Rating: ★★★☆ (3.5)
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 437 pages
Author: Hannah F. Whitten
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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 entire first half (and honestly, most of the second) had me asking but why, for almost everything thing regarding the world building and magic system. That had to be my biggest gripe here. Why is the wood attacking everyone? Who are all of the kings? Why do we have to bleed on it? Why is he turning into a monster?
SOMEONE TELL ME.
The second half did a little better job with these explanations, or maybe I had been listening for so long that something finally started to click. I wish this had been better and I would have loved the book even more.
I did enjoy the romance. It’s paced well and has a nice slow burn to it. I think Red and Eammon got along well and I could see the chemistry between them. If I didn’t focus too hard on the world building issues I could focus more on the relationships that were a positive for the novel.
The combination of Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast mash-ups was an amazing feature. I could see the parallels and I loved the darker differences. Those two factors also played well into my reading enjoyment.
Jury is still out on whether or not I’ll pick up book two. I’ll probably wait for reviews and won’t go the audio route for it either. The narrator and everything is just fine! But with my previous issues i think reading it might help that overall.
Overall audience notes:
- Fantasy Retelling / Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: brief open door
- Trigger/Content Warnings: parental emotional abuse and neglect, anxiety and panic attacks, audio/visual hallucinations, self harm (cutting), death of a parent