Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Book Review - The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

The Wolf Wilder

Author: Katherine Rundell

Genres: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure.  

Published: September 9 2015

Pages: 319 pages (Paperback) (Bloomsbury Children's)

Read: October 2015

Rating: 4 Stars

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

Book 43/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

The Wolf Wilder is a middle grade novel. It had your very young protagonist,  your not complicated, straight forward plot and your simple writing. As a whole novel it was simple and I enjoyed it for that. Don't laugh at me here but while I was reading this book, it was like I was a young kid again. I was reading this book through the eyes of a child and I enjoyed it immensely. 

As an animal lover, I was intrigued by the promise of wolves in this book. I would have liked to have seen more on the wolf side though as the plot is essentially set around a different topic and the wolves are just there, but not, if you get what I mean. I would have loved to see more of the wilding process, maybe a glimpse from start to finish or even just to see some wolves who were wild again but alas, that was not the case. In fairness though, we get to see a great relationship of five wolves in this story and I fell in love with them quickly. Another downside of the wolves in this story was that they weren't behaving quite realistically, but this I believe is how the author wanted to write the wolves for the story after all it is fiction and a fantasy.

But looking past those minor details I really fell in love with the wolf characters in this book, so much so that it made me cry and on finishing this book left that slight aching in my chest, a bittersweet feeling you could call it. I also really enjoyed the human characters too. Feo was a great character for a middle grade book. She was strong, headstrong, stubborn, kind and naive all rolled into one. Everything that made for a good story. As were all the other kids shown in this book. 

Of course as I said the story was quite simple. It had your obvious bad and good guys and a band of kids that group together to defy the adults and not need them for action. It had a single problem to solve and that was it. It was a great middle grade story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be sure to be reading this to my little brother too. 

One big part I forgot to mention was the illustrations. My, my! They were gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous! And they added such greatness and entertainment to the story aswell. Below are some of my favourite illustrations from this book. 

Overall I really enjoyed this middle grade book. I though more could have been expanded in this book, wolf wise, but I loved the characters, the wolves and the simplicity behind this book. The cover and the illustrations in this book are just perfect as well. 

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