The Witch King | H.E. Edgmon


The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

Out Now from Inkyard Press; 421 pages

Content Warnings: Blood, death, death of parents, graphic injuries, scars, trauma, racism, mentions of colonization, mentions of transphobia

About the Author: “H.E. Edgmon (he/they) is a high school and college dropout, a militant queer, and an author of books both irreverent and radicalizing. His stories will always center the perspective of Indigenous people, trans people, and survivors of trauma. At present, he’s probably biting off more than he can chew, emulating the aesthetic of Dwayne from The Lost Boys (1987), and thinking of starting a commune. His debut, THE WITCH KING, a YA contemporary fantasy about witches and fae, is out now from Inkyard Press. You can keep up with his work on Goodreads.” (Bio taken from author’s website.) 

Find H.E. Edgmon on the following platforms: 

“Somewhere, at some point in time, some random cis person who’s probably dead right now decided all trans people were stuck in the wrong body, and that became law. But I’m not a boy trapped in a girl’s body. My body is a boy’s body because I’m a boy and it’s mine. My body isn’t wrong. Okay?”

Being a witch in a world full of fae is hard, but being a trans witch who was never allowed to practice in a world full of fae is harder. After a horrible series of events that lead to Wyatt fleeing the kingdom of Asalin, and subsequently his fiancé, Emyr, he finds himself living with a loving human family. Three years later, Emyr comes seeking Wyatt out, calling on their marriage contract. Asalin is in trouble, and if Wyatt and Emyr don’t marry, Emyr’s cousin will take Emyr’s crown. With his shaved head, his trusty black hoodie, and best friend, Briar, Wyatt goes back to Asalin, the place that brings back bad memories from his past. Upon his arrival, Wyatt is misgendered, deadnamed, discriminated against, and manipulated. While he does everything that he can to stop this marriage from happening, Wyatt comes to terms with his true feelings and becomes conscious of the injustices present in the fae kingdom. 

H.E. Edgmon’s debut novel, The Witch King, is an unapologetic story about racism, trans people, Indigenous people, trauma survivors, and love. This book was such a fun and informative read for people, including me, who don’t know the many nuances involved with being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The fantasy element of this story coupled with the blend of fighting against social injustice makes this story a touchstone for readers of YA and an important addition to my bookshelf. I loved seeing today’s problems reflected in a fantasy setting, like questioning the efficacy of the military/police force and discussing the abolishment of authority like Royalty and the police force. As Wyatt navigates through a world of discrimination—in many forms—he has to deal with his deep emotions and how they connect to his untrained magic. Briar, Emyr, Wyatt, and Jin are great examples of diversity and are such important characters to have in a novel for readers to relate to.

PRR Writer, Adrianna Muñoz