For the Wolf (Wilderwood Book 1)

Review by Knicky L. Abbott

Author name: Hannah Whitten

Book Title: Wilderwood Book 1 For the Wolf

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.

Publication date: 1st June, 2021

Available formats: Paperback, Audiobook and Audio CD

Purchase Link:

For the Wolf is the story of the Second Daughter, Redarys and the Wolf of the Wilderwood, Eammon. It is the story of a sentient, prison wood and its binding forest magic, as it leeches the life from all Second Daughters and all Wolves, in order to hold its shadow monsters and mad kings at bay, and protect the rest of realm. And it is the story of how voluntary sacrifice makes the only difference that matters in the quest for meaning, self-knowledge and the place where you belong.

I gobbled this book down in two days, finding every opportunity to return to its pages, inexorably pulled over and again by the chemistry between its characters, the dark, dreamy telling of their story, and how true it rang in my heart. It’s really special that way. Like a letter to myself written by someone else’s hand.

Red is stalwart about her fate; Eammon stoic about his. She is filled with a dangerous magic – Wilderwood magic – and is willing to be sacrificed to protect those she loves, particularly her twin, Neverah. Eammon is willing to sacrifice himself wholly to protect those lives beyond the woods, because of the fate passed onto him through his parents, the original Wolf and Second Daughter. And as the story is told, they’re both willing to face that fate without cowering, despite their doubts, dread, and misgivings, for love of each other.

The scrumptious, slow-burn romance aside, my favourite part of the story was the curse itself. In almost every dark fairytale I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, a curse is just a thing made mention of, for the hero or heroes to inevitably overcome. Yet in For the Wolf the curse lives and breathes on every page, between the surrounding trees and the very bones of our main characters, and while it was transmuted and understood deeper by both those characters and I in the end, it never left or was broken in the traditional sense of the word.

In For the Wolf, the magic and worldbuilding, though wonderfully complex, is not too complicated to follow or understand. And the romantic love between Redarys and Eammon, while Red Riding Hood-coded, has a delightful Beauty and the Beast aesthetic, down to the crumbling castle keep in an atmospheric, twilit wood. Much like a Wilderwood Sentinel, it glows brightly on the pages, roots set deep in this first installment of the Wilderwood duology. And much like the Wilderwood itself, is one of the reasons why I can hardly wait for Book 2.

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