Goodreads// 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.
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.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for granting me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For the Wolf is Hannah Whitten’s debut novel and the first installment in the Wilderwood duology. This is the Little Red Riding Hood retelling you didn’t know you needed. It follows princess Redarys who has always known her destiny was to be sacrificed to the enchanted Wilderwoods, and the Wolf.
I instantly fell in love with this story. The eerie ambiance, the ‘Wolf’, the creeping shadow beasts, and the bloodthirsty woods… and the writing was beautiful, with a lyrical quality to it and just so enchanting. These sorts of stories always have a way of attracting me to them, and they’re some of my favorites.
Redarys, or just Red, is the Second Daughter. In this world, that means she is to be offered to the Wolf and the Wilderwoods before she turns 20. But the story the people of her kingdom pass down as religion is far from the truth, and she finds nothing is as she expected. Least of all, the Wolf himself. Eammon was such a kind, selfless bookworm, I loved him!
While Red accepted, and even welcomed her fate for her own reasons, her loved ones couldn’t accept her fate, and heedless of the dangers, they set out to find a way to release her somehow setting dangerous things in motion.
Neeve, Red’s sister is the First Daughter, the heir to the throne. She and Red are twins. We got to see a few chapters from her perspective, though I have to say the contrast of her grief to the excitement and allure I felt in Red’s chapters was a bit jarring. I always paused the book before or during Neve’s chapters, and I just didn’t like her very much. (*The following book is “For the Throne”, so I assume Neeve will be the main character, and we’ll still get some chapters from Red’s perspective.)
Overall, For the Wolf was everything I was hoping for and more! It was enchanting, dark, intriguing, and a very exciting story. I strongly recommend it!
Content warnings: self-harm for magic use (cutting), mentions of physical symptoms that might be triggering to those with emetophobia, anxiety/panic attacks, parental neglect/emotional abuse, parental death, gore, mild audio/visual hallucinations, religious abuse, (medium-heat romance – non-explicit).