Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wolf Wilder” as Want to Read:
The Wolf Wilder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wolf Wilder

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,434 ratings  ·  952 reviews
A girl and the wolves who love her embark on a rescue mission through Russian wilderness in this lyrical tale from the author of the acclaimed Rooftoppers and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms.

Feo’s life is extraordinary. Her mother trains domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves in the snowy wilderness of Russia, and Feo is following in her footsteps to become a
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wolf Wilder, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kasia You can read an interview Katherine did, where she quoted, "Rundell’s heroine in The Wolf Wilder is Feodora, Feo for short, who lives in the snowy woo…moreYou can read an interview Katherine did, where she quoted, "Rundell’s heroine in The Wolf Wilder is Feodora, Feo for short, who lives in the snowy woods of Russia with her mother. They work as wolf wilders, taking wolves who were bought as pups by wealthy people and then abandoned, and “untaming” them. While wolf wilding may be fictional, lion wilding is real. Rundell spent a portion of her childhood in Zimbabwe, where the proliferation of people buying big cats and then getting rid of them once they grow is a real problem.".
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre) Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) are available on review sites such as NetGalley or Edelweiss, or directly from the publisher. They make early copies avai…moreAdvance Reader Copies (ARCs) are available on review sites such as NetGalley or Edelweiss, or directly from the publisher. They make early copies available to media outlets and reviews so that there's early reviews up, to help rustle up some interest to hopefully get people to pre-order the book, or buy it in the first week of release, which is when sales really matter.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,434 ratings  ·  952 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Wolf Wilder
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Her wolves, Feo thought, were a bunch of the most beautiful criminals.

yes yes a thousand times yes. THIS is the book i was waiting for as a chaser to Rooftoppers.

this is all just wild speculation, but Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms just feels like it was written before Rooftoppers and maybe only saw the light of day to tide rabid fans like me over while rundell was writing her next masterpiece. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms is a fine book, it just doesn't read like it's from the same creative pe
May 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 61.

“Aristocrats in Russia believe that the killing of a wolf brings a unique kind of bad luck. It is not the glamorous kind of bad luck, not runaway trains and lost fortunes, but something dark and insidious. If you kill a wolf, they say, your life begins to disappear.”

I was so excited to start this one because the premise sounded right up my ally and also the book cover is absolutely gorgeous.

And it did start out really great- honestly, any story starting with Once upon a time… wil
Stacey (prettybooks)
"Stories can start revolutions."

The Wolf Wilder was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. I refused to read my early copy as I wanted to wait to see Gelrev Ongbico's divine illustrations . And it was well worth the wait. I cannot decide which cover for The Wolf Wilder I love the most; it's a stunning book, inside and out.

The Wolf Wilder is a beautiful story about one girl's treacherous adventure through dangerous, snowy Russia to save her mother, who has been attacked and captured by the



Look at the beauty of wolves. That should be all the incentive you need to read this book. Wolves!

Also, the fact that this is a book by Katherine Rundell is another huge incentive. Her books are little gems, and Rooftoppers was utterly charming (as was this).

Follow the dark and stormy girl, the soldier (view spoiler), the revolutionary, and the wolves as they journey through a Russian winter to discover how to be wild and how to be themselves, which may ju
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
I badly wanted to love this book. On the surface, it holds so much promise: why wouldn't I be excited about a sharp-elbowed Russian heroine who spends her time teaching partially domesticated wolves to howl again? Plus, I've enjoyed the author's other works, and I've been excited about this one since I saw it on display (but not being distributed) at ALA. It is, without a doubt, one of the prettier books I've bought this year.

Unfortunately, this is a disaster of a narrative. It's getting two sta
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feodora and her mother live deep in the woods in Russia, they are wolf wilders, they untame wolves kept as fashionable pets by wealthy Russians. This story had a fairytale feel and there were some enjoyable parts reminiscent of the Snow Queen, the inhospitable landscape and the journey to rescue a loved one and the people met on the way but I found the story too focused on the fight and the politics against the Russian army. I was expecting more wolf details, nothing was really explained about h ...more
Wonderful from beginning to end.
”Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl.”

This novel just goes to show you that you don’t have to be old or tall to start a revolution. Sometimes the bravest of individuals come in the smallest (and fiercest) packages.

