This young adult fantasy was a 4.3/5 stars. It took me a while to figure out the rating because the pacing was really slow for me and it took me a whole week to read which is rare. However I loved the themes and uniqueness so much.
What magical Talent would you want the well to grant you? Would you risk going through the Trials to obtain one?
Here’s my thoughts live while reading:
Myrthe at age 12 opens the book when she cried at her parents bedside as they wither away. Her tears carry the power of wishes and when she makes an irreversible wish, her life changes forever. Within moments of devastation, she learns she’s the Wishtress. I’m already guessing her grandmother will betray her somehow.
Bastiaan enters the scene five years later. But I’m confused on the time because he’s possibly 107 years old but was also stuck in The Stillness for 32 years so I’m not really sure what’s going on yet. There’s something called the Aging and our hero has some sort of Talent, with a capital T. What does he have to remember and how will their stories intersect?
So it seems as if Bastiaan is the Talent responsible for the king’s death. Why? When? How? Is he for or against what the king stands for.
Why are the people in an uproar about the Well of Talents?
Okay. So I’m trying to figure out how this all relates: “Militairen want Talented captured. Common folk want Talents for themselves- willing even to defy the law and make a pilgrimage in search of the Well.”
Myrthe thinks she loves Sven and tells her secret to convince him to travel together. She’s tired of being caged at home by her Oma and wants a life of freedom and control of her own wishes. Sven takes a wish without agreeing to bring Myrthe on his journey and she instantly regrets her choice.
At page 70, I’m finding myself a little bored during Bastiaan’s chapters and it’s going slower than I want. I’m connecting to our FMC much more.
Oh snap. Coralythe has her first POV in chapter 8. Now this feels less of a possible romance and more of political fantasy.
In chapter 14 the two main characters are finally brought together again, even if she’s unconscious…
The new kings banes seem too powerful to ever overcome.
Chapter 23 gave me some hope. Overall this book is going much slower for me than average. I’m finding myself taking many more breaks than usual.
What happened to Runt is excellent in terms of epic storytelling and puppeting the reader’s emotions.
Oooh… I’m hooked at chapter 26. It took me a while to get there but I’m fully invested now.
At the halfway mark I love how Myrthe has more agency now.
Will Myrthe ever get to explain to Bastiaan? Will Runt survive? Will there be an epic battle of Talents vs Banes?
After chapter 56 I feel like I need a rest. Goodness. These characters are not given a break and get thrown into so many obstacles.
The ”surrending” portion near the end is so poetically written and I’m obsessed with its profound simplicity.
One of the hardest things for me was Myrthe’s PoV in first person and Bastian’s switching to third person. I think that’s something that made the book go slower and made it harder for me to connect in the first half.
Okay so the end gives an opening possibility for a sequel, but it’s also not needed and gives the reader their choice for how they want to see the characters’ future.
I liked some of the discussion questions, like:
If you could have one of Myrthe’s raw wishes, what would you ask for and why?
What Talent would you want if you visited the Well?
If you could stop time, what moment would you stop in and why?