” I rasp out. I push through the wall of priests behind me and flee.
The past is a product of actions of people and how the cycle of hatred and the consequences of war will continue to plague everybody. Every people will think they are the righteous one, the pure one, or the hero when in fact they are the villains of their own story. Wandfasted is an interesting little book which gives us a glimpse not often seen in a Young Adult book or a Fantasy series in my opinion. You get to relive the start of what one day will become the foundations of the Gardnerians, (Yes those crummy people from the Black Witch) and what will be result to the plot and setting for Elloren story. Here we get to experienced the oppressed Gardnerians and how they were prosecuted and their side of the story but Laurie Forest doesn’t stop and letting us fully feel bad for them. We get to see the ghastly culture of their people, their treatment of the outcast and the appealing treatment of forced marriage and The unfair treatment of women. Reading such a short book and yet being aghast strongly then what the Black Witch read done to me says a lot. Wandfasted is not a book for many people. It is extremly triggering for so many reasons and yet it does have its own moments of hope and love in the form of Vale and Tessla Gardner and boy was that a tale of its own epic proportions.
My heart pounds and my nerves flutter, but I know I want this. I want him. “Yes. Let’s go back,” I say breathlessly.
He pulls me close and rests his forehead gently against mine. “Tessla,” he says with passionate firmness, his gaze suddenly serious. “I… I’ve fallen in love with you.”
I stare at him. Stunned. Thrilled. Disbelieving. I open my mouth to speak, my thoughts a tumult.
“Stay fasted to me.” He takes hold of my hands, tracing the fastlines with his thumbs, sending a trail of sparks in their wake. “Even if we find a way to break this fasting.” His eyes are hot on mine.
Tessla Harrow is the protagonist I wanted in The Black Witch for thousands of reasons but alas what I received instead was her indoctrinated daughter which is a issue that was rectified down the ending of the first book. BUT, and this is a big but, this book gives us the story of a girl that her life, her entire existence is crumbled so quickly by the outcomes of war, by the atrocities other inflict on her and her loves ones and her suppose saviors condemned her future in a way that will break your heart ever so slowly. Tessla is such a fighter, she knows her odds are against her, the people, the culture and yet she refuse to be brought down for what she dreams of accomplishing,. Her responsibilities for her sick brother and her older grandpa and their protection drives her to push her own happiness for their safety even if she is terrified and she has to pretend she’s strong. She won’t follow a crowd and deem people just based on rumors and choose who her friends are. HER DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT THIS STORY IS AMAZING AND SHE’S MY CHILD AND I WILL PROTECT HER. Then there’s Vale, someone I didn’t knew exactly what to think of except the worst of. My presumptions about him were undeniably fulled by hatred for the dude for his cold demeanor and his treatment in the beginning but his and Tessa chemistry. THEIR SIZZLING ROMANCE. I am just… I am wordless.
“No, Wren,” I say, trying to soothe him. “The bad ones, maybe. But not all of them.” “They’re all bad,” he cries, hiccupping from his sobbing. His words send a chill through me.
“Not all of them, Wren. Jules isn’t.” If he’s still alive. But Wren is unmoved. “Jules is our friend,” I remind him. “He tried to help us.”
“I don’t care,” Wren says, pulling out of my embrace, his expression gone hard as stone. “He didn’t save us. Our Black Witch and the Mages did. The Kelts and the Urisk tried to kill us. But they lost, and now we’re going to kill them.” Uneasy concern pricks at me. I’m thrown by the sharpness of my little brother’s newfound hatred—hatred with such savagely drawn lines.
Erthia never felt more alive then in this book compare to the last one. We only got told what was going on from Elloren POV and how things are messy for anyone who’s not from Gardenia and the huge gap between the upper class and the low class mages. Not to mention those who are consider unholy or rumored to be a sinner. We get to meet Elloren’s parents and see who they were, her monstrous Aunt, her sweet uncle and the famous black witch her grandma who is barley is in this story and yet leaves such an impression you know why she is so feared and regarded. Also the side characters are just as emotional and full of life as the previous one, my favorite is Fain, he is such a mood and his story itself is so sad and yet he remains the most optimistic one in this story.
This story is going to stick with me for a very long time. Laurie outdone herself for me and I cannot anticipated what her future works are going to be like. I do not know where she is heading with this series but I know one thing, she learned from the consequences of her first book and everyone different perceptions of it and decided to bring something that will either make you understand what type of story she’s trying to tell you or you’d either abandon it because its not for you and that’s fine but for me it is everything I wanted originally and more and I hope she’d continue to surprise me next time.
Is it Diverse? One supporting gay character.