Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’ve got a review to share with you of one of my favourite books so far this year: For the Wolf, by Hannah Whitten. I absolutely fell in love with this book, rated it five stars, and can’t wait to tell you why.
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.
For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood – and her world – whole.
For the Wolf is one of those books that you want to keep reading, but you also put off picking back up because you don’t want it to end. It take prickly Red and isolated Wolf and creates a shared space dynamic that forces them to get to know one another, despite the Wolf’s reluctance. Red quickly learns that the Wolf of the legends and nightmares is a myth, and the man before her has been doing so much, for so long, by himself, to keep everyone safe.
The characters summoned up in this book are so fully fleshed you could picture them in the room with you. From the smell of books and leaves and coffee, to the changes that are wrought on the body by the Wolf’s continued attempts to keep the wood under control, they are so very much alive. It’s a beautiful thing, and a wonderful skill, that says so much about the author and her capabilities.
The storyline is a meandering tale that seems to reach multiple peaks, each higher than before, with drama unfolding almost constantly. I read the last hundred pages in a single sitting, unable to look away from what was unfolding, and in desperate need to know what was coming next.
Knowing there will be a next book is a combination of reassuring, as I want more of the characters, and terrifying, because what more can they really be put through? I’ll be awaiting publication eagerly, ready to see more of this truly fantastic world.
For the Wolf is an utter triumph, and the fantasy book world is a better place for it being on the shelves.
If you also enjoyed this dark fantasy book, I also recommend The Wolf and the Woodsman, and Among the Beasts and Briars for a similar vibe. Be sure to let me know in the comments if there’s anything else I should be reading!