Unlike many YA novels, the protagonist Wyatt’s poor choices feel grounded in his character, rather than convenient plot contrivances.
In The Witch King, Wyatt is yanked out of his found family by his fiance, the ultra-hot Fae prince, Emyr.
Wyatt left the hidden Fae stronghold of Asalin as a female, but now identifies as a transgendered male--which Emyr accepts without hesitation.
Though one villain does deadname Wyatt, it’s nice to inhabit a world where gender fluidity is acknowledged by the main characters.
And one where the badass fashionista Fae have horns as well as wings.
Political tension simmers between the entitled Fae and the oppressed underclass of Witches (like Wyatt). There are deliciously evil villains bent on stealing the throne from Emyr, and colorful allies as well.
There’s too much cis-het man bashing for my taste--it brings the characters down to the same level as the bigots they’re trying to overcome when they take cheap shots at others.
Overall, an exciting story with a satisfying ending.
The Fae Keeper continues the story of The Witch King on a larger scale.
Transgenderd male Witch Wyatt and ultra-hot Fae Emyr are trying to advocate for equality between the Fae and Witches on a global scale. They visit a Fae kingdom ruled by two gay male Fae--who are NOT sympathetic to the cause.
The tension between advocating for equality and the entitlement of the ruling class, and a power-struggle over the throne of Asalin, play throughout the story.
Like The Witch King, its strengths are Wyatt’s snarky attitude, the moments of tenderness between Wyatt and Emyr, and the surprising plot twists. But I had difficulty keeping up with the larger cast, many of whom were introduced too late in the story for me to identify with them, much less remember who they were in the chaos of battle. I also found the character voices at the closing interlude (when the story is told from POVs other than Wyatt’s) unsatisfying. Briar in particular didn’t have a unique voice; her inner monologue was very similar to Wyatt’s.
The way the villains were defeated felt cheap rather than cathartic. If you defeat your enemies by using their vile methods, the victory is tainted in my opinion. For me, this weakened the story.
Though this sequel wasn't as strong as The Witch King, it was still a fun read.