Cover Image: The Wolf and the Woodsman

The Wolf and the Woodsman

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book has some body horror and gore, so beware of that.

The Wolf and the Woodsman captures you from the very first sentence. 

It is inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology (I am not part of either culture, so I won’t speak on how well they were done), and it follows Évike, a pagan girl who is taken by the Woodsmen. The writing was rich and immersive. It starts off slow, but by the 50% mark it picks up the pace and it feels like a completely different book.

Évike as a main character was interesting to see since she has no magic and she cannot rely on her power to survive. It's rare to find a book in which the main character is not the most powerful being, so it was a breath of fresh air and made me even more invested in her. 

The Wolf and the Woodman is also a journey for Évike to find where she belongs. I loved the scenes where Évike is spending time with her father and learning about their culture, I would have loved to see them spend more time together. 

The hate-to-love in this book is actually hate-to-love, and not minorly inconvenienced to love. Both character’s beliefs make it hard for them to see each other as anything other than the enemy; it’s satisfying to see their relationship progress from mistrust to camaraderie to love.

The villain was very one-dimensional and he comes across as being evil for the sake of being evil. Katalin was an interesting character, though she is not in most of the book, she has a great character arc and grew a lot as a person; by the end, we understand her motivations, even if her actions were not always the best way to express her feelings.

The ending felt bittersweet but realistic, and it was a beautiful conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Honestly, the main thing that made me want to read this book was the Jewish rep. I love Jewish books and to have a fantasy book with Jewish themes in it?? Love!

This book was so amazing. The way it was written was so beautiful. It felt like a song with the way the narration flowed throughout the story. 

I loved Evike so much! She was such a strong female character. I love how she didn’t let anyone push her around. And how, even in her strength, she had weak moments. It was so real and so beautifully done. 

My fave thing about this book were the stories and fables from the different faiths mixed in. I was so excited that the story of Esther made it in because it is one of my faves. It really suited Evike’s story and growth. 

All in all, amazing!!
Was this review helpful?
The Wolf and the Woodsman is a is a wonderful and incredibly rich fantasy/mythology novel, so well built and fast paced that I wasn't able to put it down till I reached the end. I was absolutely captivated by the atmosphere, and the characters.

This novel submerges the reader in a landscape so imaginative and detailed that the information of the world building/plot never feels forced, and is never difficult to understand or picture in one's mind. I had an enjoyable time reading this and it held my attention the entire way through that I finished it within the day! I enjoyed every page and thought that the plot/story was very unique. Would recommend to anyone!
Was this review helpful?
THIS WAS PHENOMENOL and I am SO GRATEFUL for netgalley and the publisher for granting my humble request. It has been a long time since I have read a young adult novel this exquisitely written, The world building is phenomenal, and the characters are wonderful - no OTT annoying people here. 
By far, one of my favorite reads of 2021!
Was this review helpful?
This arc was received by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

First off I’d like to say that I originally got this book thinking it to be young adult. It is not! There is violence, abuse and genocide most definitely making this an adult novel. 

This story follows powerless pagan woman, Evike, and one-eyed prince Gaspar Barony, though told only from Evike’s pov.  Evike is shunned from her from village for being denied powers by the gods. She is also half Yehuli, a race that is hated for being servants to the king. The kingdom is on the brink of turning against both halves of her identify, and she spends the book trying to find herself and where she belongs. 

The king sends his Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl to sacrifice for her powers and the village offers up Evike, lying about her abilities. They come across trouble where they have to fight for their lives, revealing one of the woodsman to be a shunned prince. 

Evike and Gaspar are enemies that are forced to work together for a common cause, saving their kingdom from its fate. The slight romance in the book was nice (because I love me some romance!) was a slow burn one that develops realistically in the given circumstances. 

The world building is done beautifully as I found myself getting lost in the words on the page and imagining myself in the action.
Was this review helpful?
What an incredible debut novel! This book had everything you can expect from an Adult Fantasy novel.

It had an angsty, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance filled with forced-proximity trope and the "I was meant to kill you" trope, which had me swooning by the end of the book. The love interest is also a lost prince, so say less. Not to mention that the couple in this book reminded me so much of Nina and Matthias from Six of Crows.

The book was dark and woodsy and had an ominous tone that is so different than other fantasy novels I've read. It also had an intricate magic system that stemmed from Jewish folklore and explored faith and religion in a way I have not seen in a fantasy novel before. It also delved into politics, war and a divided country filled with prejudices and violence that had me on the edge of my seat.

