Rolling around in the worst fashion accessory ever…
Seventeen-year-old Merry has mucked up another chance to get into the University of Magecraft, so she doesn’t have time to deal with shape-changing creatures bent on stealing memories from the people of Woodshire. That’s her father’s job. But when an outlaw mage mistakes her for a damsel in distress on a drenched train platform, she’s dragged into a fight with the monsters and a sheriff mad enough to use them.
She’d never admit it out loud but the mage is actually kind of fun to work with–when she doesn’t want to run him over with her chair. And he’s exactly the ally she needs when the monsters go after her father’s memories. But with bad guys who can look like friends and friends who look like outlaws, Merry has to decide who to trust and whether returning the stolen memories of those she cares about most is worth giving up her chance to finally earn respect as a mage.
Plot: With a wonderfully crafted blend of swords and sorcery and characters based on Robin Hood, Merritt tops this story off with the lead character readers need nowadays; a strong, independent, powerful female mage who also happens to be in a wheelchair. Readers will be constantly turning the pages to see what happens next to this fun group of characters through the twists and turns they won’t see coming.
Prose/Style: Told from the point of view of the main character, Merry, Merritt brings readers along on Merry’s journey, feeling each emotion along with her, as well as what she witnesses her friends go through. Their travels through multiple lands are clearly described, pulling the reader seamlessly into her world.
Originality: Although there are several alternate versions of Robin Hood out there, Merritt’s story stands out with not only the mages and multiple realities they must work with, but the main character being Merry (based partially on Maid Marian), and her navigation through and view of the world being from her combination of being in a wheelchair and a powerful mage. This powerful combination puts this book much further ahead in originality.
Character Development: Readers will really enjoy following along with Merry, a young woman in a wheelchair in a time where those who couldn’t walk would be bed-ridden; she never lets her legs keep her from being as powerful as she is meant to be. The characters alongside her along the way are equally lovable, yet well written as individuals, while even the antagonists are given humanizing backstories that will pull some sympathy from readers.
Date Submitted: May 23, 2019
"By Winged Chair grabbed me and wouldn't let go! I was captivated by Merry, the spunky, smart protagonist whose flaws made me relate to her immediately and root for her the whole way through. Merry's journey is compelling, the world is painted with a deft hand, and Merritt's prose is top-notch. A wild ride and a satisfying read. Highly recommended!"
"A wildly original and magical twist on the Robin Hood narrative, Kendra Merritt's By Wingéd Chair is packed to the spokes with complex characters, wry humor, and flawless world building. Recommended for fans of The Princess Bride, and the books of Cassandra Clare, Kevin Hearne, and the later Harry Potter novels. Simply brilliant."
"Kendra Merritt's prose is fresh, with one-line descriptions that crack like a whip, and she doesn't miss an opportunity to surprise the reader. From the first line to the last, I was enchanted with By Winged Chair. It's a fast-paced romp through a half-tech/half-fantasy world crafted with heart and precision. Merry, the protagonist, is delightful. She not only has an unusual challenge (she's a mage in a wheelchair), but also an acerbic wit that slashes friend and foe alike. Her internal monologues sparkle, making every page a joy to read.
Read this book, and keep an eye on her future works. You'll be glad you did. I can't wait to see what other gems she releases into the literary world."