Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

The first daughter is for the Throne. The second daughter is for the Wolf.

There hasn’t been a Second Daughter in centuries and the Wilderwood is hungry for a sacrifice. The legends say she is the only way to save her land from the monsters of the forest. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf is just a boy trying to carry on the work of his parents.

I loved the sentient trees of the Wilderwood and the whole mythology surrounding the woods. It’s trying to survive, it is neither good nor evil. Ever since Red first ventured into the forest, she has felt its power within her. She is meant to be a sacrifice, it’s all she’s ever known, and she fears the magic will harm those she loves. It is almost a relief to go.

This is essentially a story about consent. Not something that usually gets asked for in fairy tales. While Red is initially given to the Wolf by her people, the climax is literally about the power of consent, and throughout the Wolf gives her choices, he does not want her there against her will.

As part of the Wilderwood as any sentinel, roots winding through him like he was their soil. Man tangled inextricably with forest, equal parts branch and bone.

It was an incredibly slow start though. There’s a lot of lovely, descriptive writing, so if that’s your thing you may absolutely love this. For me, it was a little too much description and not enough getting on with the plot for most the first half. The second half had much better pacing, and I did enjoy the story.

I could see where’s Neve’s actions were heading, that she was being drawn into a cult with ulterior motives. She is grieving for her sister, wants to have her returned, so of course she wants to believe that the priestesses can help. Little does she know that Red is safe as she can be, as long as Neve’s actions don’t jeopardise the safety of everyone.

Four hundred years was long enough for there to be facets of both fact and faith, concrete evidence and myths that became holy truths. But this power… this twisting of one concrete pillar of belief, wringing out its magic to prove something… it took those two opposing forces and melted them together in a way that both terrified and exhilarated her.

I am a little disappointed that this wasn’t a standalone, I don’t see myself reading more, especially since the part I liked the most seemed resolved in this first instalment.

For the Wolf is published by Orbit and will be available in paperback and ebook editions from 3rd June 2021. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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