I also loved the main character, Évike. She is such a complex character who is trying to find her place in the world, while discovering and reclaiming her identity and self-worth in a society that refuses to accept her. She is a fighter and is brave to the point of recklessness, so we have to stan.

What makes this story, however, is the Hungarian history and Jewish folklore put at the center of the story. The author is an own voices author and she effortlessly managed to build this world that is so unique and beautifully built. Seeing Jewish representation and folklore at foothold of a novel that celebrates and explores the mythology and history was a breath of fresh air.

I have not read an Adult Fantasy novel in a while, and this book reminded me how much I love this genre. This book explored the realities of a war-stricken world that is cruel, vicious and divided, but also managed to be uplifting and magical. This is at the center, a story about identity and acceptance, regardless of what your blood is or what you believe in.

Thank you, Avon and Harper Voyager and NetGalley, for providing me with this ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) in exchange for an honest review. I loved it!
Was this review helpful?
TW: Blood, gore, extreme violence, genocide, ethnic cleansing

I really wanted to be a part of the crowd that absolutely loved this book (there are so many of you!) but for once I am not following the crowd and it feels weird.

The Wolf and the Woodsman is about Evike, a pagan woman who is the only one in her village without any magic. She must form a bond with a one-eyed woodsman in order to stop the overthrowing of the throne and to save Pagan, Patritian and Yehuli alike. There's loads of magic, romance and adventure.

As for the romance of this book...I just didn't believe it. Gaspar reminded me too much of Tamlin (ACOTAR) when he's under the mountain and is too ready to kneel to survive. Once that got in my head it was hard to get out. Gaspar is noble and devout but he seemed weak to me. He basically thought loving Evike was a sin even though he couldn't help himself that doesn't sound like love when you hate yourself for it! And Evike...she was almost instantly hot for him. I felt bad for her every time she wondered if he had the same lustful thoughts about her as she did for him (this happened quite often). (view spoiler)

The writing at the beginning was way over embellished. The author seemed to describe every blade of grass, every bark of every tree, every snowflake, etc. and it wore me out. It got better as the book went on but it took forever for me to get into a good pace of reading because of that.

One of the few parts of this book I did enjoy was Zsigmond, Batya and Jozefa. Their whole familial grouping was cute and at times funny and it made me wish for Evike to join them and choose to convert to Yehuli. To have a place to call home and safe space where she could be loved like she deserved to be.

The warnings in the book are many. There are a lot of trigger worthy facets of the book and if you are sensitive to any of them you should take the warnings seriously. This is a book deep with politics, war and cultural erasure. And I think with all those things violence is surely to be there. The Wolf and the Woodsman certainly does deliver the blood and gore of violence all throughout the book and it's super graphic so you are warned!

Overall, this book will be loved by many I think, it just wasn't for me and that's not to say anything bad about the book or the author...I'd still be interested in reading other works of hers in the future. Thanks so much to Avon and HarperVoyager for providing me an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
*Thank you so much to the publishers for providing me an ARC of The Wolf and the Woodsman*

Trigger Warnings: Severe gore, torture, self-harm, animal death, antisemitism, cultural genocide, and ethnic cleansing. 

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a Hungarian and Jewish folklore mythology-inspired story that makes this debut novel unique in its own rights. This book is well written and thought of, with its magical writing and its excellent world-building. 

It follows Évike as its main character, a pagan woman who is magicless, the only one in her village. When the Woodsmen come to her village for one of the wolf-girls, she is picked by the village as the one who should go and be sacrificed. There she is introduced to Gáspár one of the Woodsmen that is taking her captive. LITERAL ENEMIES TO LOVERS HERE PEOPLE! 

It is definitely a slow-burn and the story has its moments where it is slow-paced, but it works in its favor. I wished that the ending didn't feel as rushed as it did, but overall this was a stunning book and I would recommend it. 

*This is definitely an adult book and not YA, so keep that in mind*
Was this review helpful?
The Wolf and the Woodsman follows Evike, a magic-less girl in a village of pagans, in a land where the dominant, monotheistic religion has been wiping them out. In exchange for their relative freedom in their isolated woods, the king requires a tribute/sacrifice of one of their women every x amount of years. Evike, an outsider due to her mixed heritage, is betrayed by her village and offered as a sacrifice when the king’s Woodsmen come again. But their path back to the capital and Evike’s death is not so quick as it may seem.

