Review: For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Synopsis: 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, sweeping debut 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. 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.

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Fiction

Date of Publication: June 1st, 2021

Publisher: Orbit Books

Length: 437 pages

My rating: 4.5/5

Review: “So where are you going, then?” “To do Wolf-things.” 

For the Wolf is a dark, romantic, and sometimes funny fairytale retelling that came out in 2021. With elements of Red Riding Hood, and also Beauty and the Beast, For the Wolf still gives us an original and engaging story with strongly developed characters. The world Hannah Whitten created is rich and full of mystery. It has some very interesting elements to it and is complicated without being confusing or overwhelming. I enjoyed the details the author put into the backstory, and appreciated that it was laid out in a way so as not to take away from the main story, but instead added to its development. 

The two sisters, Red and Neve, are complex and engaging in their own ways. But the story isn’t limited to just them, there is a fascinating collection of characters in the Wilderwood and surrounding area that all deserve their own story. The plot itself has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, and I couldn’t predict how the book would end. I did know that the story wasn’t exactly over, because For the Throne (the sequel) had already been announced when I started reading it. I loved the way Hannah Whitten wove fairytales into her book but didn’t rely too heavily on them to carry the plot. 

I’m very excited for the sequel, and I’m glad I don’t have to wait for ages for it to come out! For the Wolf focused on Red, and it looks like For the Throne will give Neve the limelight. I’m looking forward to seeing how Neve’s story plays out! I would recommend For the Wolf to anyone who enjoys Young Adult fantasy, especially fairytale retellings.

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