Spoiler-Free Review : The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
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.
I won this book through a giveway by Bloomsbury through another site (either World Book Day or Caboodle). It was quite a few months back, so I can't really remember. Anyway, thanks to Bloomsbury and the site for hosting the giveaway.
The book came with a set of postcards decorated with one of the beautiful illustrations from throughout the book. Though I got the book quite a few months ago, I wanted to save it to read in the snowy weather, however that weather didn't come but I still read the book. Through the months, which I was saving the book the postcards made me really want to read it as the illustrations were just so detailed and just awesome. I may insert some pictures if I can remember to.
The illustrator is Gelrev Ongbico and I think he did a really awesome job and it definitely added more to the story.
Anyway, enough off me blabbing on, let's get into the review!
*insert cool swoosh sound*
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?
The book follows a young girl called Feo, who lives in a snowy and large area of Russia with her mother, Marina. Feo doesn't really interact with other humans, she doesn't see many often and honestly she doesn't need them. She's got her mother and her best friends, the wolves. That's all she wants from the world.
Feo as long as she can remember has grown up with the wolves, they are her family and this her mother's job.Her mother, Marina, is a wolf wilder. Many of the rich people in Russia keep wolves as pets. When the rich people no longer want the wolves, they are sent to the wolf wilder, which just happens to be Feo and her mother. Feo (and her mother) then teach the wolves how to be wolves as they once used to be. They learn how to hunt, to run and how to defend themselves against other wolves.
When the wolves are fully untamed back to normal wolves, they are then released into the surrounding areas to live the rest of their lives as wolves.
One day there is a knock at their door and Feo opens it to see an older vile man along with two younger men holding a dead elk. They storm into the house while threatening Feo and her mother. They trash their house.
The vile man is General Rakov and he is second in command (I guess) to the Tsar, the leader of the country. He demands that Feo and her mother must kill the wolves after they have untamed them. Obviously the mother and daughter refuse as it is unlucky and they love the wolves. This angers the man more and he still holds the dead elk in his hands, which one of the recently released wolves had killed. He tells them they have to kill the wolves or he will be back and he will kill the mother and daughter.
Feo and Marina continue with their lives, untaming wolves and then releasing them - they just do it as secretly as possible to avoid the eyes of Rakov's soldiers. the soldiers see and they come back one night and burn the house down, Marian is taken away to jail and Feo has run away with three of her wolves - Black, Grey and White along with Ilya a soldier on her side.
The group take on the journey of travelling to the prison to rescue Feo's mother, but along the way they bump into more trouble and meet with some memorable characters.
MY VIEW ON THE PLOT
I found this story to be full of surprises and despite the fact that it's a children's book it was full of some really deep and beautiful quotes. The story brought across a deep and beautiful message, which will without doubt capture the reader's heart like it did mine.
Some parts were easily guessable though I think that may be down to the fact that it's a children's book, however for the most part there was a lot of surprises.
There were a few events along the way that really frustrated me due to decisions Feo made, but I'm able to look past that and overall I really enjoyed the plot.
I found the speed of this book to be slow at times and that was my one downside to this book. However, for the most part I did like the speed and I did find myself whizzing through the pages, but there were the slower parts that took a bit longer to get through.
I felt like all of the characters deserved a place in the book and each of them did play a part in the story, however my favourite has to be Feo. Despite her frustrating decisions, I did care for her and towards the end that came more and more clearer. I found myself wishing for her to be alright in moments of trouble and most of the time she was.
My least favourite character was Rakov as he was just vile and disgusting, however I am intrigued to find out why he's the way he is and if Katherine Rundell were to write a book following that, I would definitely purchase it.
Other than that, there were some really strong and different characters hidden throughout this book and one of these was Ilya. I felt so sorry for Ilya as he was just someone he didn't want to be. He wanted to be a dancer not a soldier and you could feel that affected his personality. I loved his character and hope he gets to do what he wants if there were to be a novella to this book.
Following all of this my final rating for this book is 4.25/5
I recommend this book to every child as I think it's one of those books that every child should read. Though I think YA and some Adult readers would also like it.
The Wolf Wilder
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23257157-the-wolf-wilder?from_search=true&search_version=service
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Wolf-Wilder-Katherine-Rundell/9781481419420 (Other cover is currently out of stock, so I found this one.)
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