Their journey, full of mistrust and long fueled hatred of each other’s religions, takes them between the Arctic north and the packed capital and back again as they try anything they can to prevent Nandor from seizing the throne, and inevitably grow closer and closer despite their differences.

The book is great for any fantasy lover: it has enemies to lovers romance, it has mythology, it has delicate political and religious conflicts, it has gods and monsters and mythical creatures, religion-based magic, long quests to fulfill their goals. But it has even more: it’s full of sweeping myths and legends they tell each other, studies and comparisons of religions, religious exploration, organic and lovely Jewish representation.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book!! I am now a little obsessed with it, and by "a little," I actually mean "a lot." I’m giving a heads up now that this review will be essay-length because I have so much to say. I was hooked from the first two lines (which may be subject to change), “The trees have to be tied down by sunset. When the Woodsmen come, they always try to run,” what an opener! The lyricism of the writing in the first few lines introduced me to Reid’s fantasy world inspired by medieval Hungarian history and Jewish mythology, and I remained captivated for the rest of the story.  

Reid does an excellent job of portraying people as monsters and highlighting how people become monsters through education. Most of the people in this novel are educated through folktales, particularly religious folktales, which often take the form of propaganda. Terrifying creatures lurk in the “thousand-eyed” woods, but these creatures really cement the idea that humans are the real monsters because of the cruelty they can inflict on one another. Reid writes about the awfulness and violence that goes into nation-building and how religious and ethnic discrimination impacts it. Reid deftly portrayed the intersectionality of religious discrimination in this book and shows how deep-seated prejudices play out amongst different groups of people interacting with each other. 

Évike's identity struggles really show what it's like to be a child of two different cultures (in her case, ethnoreligious groups). As someone who is half-Jewish on my dad's side, I related to her experiences of feeling isolated from both groups because she was too “other” to fit in with either group completely. I also understood what it's like to grow up and connect with Judaism later on and how welcoming the community is. Évike is the first character I’ve ever read who really has the same identity as me, and it was really cool to watch her grow as a character. I know the author was committed to writing an Eastern European-inspired fantasy novel that included Jewish people and their contributions in shaping history and culture and defining them outside of their oppression, and she succeeded. I enjoyed how Reid weaved Jewish stories (like the story of Queen Esther and the story about the Rabbi and the golem) and holidays (I believe they celebrate Purim at one point) into the story. Reading about Évike's relationship with her father and her developing connection to Judaism was reminiscent of my own life, and I adored it. The Wolf and the Woodsman is a lyrical celebration of Jewish history and mysticism contextualized within the journey of a young woman trying to understand her cultural identity while making her way through a country in the thrall of radical nationalism. 

Évike is such an interesting character! The way she develops throughout the novel was amazing to read! She struggles to find her place in the world because she is highly aware of the systems of oppression and cultural genocide that surround her. The way Reid writes about nature through Évike's eyes is lovely; beyond it being beautiful prose, it is also a way of showing us how Évike sees the natural world around her and highlights her pagan background. She is a badass who stands up for herself. She is also hilarious, and many of her lines and observations made me laugh out loud. There were many instances of humor in the novel, but they do not detract from the story's overall seriousness. Évike is not perfect, but she tries to learn from her mistakes. As she learns to be more open and accepting of others, she becomes more accepting of herself (& how this acceptance plays out at the end of the novel was simply brilliant). It was also really cool to see a curvy main character in a fantasy novel! 

THE ENEMIES TO LOVERS ROMANCE OF MY DREAMS!!! He kneels for her... oh my. Évike stands toe to toe with Gáspár the whole time and is snappy in a good way, which is important as she and Gáspár are legitimate enemies. They are from very different cultural backgrounds, which affords them different amounts of privilege. The romance was believable, and I enjoyed reading about them building mutual respect before building a solid romantic relationship. 

I love Gáspár so much!! The way he listened to other people (mostly Évike), confronted his own prejudices, and reshaped his understanding of the world around his morals was amazing, and I adore him.

I’m a little upset that I read this early because now I will have to wait for more people to read this book and obsess over it. I hope there will be lots of fanart!! I have low-key started recommending this book to everyone I know, so hopefully, I’ll be able to talk about this book with friends soon. It may be early in the year, but I think this is one of the best books I will read in 2021! 

It is very violent in some sickening ways, and I did have to take a bit of a break from reading it, so I did include trigger warnings in my Goodreads review. 

