"This is different. You're different. The others...they were connected to the Wilderwood, too, but not like this." Again, that knifepoint hope, so raw it nearly hurt to hear. "This could fix it."
Long ago a deal was made with the Wilderwood. In exchange for shelter and safety Gaya and Ciaran would give all they had for as long as their line continued. Since Gaya died the royals in the kingdom of Valleyda have paid the price for safety. The first daughter is for the kingdom, the second daughter is for the Wolf, and the wolves are for the Wilderwood.
Redarys is the only second daughter born in a century. For the entirety of her life she has known her sole purpose: to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wilderwood in the hopes that he'll return the world's five captured gods. On her twentieth birthday Redarys steps into the woods and quickly learns that the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster, and there is more to the bargain and Wilderwood than she ever imagined.
As Redarys comes to understand her role in the Wilderwood her twin sister, Neverah, does everything in her power to bring Redarys back. As Redarys fights to keep the Wilderwood alive and healthy, Neverah fights to weaken it in the hopes that her sister can escape.
thoughts & feelings
I am a sucker for fairytale remakes. I love seeing what authors do to the storyline and characters. For the Wolf was my first "dark fairytale" retelling. I have loved the story of Little Red for a long time and to be honest to original story is pretty dark. Hannah Whitten combined the stories of Little Red Riding Hood with Beauty and the Beast and then mixed it with the dark magic of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I was captivated by the story of Redarys and loved all of the twists and turns revealed throughout the novel.
One thing that I loved about the book was the strength of Redarys. I feel like oft times the heroines are portrayed and dimwitted, helpless, fragile, dependent, the list goes on and on. Redarys is a well written heroine. She definitely has her moments of needing saved (we all need help) but she also recognizes her own strengths and sees how she can help others. I also loved the development of all of the characters in the book. The relationships progress naturally and the characters learn to adapt and grow in the midst of what life has thrown them.
I'm sure that you're probably wondering "if you loved it so much, why did you give it 3.5 stars?" Excellent question! I promise to explain the best that I can without going on and on.
This novel felt like a rollercoaster of flipping from "I LOVE THIS" to "I'm not sure if I can finish this story." Both my husband and sister can testify...they heard about it every day. The main thing that bothered me was the swearing. For the majority of the novel only two "farmer swear words" are used but they are used quite frequently during the first three or four chapters. I was nervous that if the book began like this it was only going to get worse. I was very pleasantly surprised when the language cleared up and the swears became few and far between. If only Hannah Whitten could have done this for the entire novel. The second half of the book does contain an F-word. I give books two before I put it down and walk away. Thankfully I didn't have to do that with this novel.
The second Wilderwood novel, For the Throne, has released and I am not sure if I will read it or not. I am interested in seeing what happens to the characters and see where Hannah Whitten takes the story next. However, I am a little trigger shy and may wait a while to make that purchase.
Steam level: passionate kissing, towards the end a scene got a little Nicholas Sparks The Notebook so I skipped the last two pages of the chapter. Hannah Whitten's website says "medium-heat romance, non-explicit."
Language: mild but frequently used language in the first few chapters, one F-word in the second half
Trigger Warnings: self-harm for magical use, parental neglect, and emotional abuse
Book: For the Wolf
Series: The Wilderwood #1
Author: Hannah Whitten
Rating: 3.5/5 stars