Feodora and her mother live deep in the Russian wilderness. It’s always been just the two of them, and they have an interesting occupation: they teach domesticated wolves to be wild again. Back in the day, Russian nobles showed their wealth and n
Lauren James
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ukya
This book makes me feel ten years old again. Every time I read a Katherine Rundell book I wonder why I ever spend time reading anything else. Her writing style is so unique and stunning I could probably recognise it from one sentence. Every word is a treasure, and her concepts are so original and different reading her books is like a breath of fresh air.
Loved it.
Saruuh Kelsey
The Wolf Wilder is what children's fiction is all about. A sweeping landscape, an unforgettable main character, a budding revolution, and wolves!

This book held my attention from the first page, so much so that I read a huge chunk of it in one sitting (50%!) I was instantly drawn into the snowy wilds of Russia, and my heart attached itself to Feo and the wolves without my knowing. This book is just so unique, and genuine, and unlike anything I've read before that it was impossible to put down.

La La
This book might have a stellar cover, but it is one hot mess inside. First of all if you are going to write a story featuring wolves, please research wolves! You can't write a non-fantasy story and say these are the way I need wolves to be for my storyline, so screw the reality of biology. The wolf depictions were so unfactual and fantastical that many readers have mistaken it for Fantasy, when in actuality it is Historical Fiction. For example, wolves do not have sharp deeply curved claws like ...more
Sophie Woodward-Rowe
I laughed, I cried, felt like my heart would stop and then that it might break. Feo and Sophie from Rooftoppers are somewhat interchangeable so don't read them too close together but otherwise I'm pretty ok with that! I can always read more of heroines that are both badass and really untidy...
Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
"The fact that fire in your soul beats fire on the ground. The fact that love always beats fear. And the fact that it helps to have wolves on your side."

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
After her mother is captured by an evil General Feo begins an adventure with her wolfs, her new friend Ilya and a lot of brave people.

Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I can't even choose which character I loved more, they were all so kind hearted and brave and everyone had something that just made you love them. But of course Feo was a great
Munro's Kids
I really loved this book. It had just lovely writing and a very fairy-tale like feel about it, though more action than you would usually find in a fable-like novel.

Feo is a young Russian girl who is a wolf wilder - she takes domesticated wolves whose owners don't want them anymore (it is very unlucky to kill wolves in the story's Russia) and "wilds" them by training them to hunt, howl and be wolves. She is a strong and wonderful heroine facing off against a very evil Tsarist officer. The backgr
mad mags
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Stories can start revolutions."

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Mild trigger warning for sexual harassment of a minor.)

"Humans, on the whole, Feo could take or leave; there was only one person she loved properly, with the sort of fierce pride that gets people into trouble, or prison, or history books."

"[A] wolf who cannot howl is like a human who cannot laugh."

Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there lived a dark and stormy girl. She was wild
steph // bookplaits
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
In three words: warm, exquisite, enchanting.

"'Fear is as dangerous as hatred sometimes. Animals know that.'"

Challenge: #ColourMeReadChallenge

My first book of the year was Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers, which I absolutely adored - it was magical and utterly charming, and it made me want to try more of her books. So, I put The Wolf Wilder on my list, and this has ended up being the book with which I completed my 2016 Goodreads reading challenge (my goal was 52 books)!

The Wolf Wilder is just as
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middlegrade

“Wolves are the witches of the animal world.”

God, I just love Katherine Rundell's writing. It's so beautiful and magical and other-worldly. She truly has a gift with words. She can transport the reader out of the mundane world and into a little slice of magic like no other. 5 billion stars.

This is now my second read of the year by this author and both have been 5 star reads for me. And if you know me, you'll know I'm kind of picky. I don't just toss out 5 stars like candy at a parade. A
A unique and beautifully crafted story about family, friendship and bond between a young girl and her pack of wolves. Whilst being part of a Russian revolution.

Although I think the plot was at times a little odd, the magicalness of the writing made up for that and kept me gripped to the story.

Some parts were a little slow and a couple of the side characters seemed to be exactly the same, and they didn't have their own voice. Overall though, this was a good read and I would recommend it to youn
Shari (colourmeread)
Children are the toughest creatures on the planet. They endure.

Feo is not your regular 10-year old girl. She can tell the weather by the smell of the wind, make a compass from scratch, and has three wolf friends ready to protect her when needed. She is fiery and kind and will fight for those she loves.