Thank you very much for sending me this ARC!
Was this review helpful?
CW- blood, gore, body horror, murder, death
-
The Wolf and the Woodsman is a blend of Hungarian and Jewish folklore mixed together to create a spellbinding fantasy. Please note that this is an ADULT fantasy, and has quite a few content warnings, especially regarding body horror.
-
I absolutely loved this book. The prose was beautiful, and it was quite easy to get into. At times it did drag, but the world building was stellar. I also loved the romance. It is a a slow burn enemies-to-lovers with two outcasts, and it was developed remarkably well. I also appreciated how the the love interest did not fall into the toxicity that many fantasy love interests have as of the late.
-
This was also an amazing debut! It has such a level of sophistication and I just really loved the magic system!
-
Again, this is still an ADULT fantasy. Part of the magic system is built on self harm and there are many violent and gory scenes.
-
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
🌟𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨🌟

𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕎𝕠𝕝𝕗 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕎𝕠𝕠𝕕𝕤𝕞𝕒𝕟 - 𝔸𝕧𝕒 ℝ𝕖𝕚𝕕
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟.5

I was so grateful when I received an eARC of this book!! I want to give a shout-out to the publishers for letting me read this book early with an exchange for an honest review 😍 thank you!! 

I’m just jumping right into this review I was hooked by the first chapter, the world building sucked me in instantly 👏 it was rich and had an old ancient story feel to it that I just adored! It was almost as if reading a book about the lore of a time lost long ago it has its vile ways but it’s also so consuming as you read on! 

I also really enjoyed the romance in this book.. it’s not the main focus which I like in my fantasy reads but it was a perfect slow burn/enemies to lovers romance ! I couldn’t get enough of their banter and the slowww torture for them to finally see each other romantically was written so well!! 

The characters themselves all had wonderful development and that’s something that can make or break a book for me! So that was a huge plus!

The one thing I do want to mention about this book is it is NOT for everyone and is 💯 adult ! This book is a lot deeper and more gruesome than I originally thought it would be! And there could definitely be some triggers in here including, animal cruelty, abuse to self and others, and genocide !  

But the author Ava Reid’s writing style is so wonderful even through all the horrific events, I still felt like I was reading something poetic❤️ I would recommend this book to so many fantasy or lore lovers out there!!
Was this review helpful?
This was a good one! Imaginative, unique, and one I had a hard time putting down. The female lead was refreshing in her characteristics and I’d definitely Italy recommend this one to the teen girls I know. Give this one a read if you enjoy unique fantasy!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for granting me access to this ARC in exchange for an honest review! This review will be posted on my blog pagesandprose.net on May 14. The link will be shared on Twitter, and the review will be copied over to Goodreads. I have also discussed this book during a vlog (https://youtu.be/QlebqlxfIHQ) and it will be discussed in my April Wrap-Up video, which will be posted May 4 (link to my general YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJNlMVN7vvA75iTmiiswXKQ). I will be emailing the links to Danielle Bartlett once I have the wrap-up video link ready.

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a historical fantasy that centers around religion and the inter- and intra-personal conflicts that stem from it. From the characters to the story itself, this book is breathtakingly fierce, raw, and brutal. I was immediately sucked in and consistently impressed with the writing and the depth of this debut novel.

Ava Reid pulls from Hungarian history and Jewish folklore to create of The Wolf and the Woodsman, giving us a richly developed world that has an underlying current of familiarity. The foundation of this world is religion, with three main denominations in conflict with one another: those that follow the Patrifaith, the Yehuli, and the pagans. The history and details of the world then blossom through the stories and practices of the different religious groups. I found this to be really interesting and I think it provided a bit more of an intimate feel to the world compared to a world structured primarily around politics. 

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a very well-rounded novel, but I think it’s strongest aspect is Reid’s writing style. It’s important to note that this is very flowery writing, and while there were a few moments where I felt as though the purple prose could have been reigned in a bit, I do think that it plays a huge part in creating the atmosphere and emotion of this book. I was utterly entranced with the writing of this book, and I found myself completely lost in the story because of how vivid and constant the imagery was. I had a few moments where I would go to put the book down and had to take a second to remind myself where I was. Keep in mind, the imagery spanned the entire spectrum, from gorgeous to grotesque. There are a few scenes that actually elicited a physical reaction from me, whether cringing or gaging, with how intense some of the gore was. 

