Reviews for The Wren In The Holly Library

by K.A. Linde

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In Linde’s paranormal thriller, a woman goes on a dangerous quest to retrieve a rare object. Thirteen years ago, murderous monsters of all kinds appeared from the shadows to murder countless city dwellers, including in Kierse McKenna’s home of New York City. To survive, Kierse (“It’s like Pierce but with a K,” she says) joined her late mentor’s thieving guild and became a master thief. Three years ago, the Monster Treaty was put in place, finally ending the ongoing violence and allowing humans and monsters to live together. When Kierse’s benefactor sends her on a mission to steal a diamond ring, she unwittingly finds herself inside the home of a mysterious monster named Graves. Breaking into the house means that Kierse has also broken the Monster Treaty, but Graves, after seeing an unusual necklace around her neck, offers her a job. The warlock wants her to steal a rare object hidden under the city in a place called Third Floor, which is protected by an unbreakable security system and guarded by the vilest creatures. Kierse agrees, locking herself into a bargain with Graves and entering a world of chaos involving monster gangs, magic, and a rivalry spanning hundreds of years. Throughout Linde’s lively fantasy, Kierse struggles to keep her two best friends, Gen and Ethan, safe, and she also begins to uncover important secrets about herself. The author also effectively weaves a steamy romance into the fast-moving plot. Although the story is mostly told from Kierse’s perspective, it’s occasionally broken up by short chapters titled “Interlude,” which offer intriguing insights into other characters’ thoughts. The creative premise of a monster-filled New York makes for rich, detailed worldbuilding (“Another consequence of monsters in the public eye were the trolls who managed the subway entrances”), and little mysteries sprinkled throughout the novel give readers space to piece together the truth. A high-stakes fantasy heist novel that readers may find hard to put down. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.