'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Review: The Wolf Wilder

Feodora and her mother live in the snow-cloaked woods of Russia. Feo's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. Theirs is a dangerous job: they must teach wolves once owned by the Russian nobility as pets to become wild animals again so that they can be reintroduced to life in the woods.

Feo's life is an unusual one. She and her mother live alone. Her best friends are three wolves: Grey, White and Black, who live ten minutes away in a ruined chapel. But it's a life of adventure, warmth and love.

All that changes when the cruel Russian general, Rakov, arrives to punish them because a wolf has killed one of the Tsar's elks. Rakov is terrorising the surrounding countryside, burning down villages and killing anyone who dares to stand up to him. But Feo and her mother are not the sort of people to be intimidated by bullies, even those who have the might of the Russian Army behind them.

When the worst happens and Feo's mother is taken prisoner, Feo is determined to rescue her. Together with her wolves and a young soldier named Ilya, she sets out on a journey that will change the lives of everyone she meets.

Katherine Rundell is an award-winning author, and her talent is evident in this sweeping tale of adventure and rebellion that reads like a classic. Time and again, I found myself stopping to re-read lines — The Wolf Wilder is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long time — and the black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout add a lovely atmospheric touch. Not to be missed.

Title: The Wolf Wilder
Author: Katherine Rundell
Illustrator: Gelrev Ongbico
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $15.99 RRP
Publication Date: October 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781408872352
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Fiction