Her tears grant wishes. Her next tear will end her life.
She didn’t ask to be the Wishtress.
Nadine Brandes has performed magic in her own right with her new release, Wishtress. There are unexpected plot twists, lovable characters, and seamless worldbuilding all in one book. Plus a perfect cliffhanger at the end of each chapter that keeps you turning to the next page!
Myrthe was born with an inherent Talent: her tears have the ability to grant wishes, making her the once-in-a-generation Wishtress. The magic that comes with her Talent is both a blessing and a curse. This extreme power can have fatal consequences and when a wish goes wrong, Myrthe is cursed. The next tears she sheds will end her own life. She must find a way to break the curse. The only possibility is an impossible one, a journey to the Well. Plus, to make things even more urgent and complicated, the king’s militairen are on the chase to capture her. Even though she didn’t cry at all the first decade of her life, she must harden herself for the journey. Myrthe cannot cry even a single tear.
Bastiaan has a rare and powerful Talent that he acquired by visiting the Well, like everyone else in this world—everyone but the Wishtress. So powerful, in fact, that he used it to kidnap the old king. The new king has a mission for Bastiann, one that he cannot refuse, to find the Wishtress and bring her back to the schloss. He agrees, but has his own agenda. He needs a wish granted by the Wishtress, too. When he tracks Myrthe down, he agrees to take her to the Well in exchange for a wish. The king need never know about the slight detour. Once he’s gotten his wish and Myrthe has fulfilled her end of the bargain, he’ll deliver her to the king. Simple. Except it’s not so simple when he starts to develop feelings for her and starts to wonder what is best for her. Their friendship strengthens with every new challenge they face, and on this quest, they face a lot of them.
Everyone Myrthe meets wants a wish from her. The king, her cousin, the boy she might be in love with are all seeking out her gift, not her. They will do anything for it, too: beg, bully, or even betray her. She has difficulty knowing who to trust, who wants to protect her versus protecting her gift. No one knows her secret. That if she grants even one wish, Myrthe would have to give up her own life. Plus, she knows that if she tells anyone her secret, that a wish would cost her everything; they’d want her dead anyway if it meant getting what they want.
I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, especially since there are twists and turns (one especially) you won’t see coming. What I can tell you is the worldbuilding in this novel is beautiful, giving northern Europe vibes. It felt like Denmark or the Netherlands. The magic and concepts about how people get their Talents isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before.
Unlike some fantasies that focus only on worldbuilding, Nadine Brandes also makes fully developed characters that have you rooting for them. They are imperfect, flawed, and lovable. Brandes sends them on a quest to find the light in the darkness, to understand if redemption is really possible, and that love and sacrifice can change everything. Fantasy lovers of all ages are going to love Wishtress.