Published: June 1, 2021
Genre(s): fantasy, adult, retelling
Read as: physical, owned
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. (Goodreads)
I want to begin this by saying that this book is sold as an adult fantasy novel. While it certainly isn’t YA, I wouldn’t go as far as to call it adult either. Hm, if only there was a category in between those two in which this could be tidily sorted…wait! There is! New adult. You know, that category people like to scoff at but is completely legitimate and most of my favorite reads can be found nestled into that particular cove? Yup. That one.
So, this delightful little red riding hood inspired new adult fantasy was absolutely fabulous. Let me tell you why.
First of all, the characters are very vibrant and distinct. I hate when I read a book and the character’s personalities are so similar that you can’t figure out who is speaking or whose thoughts you are in because they all feel the same. In For the Wolf I did not have that problem.
Red, our female lead, is bold and opinionated but also struggles with some insecurities and those insecurities make her feel so human. We’ve all read novels where there is a “fierce female” lead and she seems to struggle with nothing and everything works out for her and it just makes them dull and unrealistic. Red does her best and makes the best decisions she can in unidyllic circumstances and sometimes those choices don’t turn out quite the way she hopes. The thing is, she doesn’t sit around and mope about it, she recognizes that things have gone awry and attempts to make further choices to better those circumstances. Overall, she was a fantastic character who showed a lot of growth throughout the story and I really appreciated her.
Next, we have the Wolf. Yes, he has a real name but he goes by Wolf. He is a bit of an odd duck full of pain and suffering and repressed feelings. You know, hot fantasy guy stuff. His character background gives away a lot of the plot so I’m hesitant about talking about him much here. Know that while he isn’t perfectly written, some of his flaws like his refusal to communicate frustrated me, he is still a solid character and one I can easily see a lot of fan art popping up around.
The overarching plot of this book is to stop some evil ancient beings from rising from their prison because they would take over the world. Both the human world and the magic forest kingdom…thing… are at risk and they are approaching the impending return very differently. Lives will be lost, hearts will be broken, and sacrifices will have to be made.
Overall, I found this book highly entertaining. There were a few slow bits and Red’s sister got on my nerves but for the most part I absolutely loved it. If you are a fan of new adult fantasy titles then I cannot recommend this one enough.
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