Feb 16, 2023

Review--For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten


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 finally picked up Hannah Whitten's For the Wolf and was immediately immersed into a dark and beautiful fantasy world! I knew going in, that despite what the cover might foretell, this was more of a The Beauty and the Beast retelling than Little Red Riding Hood. I think that's a nice factoid to consider going in. I guess you can say the book grabbed elements from both fairy tales, or perhaps one borrowed from the other, depending on which came first, but no matter! Onto the review!

Red and Neve are twins, Neve is the oldest and was meant to be queen one day when her mother passes, and Red, Red was always meant to be a sacrifice for the wolf that haunts the Wilderwood. Every second daughter is given to the Wolf in hopes that it could one day restore the five kings to the world and keep their kingdom safe. Neve is against the idea of giving her sister over to a monster who will likely kill Red, but even the queen herself cannot break from tradition.

So with a heavy heart, Red steps into the forest that is more than just a forest. Red is no ordinary princess either, for she has a gift, one that she cannot quite control but the idea of finding the Wolf who might be able to help in this area gives her courage to proceed. When she finds that the Wolf is not a wolf at all, but a man named Eammon, she is floored. Everything she thought she knew about the forest and the Wolf is being challenged with facts.

Meanwhile, Neve decides to do whatever possible to bring her sister home where she belongs. She agrees to make one of the palace handmaidens into a high priestess for she is very knowledgeable about certain things and knows of a way to help Neve with her task. But naturally, nothing goes as Neve planned.

I will admit that I struggled a bit with this book. I entered a new fantasy world and while trying to read, I was once again presented with distractions very early on in my reading, so the world-building stages were harder for me to conceive of as I read. I guess what caused some of my confusion was with literally, parts of the world and how magic effected things and the myth of the five kings who disappeared when the Wilderwood took them.

Despite that confusion, I still found myself enjoying the story and the characters! I couldn't get enough of them! I love the familial bond between Neve and Red despite their distance. I loved watching Red make friends in the Eammon's palace, and of course there was the slow-burning romance between Red and Eammon. It all made for great storytelling! Add in a few plot twists mingled with deceptions and you have the makings for one spellbinding tale!

We end with quite a cliffhanger and I am go glad that I waited until I had the completed duology in my hands! Having gotten a glimpse of the sequel in a vague sense, I knew things wouldn't leave off the way they did for too long. There's more story to tell within this world and I will be curious to see what happens next and what these last second mysterious moments will entail.

If you're looking for a mesmerizing fantasy tale lush with magic and fairy tale elements, For the Wolf is the read for you! It was an atmospheric kind of tale that held me captivated throughout its pages and I am eager to read more of Whitten's books in the future!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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