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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Into the Woods

The Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

Rating: 5


Will you like this book? You might if you like:


Slow Burn romances

Wise-cracking heroines that get sh*t done

Grump Sunshine

Magical creatures

Comedic Fantasy

The Princess Bride


So somehow I missed Hannah Nicole Maehrer’s Tik Tok sketches of the Assistant to the Morally Gray Villain. And I didn’t see much about this book. I’m not sure how either of these things happened. Instead, in Sunday’s New York Times daily email, there was a blurb about how this Tik Tok got turned into a book. I was curious, I clicked on the article, I went over to Goodread, it looked interesting, I went over to Kindle, I tried the sample. The next thing I knew, it was 11:30 and I was still in my pajamas, reading. This book grabbed me and I couldn’t stop reading. By 4:30, I was done. And was off to find Maehrer on Tik Tok.



Evie Sage is working hard for the money to support her father and her little sister. Her father has a mysterious illness, her sister is only 10, and her mother left the family years ago. Evie was working for the village blacksmith but that had gone horribly wrong and she is now on the lookout for a new job. While walking home from a job fair, she finds herself in the Hickory Forest, where she runs into the evil Villain that haunts the woods. But instead of being an old orge who looks like Shrek, he is more Henry Cavill in a Witcher/Tudors mash-up (it's the hair). After helping him out, he offers her a job as his PA and Evie, who is actually pretty excited to take him up on the offer. I can’t say too much more without giving away the plot but just know that there is magic, stolen glances, life-threatening situations, flirting, dragons, frogs, and a hilarious cast of characters.


This, this is the book I wanted when I was reading Enchanted to Meet You. It is the first in a series of three books, so I knew it wasn’t going to be wrapped up at the end, and I was fine with that. Because Maehrer slowly builds the relationship between Evie and the Villain; the reader gets to go on the journey with Evie as she learns about the Villain and the world he inhabits. I was thrilled to have over 400 pages of angsty feelings and stolen glances. I can’t wait for the next two books. It felt like I was reading The Discovery of Witches but with more humor.


I also have to say, I am pretty impressed, this is Maehrer’s first book and the writing is really good. And the world building is just as outstanding. The book is set in a weird medieval/modern alternative universe and I am happy to be there and go along with it. Evie and the Villain have such chemistry but I love all the other characters as well (especially Kingsley - I cannot wait to see where we are going with this). I’m here for doing your job to the best of your ability, for flights of fantasy, and for heroines who speak before they think.


This was definitely one of my favorite books this year. I know I’m really gushing, but I really love light hearted fantasy with witches and magic and secrets. And humor. So this really ticked a lot of boxes for me!


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