I wouldn’t consider the pacing of this book to be either fast or slow, just a steady middle-ground that allowed for Reid to explore several different themes and perspectives. So much of this book focuses around how humans use religion as an excuse for their cruelty and how religion can be warped for personal gain, as well as what happens when religious righteousness gets out of control. But Reid also looks at how people prefer to lump themselves and others into neat groups or categories. We like to have a solid sense of identification and classification, but what happens when someone fits in more than one group? There are several moments where The Wolf and the Woodsman looks at both the inner and outer conflict of someone who belongs to more than one group of people, and how for some that means that they don’t belong to any group. It was impressive to watch Reid explore these ideas both subtly and not as the story unfolded.

This is one of those very rare stories that I found myself to be overall indifferent towards the main characters, yet that didn’t impact my ability to enjoy the book at all. I definitely wouldn’t say that the characters were poorly written, I just didn’t find myself as invested in them as I normally am with a book that I feel this positively about. I am a very character-focused reader and I prefer character-driven over plot-driven stories. While the plot was definitely progressed through the characters’ decisions instead of just their reactions, the story felt bigger than the characters and like it was using the characters just as a means to move the plot. Normally I wouldn’t like this, but I actually think that it worked really well for this book.

Take the relationship dynamic of Nina and Matthias from Six of Crows, add in the folklore vibes of The Bear and the Nightingale, the gritty political turmoil of The Poppy War, and a splash of The Witcher and you’ll get the general idea of The Wolf and the Woodsman. This is a fantasy that will sweep you away, but it’s so much more than that. Reid is already a stunning storyteller, and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the future.
Was this review helpful?
Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. 

It’s beautiful, a testament to the good and the bad and the things that just are. This book makes me miss being religious. It makes me miss being young and listening to stories. It makes me thankful for people like Ava Reid who throw themselves into the sword and bare themself open to tell us this story. Thank you, Ava.
Was this review helpful?
I will read any Central or Eastern European historical fantasy, and so far the highly specific genre hasn't steered me wrong yet. I was utterly drawn into the world. Very good world building, I loved the characters, the magic. I enjoyed the first and third acts better than the middle portion, which I found to drag a little bit. But not enough to curb my overall enjoyment of the book. I think the romance and the female side characters could have been developed a little better, as the book truly shone when it was in its magical and action/adventurous scenes versus the more overtly political scenes in the city with the king and counts, etc. I absolutely loved the stuff in the city with the Yehuli though. 

so, so appreciate the strife of nation building and horrors of religious persecution, etc. which was woven very cleverly into the story. the fantasy elements and the allegorical elements were nicely balanced.
Was this review helpful?
In general (and especially with fantasy books), it takes me a substantial amount of time to actually get into books (20%+) but The Wolf and The Woodsman had me hooked right away.

Plot: So interesting! I wasn’t exactly sure how the story would develop based off of the synopsis but I really enjoyed it. 

The Writing: amazing world building! Nothing felt overly info-dumpy and the descriptions blended well with the actual plot. Overall the pacing was also good, I just wish the ending (last 5-10%) wasn’t as rushed. 

The Romance: not the main focus, but definitely a [helpful, good, welcomed] addition to the story. It was a slowwwwwburn enemies to lovers romance that played out very well and naturally, their chemistry wasn’t forced and their connection was not abrupt.
Was this review helpful?
It's easy to understand why this book has been likened to those by Katherine Arden and Naomi Novik.
Similar to those novels, The Wolf and the Woodsman is immersive. Transportive. Comprised of lush atmospheric mythology and dark mature themes that are tinged with magic and folklore, that explore real human pangs, sufferings, failures, and longings through its fantasy constructs, the story itself is one of brambles. It pinches then prickles. It cuts you open in places you didn't know existed. Its beauty is to be found in the darkest recesses, from beneath the deepest layers.

The book itself features two main characters, Évike and Gáspar, who, despite being reared at the center of a violent nation-building society where they've been imbued with conflicting beliefs, with pronounced prejudices, are thrust together in odyssey.

It all starts when she's taken from her village. The Woodsmen have come to collect, looking for a seer for the king, and she is offered up as sacrifice despite having no magic of her own, which is only revealed after the fact. Though the two start off as enemies, as nothing more than wolf-girl and Woodsman respectively, they soon grow to depend on each other for survival, saving each other not only from nature's elements but from monsters that live in the woods. Little pieces of themselves start to fall away to reveal something softer, kinder, and more tender behind their ideological differences.

