The Wolf and the Woodsman

Ava Reid. Harper Voyager, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-297312-2
Reid’s fast-paced debut examines religious freedom through the lens of myth and magic. Every few years, the Holy Order of Woodsmen travel to the pagan village of Keszi to take one of their magic-wielding wolf-girls on the orders of the king. This year, when the woodsmen demand a seer, Keszi’s matriarch instead hands over Évike, the only wolf-girl without magic. Reid’s atmospheric prose evokes fairy tale enchantment as Évike and the woodsmen traverse a forest filled with monsters. When one attacks, forcing Évike and the sullen Woodsman captain, Gáspár, to fight together to survive, Évike’s lack of magic and Gáspár’s true identity as the shunned heir of the kingdom are revealed. To save her village from being massacred for their deception, Évike agrees to help Gáspár prevent his zealot brother, Nándor, from usurping the throne. Fantasy romance fans will enjoy watching tortured Gáspár and fiery Évike warm to each other over legends, monster battles, and their shared outcast status as their quest takes them into the frozen north. But their arrival at the capital places Évike in danger as she faces off against the power-hungry king and Nándor’s fanatical followers. The convincing enemies-to-lovers romance, fascinating religion-based magic system, and thoughtful examination of zealotry make this a notable debut. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Jun.)
Reviewed on : 01/21/2021
Release date: 06/08/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-297314-6
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