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For the Wolf (The Wilderwood Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"A brilliant dark fantasy debut. I loved it! I was completely swept away by the world-building, the characters, and the delicate gorgeousness of the writing."-- "Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author"
"Whitten debuts with a dark, dazzling reimagining of 'Little Red Riding Hood'...With clever, immersive prose and a subtle touch of horror, this is sure to enchant."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"Drenched in atmosphere, with sharp and biting prose, Whitten's For the Wolf is a glorious journey through woods deep and so very dark. A stunning debut."-- "Erin Craig, New York Times bestselling author" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, she 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.
- ASIN : B08KQ4WX6C
- Publisher : Orbit (June 1, 2021)
- Publication date : June 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 4133 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 403 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,847 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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For the Wolf is told in alternating POVs. The first is Red, the second daughter who has terrifying magic and is meant to be a sacrifice for the Wolf who keeps the monsters of the Wilderwood at bay. The second is her sister, Neve, who is trying to save Red from her fate. At first the split POV slowed the book down for me, but by the end I was totally on board with both sisters' stories.
This book grabbed me within the first couple chapters once Red entered the Wilderwood. I absolutely adore all of the lore present within this story. The town Red and her sister are from is full of sinister religion and superstition that Red comes to realize is far from the truth. The Wolf is actually a man named Eammon and is nothing like what she has been taught. The relationship between Red and Eammon was EVERYTHING. If enemies to lovers is your trope, you are going to love this.
As I already mentioned, the lore of For the Wolf is incredible and so is the rest of the world building. While I can't wait to see a map of this world, I felt like I could easily envision the Wilderwood and the lands it surrounds and separates. The magic system is unique and well explained with small reveals throughout the book to keep you guessing. The cult-like religion that rules this world, along with its villain, is multifaceted and believable and I cannot wait to see where this goes in book two.
One thing that I did notice is that this story seems to be closer to Beauty and the Beast than Little Red Riding Hood. I don't know if there's a deeper original tale that I'm unfamiliar with but, other than Red's and the Wolf's names, I didn't see the similarities to Red Riding Hood. Luckily, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. That being said, For the Wolf may have touches of these tales, but it's utterly unique and doesn't rely too heavily on any of them.
For the Wolf is an absolutely incredible dark fairy tale that had me immediately in a slump after it ended because honestly nothing can compare. I was hyping this book to my friends before it ended and I plan to shout from the rooftops for the foreseeable future. The wait for For the Throne is going to be long and I'll certainly be re-reading this in the meantime.
I did like Red. I felt for her because since she was born, her fate was decided. She was brave and clever. I did question some of her actions and decisions, especially towards the end.
The Wolf was broody and distant and I grew to really like him. He just wanted to protect everyone though I did want to shout at him sometimes.
The romance wasn’t bad.. it slowly progressed. This aspect of the story I did enjoy. I really liked the side characters especially those in the Wilderwood.
The Villians.. were okay. I knew one of them was a villain from the jump and I was hoping this person would die a slow and painful death. The other... seems to possibly be morally Grey? I’m not sure. We shall see. There’s way more to him, I think.
Looking at the cover, which is beautiful btw, you think this story may be inspired by Red Riding Hood. It’s definitely not. It’s more like.. Beauty and the Beast.
The magic system and the concept of the 5 Kings was confusing. And it’s still confusing. I’m hoping it’ll be cleared up in the next book which I will read because I want to see how certain situations are resolved.
Overall, okay read. I did enjoy the atmosphere and creepiness of the forest.
While I liked the ideas, the execution left me wanting more. A good book to me is one that makes me feel. This book didn’t have an emotional impact on me and I was underwhelmed. It also gave me a lot of YA vibes as well. I’m giving this three stars because it technically is a good story and maybe others will connect to it better than I did.
Top reviews from other countries
I was intrigued to read this book as soon as I saw comparisons being made to the Winternight Trilogy, which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, at least for me, this book did not live up to that comparison; though it did remind me of Uprooted by Naomi Novik. That book too has its heroine sacrificed early on in the story so as to keep her village safe, and the Wilderwood here rather reminded me of the Wood in Uprooted too.
For me this book started off well. I was intrigued by the premise of the Second Daughter being for the Wolf, whilst the First is for the Throne, and by the history and lore behind this which was teased from the very beginning, yet at the same time kept shrouded in mystery. I thought there was some decent world building and I liked the bond set up very early on between Red and Neve. Once Red enters the Wilderwood the majority of the book focuses on her, though we get occasional chapters following Neve and events in Valledya, which are more politically based.
The book is probably more reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast rather than Red Riding Hood per say, not that I minded, though certainly the Wilderwood is very much a prominent character almost in its own right. It is a slow-paced book, which again I don't generally tend to mind, however, I did find here that the story became rather repetitive for long stretches in terms of what was going on in the Wilderwood and Shadowlands, with the same threats presenting themselves repeatedly.
I liked Red as a character, she was brave and loyal without having that irritating quality that I quite often find in YA fantasy heroines, though she could be somewhat too stubborn at times. I enjoyed Eammon's (the Wolf's) character too for the most part, my only criticism being that he could be rather too self-sacrificing. Whilst it was apparent fairly on that he was not the villain he was painted to be, I liked that he was actually a gentle and introverted character and not the arrogant hero with a bad-boy persona that seems to have become somewhat overdone in YA fantasy e.g. Rhysand and Casteel (I'm not saying I don't like those particular characters, just that I was glad of something different here). Whilst I liked their characters individually, and whilst the romance was sweet, I can't say I was completely sold on it though.
One of the aspects I enjoyed most here was the use of cult-like religions as power and influence, and also the distortions that arise in stories and legends over time and I liked how these ideas were explored and intertwined.
As I've already mentioned I liked the bond set up between Red and Neve at the start, and I liked the overall concept of Neve's character journey in the book, however I just thought it could have been executed better. Similarly, whilst I liked the idea of the political ambitions and plots related to this in Valledya, I thought the execution could have been more refined. I felt a lot of the secondary characters were a bit underdeveloped e.g whilst Arick's arc was interesting and at the end I had some sympathy for the character, for me he just wasn't developed enough for this to hold real impact. Side characters like Lyra, Fife and Raffe too just didn't make much of an impact or emotional connection. The villains were too one-dimensional for me, and the magic system could be a bit confusing at times. Overall I think a lot of these factors added up as the book went on, such that the latter parts even when the action was notched up a gear, failed to deliver and felt very much as just going through the motions.
Overall the book ended up feeling a bit flat, even though I was intrigued by some of the concepts and ideas. The book was generally quite atmospheric, especially the parts in the Wilderwood, with a dark fairytale feel to it with folklore entwined, and I liked the sibling dynamics, but it was too repetitive, lacking polish and feeling clunky in its execution with poor rendering of a lot of its side characters. There is a planned sequel, but I can't say I'm feeling all that enthused to read it when it comes out. I've given this 3 stars, but possibly that is being a bit generous.
However, as some others have commented, the world building is occasionally laboured and repetitive, and there are times that I felt it was the author, rather than the narrative, that was holding back information. It's something that should have been untangled by a good editor, so it's a shame, as the story is solid, and the reweaving of well-worn tales is clever.
Despite all of this, I am curious about the second instalment, and will read it, though I'd like to see tighter editing on the next volume.
I absolutely have no interest in reading another book about yet more broken trees, twisting vines and green veins and black holes.
The original Little Red Riding Hood is a better read!