For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
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 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.
The author has provided a list of content warnings here.
My review may contain a mild spoiler.
Red’s fate has been known since before she was born.
The First Daughter is for the throne.
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf.
And the Wolves are for the Wilderwood.
After all, Red (Redarys) is the second daughter, and her older sister (Neve) is the queen. Red is prepared to fulfill her destiny and wishes to be away from those she loves because of the dangerous dark magic within her, which continues to change. However, losing Red isn’t something Neve is willing to accept.
Once Red is sent into the forest, she realizes she’s been misinformed about many things throughout her life, including the wolf she’s destined to be given to. Red’s power is needed more than anything to save the Wilderwood. Time is of the essence, and she must try to find a way to control her powers before everything is destroyed. With great hope, Red will be the one to free the Five Kings once and for all.
What I liked: The premise had me captivated. The writing is descriptive and beautiful throughout, making this story extremely atmospheric. I loved the imagery in the story and the way the author wrote in elements from multiple fairy tales, not just from “Little Red Riding Hood” but also “Beauty and the Beast” and “Snow White.” It makes this retelling refreshingly unique. I always appreciate strong family themes, and that was a big part of this story with how these sisters love one another unconditionally. When siblings are willing to do whatever they need to protect one another, it always grabs me. The book has other favorite themes of love and sacrifice as well. There was also the perfect amount of romance with a super-slow build between Red and Eammon. Waiting for that development was almost hard to deal with at times. The ending was written well without a cliffhanger and leaves you anticipating the second book.
The main character, Red, was my absolute favorite. She has all the qualities I love–bravery, determination, strength, and she’s a caring individual who wants to do what’s right. She’s willing to sacrifice herself for the good of others. Her family is important to her, and she holds those that she loves close. Like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Red loves to read. Her introduction to the magnificent library was one of my favorite parts of the book. Neve (Red’s sister) also had her own perspective in the story, which was interesting, even though it wasn’t as frequent.
What I didn’t like: At times the writing was too detailed, and the story felt like it was dragging along. This is strictly a personal issue for me only when I’m not in the mood for a slower-paced story. Some extras didn’t seem necessary though, and it led me to believe that maybe this story could’ve been condensed. I had issues connecting with some of the characters too. With that said, there wasn’t anything I hated about this book.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I’m excited to read the second book. If you like dark fantasy and retellings, definitely give this one a try.
I’d like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for sharing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
- Publisher : Orbit (June 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316592781
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316592789
This book has been added to my retelling reading challenge. You can see my progress by clicking here.
Thanks for checking out my review! Have you read this book or any other good retellings lately? Let’s chat in the comment’s section.