The Wolf and the Woodsman
Books | Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
In the vein of Naomi Novik's New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden's national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut-- inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology--follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant. 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.
Community ReviewsSee all
"I liked this book, it is very different from my typical read and I'm excited to keep an eye out for more Ava Reid books! Dripping with gore and fantastic visuals this novel drops you in the middle of a world of folklore and myth. Our leads are grumpy, stubborn, and incredibly bull headed. I found the pacing of the narrative to be a little off but the characters and visuals made it worth reading for me!"
"This book was just so ridiculously good. Gave off “InuYasha”mixed with “Snow White and the Huntsman” vibes"
"2.5 star. <br/><br/>Even though this was pitched comparable with Naomi Novik (which it did not live up too sadly) take a look into the book Serpent and Dove and tell me there aren't too many similarities. A righteous holy man falls for the wild rude witch all while hating himself for it. Heck they were both even narrated by Saskia Maarleveld.<br/><br/>Honestly the story started off very well. The world building wasn't much but still interesting. And I'm always in the mood for a saucy protagonist. The plot was steady until about the halfway point. The inner monolog and pretty much everything else became repetitive. There seemed to be plenty of lore and gods but not much depth to it. It's like the author just scratched the surface here.<br/><br/>The romance which again started off well became exasperating. I am all for the angst but this was a whole new level. And spoiler alert it will seemed like there will be a little spic later but don't get your hopes up. Honestly besides Évike and Gáspár none of the other characters were memorable.The plot, the details everything underdeveloped and I almost dnf'd but was so close to the end."
"I think this is a great, well-written book, however it will probably be a DNF for me just because it isn’t really my personal taste. It’s very morose and has some surprisingly gory scenes. It is similar in tone to Spinning Silver and Uprooted by Naomi Novik but was missing the magic and connection to nature that I loved about those two books"
"Not only was this an excellent execution of enemies to lovers, but the intersection of fantasy and religion was masterful. I can't imagine the amount of research it took to write this book and it really paid off. I think Ava Reid is bringing concepts to the female-driven/romantic fantasy/fantasy with some romance subgenres that need more attention and application in fiction. Évike is a fantastic protagonist in tune with her sexuality and Gáspár is super nuanced and compelling."