“Stories can start revolutions.”
What it’s about: A young wolf wilder (someone who takes in formerly domesticated wolves and tries to rehabilitate them so they can again survive in the wild), Feo, is perused by soldiers, and their insane captain, through the Russian wilderness as she attempts to save her mother from being falsely imprisoned, while trying to avoid being swept up in a revolution.
What I thought: Well, firstly, this book surprised me in the fact that it is not a fantasy novel, as I had originally expected. At most Feo’s role as a Wolf Wilder could be described as slightly uncanny. But that shouldn’t really count against the book in any way because it is a beautiful little oddity of a book.
“People say we can’t do anything about the way the world is; they say it’s set in stone. I say it looks like stone, but it’s mostly paint and cardboard.”
This book isn’t one I would recommend to those who require a great deal of action in their novels. This book is what I tend to call ‘quietly beautiful’. The main feature of this book is definitely the writing. The writing is just so quirky and gorgeous. There is absolutely no way this book could be written more perfectly. There is so much humour and brilliance in the language used that it is almost awe-inspiring in it’s construction. It’s just done so perfectly.
Feo is an adorable little wildling who cant possibly be explained better than the author does herself:
“Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl. The girl was Russian, and although her hair and eyes and fingernails were dark all of the time, she was stormy only when she thought it was absolutely necessary. Which was fairly often.”
“Feo – the wolf witch the soldiers had talked about in awe, who had not cried when her mother was snatched away and who had only scowled at snowstorms and guns and ice-cold nights”.
“The set of her chin suggested she might have slain a dragon before breakfast. The look in her eye suggested that she might, in fact, have eaten it.”
She’s childish and mature, and sweet, and ruthless, and the kind of girl fairy tales should be written about.
As beautiful as the writing is, one cannot review this book without talking it’s absolutely beautiful illustrations. They are just so gorgeous.
This book is so beautifully written that it does completely outshine the story. The story is in no way bad, but it could be, and it wouldn’t matter. The writing is that good. I personally wouldn’t hesitate buying any other Katherine Rundell books that crossed my path.
I rate this book 4/5 stars
Find it here:
I would like to apologise to Bloomsbury Australia who sent me this book a few months ago, and have waited patiently for my review. I read the first ~90% of this book ages ago, but due to some personal issues (which I have discussed earlier) which made me a little dead inside, it sadly got put to the side. I rediscovered it recently on my bookshelf and remembered how beautiful it was, and decided I needed to finish it and review it (better late than never, I guess). I do take received books from publishers seriously, and I am dreadfully sorry that this one seemed to slip through the cracks and be delayed.