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Fantasy

For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
on June 1, 2021
ISBN: 9780356516356
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, General
Pages: 464
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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three stars - For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review

THE FIRST DAUGHTER IS FOR THE THRONE.THE SECOND DAUGHTER IS FOR THE WOLF.
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 loved it! I was completely swept away by the world-building, the characters, and the delicate gorgeousness of the writing! A brilliant dark fantasy debut' Jodi Picoult
'Dazzling . . . This is sure to enchant' Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'An unputdownable fairy tale that traces the boundaries of duty, love, and loss. A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in fantasy' Kirkus
'A glorious journey through woods deep and so very dark. A stunning debut' Erin Craig, author of House of Salt and Sorrow

The first daughter is for the throne.

The second daughter is for the wolf.

The wolves are for the Wilderwood.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten was for sure one of my most anticipated reads of the year.  It was stated as a red riding retelling and I was giddy with excitement.  As a child it was one of my favourite fairy tales…the innocence of Red and the wicked ways of the big bad wolf…tell me who could resist?  Hannah Whitton’s writing was hypnotic and melodic.  I was transported to a world that made the impossible possible.  

The author had the ingredients that would surely blow my mind.  A Red Riding Hood retelling.  Sentient trees.  An age-old tradition.  It’s shrouded in myth and foreboding, and I couldn’t wait to get into the guts of the story.  Red is the second daughter of the Royal Family and as tradition and protocol insist, the second daughter must be sacrificed to the wolf who resides in the Wilderwood.  Red has a burden to bare and she feels this is the necessary outcome to protect her sister Neve, from something that happened three years ago…something that occurred in the very woods she will be sacrificed to. 

For the Wolf is an ambitious fantasy that examines the intricacies of sibling relationships, long-standing traditions, the influence of faith and religion and mythology.  They all interconnected, and it gave a well-rounded situational reasoning behind the plot.  Neve and Red clearly have a close and connected relationship to the point that one will sacrifice themselves to save the other.  Its not often that you experience such a selfless relationship in fantasy, and it enhanced the story for me…it made it more human.  Whitten’s perfect prose was what really stood out.  The imagery, the descriptions and the magic brought it all to life.

As much as I wanted to love For the Wolf, there was just a few things that weren’t connecting with me.  I wasn’t really enjoying the character of Red all that much.  Yes, she’s going through a shitty time and yes it must be exceedingly difficult knowing that you are going to be sacrificed to a wolf, but jeez, was she angsty, kind of self-entitled and a bit of a brat.  It seems like everyone is bending over backwards for her while she wants to stay firm with her decisions…urgh.

The other thing that really occurred to me about halfway through the book was how little it really resembled a Red Riding Hood retelling BUT I really noticed similarities between this story and Beauty and the Beast.  I think it’s been mismarketed a tad. 


ABOUT HANNAH WHITTEN

20295399 - For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review

Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, figured out that what amused her might also amuse others. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, making music, or attempting to bake. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children in a house ruled by a temperamental cat.

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three stars - For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review

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