The Wolf’s Curse

Jessica Vitalis. Greenwillow, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-306741-7
In a thought-provoking debut, Vitalis considers grief, the end of life, and the industry of death through the eyes of an otherworldly, psychopompic wolf. Twelve-year-old, light-skinned Gauge, apprentice to and grandson of Bastien the Carpenter, lives a shadow life in Bouge-by-the-Sea as a suspected Voyant—a witch able to summon the Wolf, a harbinger of death. Accused of causing the passing of the Lord Mayor’s wife five years earlier, Gauge avoids attention until the death of his beloved grandfather forces him out of hiding. Desperate to avoid capture, Gauge finds an unexpected ally in Roux, a blacksmith’s brown-skinned daughter and a collector of bird feathers, who helps him try to clear his name. But the absolutely real Wolf—whom Gauge can see but not summon—has come to persuade him to take up her vital role, and his decision may doom the entire country. Through the Wolf’s archly omniscient first-person narration, Vitalis relates the affecting stories of Gauge and Roux, whose raw mourning provides a revealing contrast to the Lord Mayor’s simmering, unprocessed grief. Well developed nautical funereal rites, including coffin-like wooden boats and a Sea-in-the-Sky afterlife, give depth and specificity to this contemplative story. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/14/2021
Release date: 09/21/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-306743-1
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