For the Wolf

Orbit. Jun. 2021. 480p. ISBN 9780316592789. pap. $17.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Centuries ago in a vaguely European fantasy world, a bargain was struck: the First Daughter for the throne, the Second Daughter for the Wolf. Now Redarys, the Second Daughter of Valleyda, is approaching her 20th birthday, when she is to be sacrificed so that the Wolf of the Wilderwood releases the Five Kings, the imprisoned old gods of their world. Red agrees to render herself to the Wilderwood—not to secure the release of the old gods, but to protect everyone, especially her beloved twin sister, Neve. In the Wilderwood, Red learns that the legends are lies: the Wolf is just a man, and the Wilderwood holds at bay an evil that overshadows all the monster stories that have been told. It turns out that some in Red’s world feel that the Five Kings must return, however evil they have become. Only Red can pay the costs of the old gods’ return, if she accepts her power. Love will compel Red and others in her world to make difficult choices that might destroy everyone.
VERDICT This hauntingly beautiful, fractured retelling of Little Red Riding Hood is dark, emotional, and filled with tense action. Whitten’s debut is epic and enthralling.
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