Once they arrive to face the king, though, their evolving feelings are truly put to the test. That's also when the enthnoreligious horrors and their individual searches for identity start to tick up.

The prose of this book tugs readers along with its rich brutality. Each brushstroke is laden with sensuous metaphor, imagery; every new location in the plot is carved out with exquisite precision and care; and the characters themselves all shimmer with recognizable, yet mystical, qualities. I shivered at certain turns of phrase throughout because they hammered at the reality of what it must feel like to be persecuted for religion. Or ethnicity. Or culture. Or anything. I thought Reid did a good job of making that believable in the fantasy world she crafted.

With descriptions that sparkle and ambiance that engages all five senses, The Wolf and the Woodsman evokes a keen sense of awareness in the reader that had me paying attention to every fleck of detail. There was a real feeling of being swept up. Submerged. Lost to everything except the unforgiving setting, the blue-black emotion, whenever I was reading.

I liked maneuvering through the gory underbelly of this tale overall. It was beautiful in a tragically-scarred-yet-resilient way that felt genuine, if a bit painful and heartwrenching, in message. Perfect for fans of dark folklore!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC in exchange for my review!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Voyager for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. 

How do you form coherent words and not tears after finishing one of the best books you’ve ever read? I am sitting here, staring at the wall, pondering this exact question. From the first page to the very last, this book had me enthralled. I can’t explain it other than I am absolutely in love with this book. I am absolutely mind blown that this is a debut. This is in the top 5 books I’ve ever read, easily and that list hasn’t been touched in a long time. Ava, take a bow. This book is sheer perfection. 

It has been a long time since I’ve been so enamored by the plot of the book while simultaneously being surprised by the plot on a regular basis. This gave me everything I love in a book- a strong MC growing even stronger and believing in herself, bucking the patriarchal society rules, questioning religion, enemies to lovers where the LI is actually a cinnamon roll, and a vague ending that is both satisfying but leaves me craving more. Even though I know the story is wrapped up, and done so well- I would happily read another 5 books about Evike and Gaspar. Honestly. It could just be them doing random things and I’d read it. I’d devour it and fall in love with it. 

Ava’s ability to craft a story with a voice that is compelling, yet gentle is.. I can’t even put it in to words how beautiful it is. This book is so well crafted and so fantastically written that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully come to terms with the fact it’s over. Everyone always asks “what’s the one book you wish you could read for the first time over again” and for the longest time (in the fantasy category) I’ve never really had an answer. I wouldn’t mind Strange the Dreamer or the Crave series. But now without a doubt I would say The Wolf and The Woodsman. I cried when this book ended just for the sheer fact it was over. The complexities of the characters were so well fleshed out, even when they were learning and growing, their actions stayed true to their fundamentals. Katalin, in particular, had one of the most satisfying arcs I’ve ever read. To learn her thoughts and feelings from the beginning to the end was everything. I could continue on forever about how well done this book is, but if there’s one thing that I could leave you with it’d be this: 

This book will suck you in from the first page and take you on a journey full of resilience, heartache, heartbreak, persistence, growth, love, tests, and coming to terms with who you are built in a beautiful world that’s so well crafted you will stay there long after you’ve left the pages behind. 

If this isn’t on your TBR- why? Please add it, pre-order it and read this on June 8th. You will not regret it. 

A more in-depth blog will be posted closer to release date!
Was this review helpful?
So I finished this last night right before I had to go to sleep, so I took some time to compose my thoughts into something more coherent than screaming because that’s truthfully how I’m feeling, but here goes:

Wow. This book.
Do you want a fantasy novel that has:
Lush, folkloric settings?
A blood soaked magic system that’ll leave you gasping?
Angsty Princes and snarky girls who refuse to give them an inch?
ENEMIES TO LOVERSSSSS?
An actual, brutal look at painfully bigotry, religious discrimination and antisemitism from a Jewish author that does try to handwave those things away with “it’s a fantasy novel!!” ?
Worldbuilding that feels so complete, so lived in, so lovingly crafted that I felt like I was only seeing a silver and wanted more, making me look differently at a number of fantasy novels I’ve read over the past few years?
Jewish people being strong as shit?
A very large bear?
Then I’ve got the book for you. Please, //please// mind the trigger warnings and if you can, read this when it comes out in June because it’s an amazingly crafted piece of fantasy, and should be a standard to which more fantasy novels are held because oh my god, this one’s gonna be living rent free in my head for a very long time.
Was this review helpful?