FOR THE WOLF
Written by Hannah Whitten
Published by Orbit Books, June 1, 2021
My star rating – 3 stars
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
I was so excited about this book! It’s been a long time since i’ve read a retelling and this sounded sooooo good! Sadly, I was a little let down by this one and my heart hurts about it! There was just so much familiarity about it. I’ve read so many books like it and, sadly, this didn’t bring too many new things to the table.
We have two girls born to the royal family. It has been decreed that the first born girl is for the throne. Meant to stay and rule. The second born daughter will be sent to the wolf in the woods to keep their kingdom safe. What I found absolutely refreshing is that we had a character who seemed to accept her fate and run head first into it. So many times when we have scenarios like this, the character fights against her fate and attempts to find ways to get out of it. Instead, she was like “this is my life and I’m going to be strong as hell and take whatever it throws at me.” It was wonderful! Her mother also accepted this fate. It was hard to read – her mother was so cold to Red and didn’t show much emotion. But knowing that, from the moment she was born, she was destined to leave, it would be impossible to get attached just to have your child taken away. Her sister was also fantastic! It was a whole bunch of determined, strong, and fierce women!
The story itself was ok. There wasn’t anything wrong with it at all. But, like I said, it didn’t bring anything unique and mind-blowing to the table. It almost seemed to mirror the book Uprooted by Naomi Novik actually. We have a “bad guy” who the woman is being sent to who turns out to be a man that she falls in love with. The “bad guy” is always made out to be the person who is the reason behind the kingdoms suffering and then it comes to light that he’s the one that’s protecting them. Everything they thought to be true changes. If I hadn’t read so many books that were like this already, then this would be a good book actually. But since it was so familiar, I couldn’t get invested in it at all.
As far as the retelling element goes, I’m not sure if this was intentional, but I got vibes from multiple stories here. There was the obvious Little Red Riding Hood, but I also got huge vibes of Beauty and the Beast. Honestly, the Beauty and the Beast vibes were even better than the Little Red Riding Hood vibes!
The writing was solid for a debut and the pacing was half decent. I felt like it did drag on a little bit at times but it always found its way back and picked up the pace to bring me back to the story. Was it good enough to make me want to continue with the series? No. I don’t think so, sadly. But I know that this will be the right book for someone!
Until next time, happy reading!