Wayward is an exemplary debut novel

Jovanny Zapata, Staff Writer

Wayward is a historical fantasy from the point of view of three women of the Weyward family that faced abuse in one way or another in different eras. Kate, our modern day narrator in the 21 century is trapped in an abusive relationship with her husband. Violet is trapped in the drifting shadow of WWII. Altha in the 17 century was accused and prosecuted for witchcraft. The book had been described to be a part of a female empowering genre, with a strong connection to nature.

Genuine criticisms that have been raised concerning Altha with the witch trials. The issue that critics have found common ground is any fiction involving the witch trials is inappropriate. The protagonists, especially Kate, are infantilized and act like children when their stated age says otherwise. Kate constantly gets into trouble or makes bad choices when it’s completely unavoidable, but it could be chalked up to emotional distress from the ordeal of being in an abusive relationship. Then there’s the lack of female empowerment. Instead of female empowerment we just get constant suffering. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, described one reader, and it perfectly emphasizes this book.

Wayward is a historical fantasy fiction; historically speaking it’s accurate, which is a rarity. Emila Hart did her homework on the events that took place and the way people spoke during those times. As for fantasy, it sorely needed more magical realism or some sort of background; it was more just a soft magic system with no explanation.

In an interview with the author, Emilia Hart gave readers insight on her novel,

“It’s a debut novel where the inspiration comes from the landscape of the British Isles, the horrid history of the Witch trials that took place in England, and wanting to write how misogyny has evolved over time. However the inspiration most comes from wanting to write about female power and finding solace in nature.”

A common issue with books told from multiple perspectives is that there’s always one perspective that’s far more interesting to read, but each one has captivated my interest. Overall, this book is an excellent read deserving of a rating of five stars. Yes, it does have flaws, specifically the lack of empowerment but on the other end the author captures the grim situation of every character perfectly, being prosecuted as a woman in the 17 century and being in an abusive relationship.