Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Review: The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all. 

📌 Publication date: 08/06/2021
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The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning standalone adult fantasy novel. The writing is haunting and beautiful in a way that is not flowery. However, be warned that it is not for the faint of heart, a list of content warnings can be found on the author's website here. If you're a fan of action packed stories then this might not be for you. Having said that although the first half of the book is spent travelling, it's not slow paced or boring. The enemies to lovers, slow burn romance between Evike and Gaspar is expertly crafted. Even when they arrive at their destination there's not a ton of action, yet it's still thoroughly engaging. The core of the book is about understanding the different nuances of culture, finding yourself, and rising up against oppression.    


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