Book Reviews

Review: Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin

I’ve been looking forward to Wild is the Witch ever since The Nature of Witches. I enjoyed Griffin’s debut, and was intrigued by this sequel premise. While I liked some elements more, and less, than the first, overall this is a solid contemporary fantasy. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Iris Gray knows witches aren’t welcome in most towns. When she was forced to leave her last home, she left behind a father who was no longer willing to start over. And while the Witches’ Council was lenient in their punishment, Iris knows they’re keeping tabs on her. Now settled in Washington, Iris never lets anyone see who she really is; instead, she vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. Otherwise, she spends her days at the wildlife refuge which would be the perfect job if not for Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them.

Iris concocts the perfect curse for Pike: one that will turn him into a witch. But just as she’s about to dispel it, a bird swoops down and steals the curse before flying away. If the bird dies, the curse will be unleashed―and the bird is a powerful amplifier, and unleashing the curse would turn not just Pike, but everyone in the region, into a witch.

New witches have no idea how to control their magic and the consequences would be dire. And the Witches’ Council does not look kindly on multiple offenses; if they found out, Iris could be stripped of her magic for good. Iris begs Pike to help her track the bird, and they set out on a trek through the Pacific Northwest looking for a single bird that could destroy everything.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Wild is the Witch almost immediately throws us into the action. And I loved that unlike The Nature of Witches, Griffin begins by picking the pace up. It made this book extremely readable. I knew what was going on and that current of wondering if Iris would catch the runaway owl – despite the wilderness – catches readers early on. And as Wild is the Witch progresses, Griffin allows us to get to know the characters. To wonder why Pike is against witches and to understand the ramifications of Iris’ past.

With some serious rivals to lovers vibes, Wild is the Witch allows Pike and Iris to see beneath their misconceptions. Sometimes a stranger is able to see so succinctly under our skin. To know our insecurities and fears. Yet often there’s even more to be discovered. The middle of Wild is the Witch gives Pike and Iris some great moments to expose their vulnerabilities. But while I loved the world building of The Nature of Witches – even if I wished for more – I wanted to know a bit more about the structure of the witches here.

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I also felt like the ending was a bit hasty, considering how long of a lead up. I just wished there had been a few more moments of resolution and kind of sitting with the ending. But overall, Wild is the Witch hooked me more quickly than the first and delivered a more targeted story. It’s about Pike and Iris, no grand schemes of saving the planet, it’s focused on the characters. If you like the idea of that, and love a witchy contemporary, then you should find Wild is the Witch on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Who is your favorite mother and daughter witch duo?

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