Deep Is the Fen

Delacorte. Apr. 2024. 416p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593562703.
Gr 8 Up–Wilkinson builds a mysterious world infiltrated by good friendship and dark magic. At 17, Merry is trying to navigate the world without her mom, who was a cursed witch. She protects and relies on her best friends, Teddy and Sol. When Teddy chooses to join a secret society, The Order of the Toadmen, which uses dangerous magic that is considered illegal, Merry knows that she must act to save him. Teaming up with Caraway, who has proven to be her academic competition, she sets out to learn more about the society by attending a toad ceremony. Merry learns plenty about her friendship, herself, dark secrets of the society, and Caraway—who she thought was her enemy, but instead sparks begin to fly. While there, she learns that Sol and Teddy are a couple. Sol is brown-skinned, while other characters are white. Merry’s strong first-person narrative, along with solid supportive characters, reveals the importance of friendship. Wilkinson builds a mysterious world and pulls readers inside, unraveling the dark magic and rituals of the Order of the Toadmen.
VERDICT The perfect choice for readers who enjoy secret societies with dark magic and mysterious rituals paired with true friendship and unexpected romance. Recommended.

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