In one word, this book is delightful. The plot itself is simple: when the General of the Russian Army arrests Feo’s mother for wolf wilding, Feo goes on a rescue mission to bring her back. We get
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
As playful and delightful as Rooftoppers, but this one’s got a little more bite to it. It’s the story of Feo, a little Russian girl who lives in the woods with her mother, and whose family for generations has un-tamed wolves to turn them back into the wild. Rundell’s writing is just so consistently charming, interspersed with clever lines that made me laugh out loud:

“‘Mama says pointing a gun is a failure of imagination.’”
“Feo stared at him. Truly, she thought, boys were not as good as wolves.”
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
OK, let me say upfront that I really like Katherine Rundell's writing. This novel, set in the frozen woods of Russia, pits a mother (Marina) and her daughter (Feo) against a sociopathic general (Rakov), who steals and kills at the supposed behest of the Tsar. Mother and daughter work to return "domesticated" wolves to the wild when their inherent nature overcomes their training since killing wolves is bad luck. When Rakov starts persecuting them due to a slaughtered elk, Feo fights back, partial ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 stars

I’d noted The Wolf Wilder for its beautiful covers. Both the UK and US covers are simply gorgeous. Despite my love of wolves and of beautiful covers, I hadn’t really marked the book down to actually read. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I’m super picky about middle grade, so I’m rather hesitant to add them to my to-read list. When a copy of The Wolf Wilder showed up on my doorstep unsolicited, there was no doubt I would be giving this gorgeous book a try. And, you know, tur
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best-of-2016
"we have the land in our blood and fire in our feet and we're coming to change our stories forever" it's a story about a girl with wolves for friends and knife for a hairpin. a girl who'd melt snow in her mouth to feed a pup, who'd go miles in the blind cold to get her mother back, who'd threaten to kill you and to pull your fingers out if you ever lay your unfriendly hand on the ones she loves - Black, White and Grey. "do you know the feeling when it's raining outside, but you have a fi
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Aristocrats in Russia believe that the killing of a wolf brings a unique kind of bad luck. (...) If you kill a wolf, they say, your life begins to disappear. (...) So the wolf must not be shot, nor starved; instead, it is packed up like a parcel by nervous butlers and sent away to the wolf wilder."

Feo and her mother live in the snowy Russia and train domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves; they're wolf wilders. Feo loves taking care of the wolves, especially the three who stay at
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
This book was beautiful. I don't normally read books that involve animals because authors like to kill them off always, it feels like. This book was no exception and I almost DNF'd it a couple of times because I couldn't deal with the animal death. I probably wouldn't have read it if I knew the would be violence and death towards animals but I still thought the story was well done. It just ripped out my heart a few times.

Robin Stevens
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Faberge egg of a novel - rich, bright perfection. With all the elements of Russian fantasy, snow, wolves, ballet and gold, as well as Katherine Rundell's fierce, funny and uncompromising storytelling style, this really is a classic in the making.
Beth Bonini
Thoroughly immersed in the BBC's sumptuous production of War and Peace, I have been in the mood for all things Russian in the past few weeks. In my corner of England, we've yet to see snow -- but there is snow aplenty in Katherine Rundell's The Wolf Wilder. The main character, feral wolf-girl Feo, plays with snow, hides in it, feeds it to wolf cubs and uses it as a weapon.

This is Russian winter set approximately 100 years after Leo Tolstoy's epic novel. There are rumblings of revolution -- an in
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Feo lives with her mother in the Russian wilderness, away from any civilization. They are the people who are sent the wolves who have been reared in luxury in Russian homes. It is bad luck to kill a wolf, so the wolves are given to Feo and her mother to release into the wild. Feo has three wolves who are very special to her, Black, White and Gray. The three live in a nearby chapel that is slowly decaying. They are fully wild, but love Feo too, accepting her as part of their pack. Things are chan ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Katherine Rundell's books I've read so I had no expectations or pre conceived ideas about the author's style. This book thoroughly entranced me from the first chapter, Feo and her mother are wolf wilders; they teach unwanted pets how to reintegrate into their natural environment. They live a solitary but happy life until everything changes when Feo's mother is taken away by soldiers. Feo sets off with her wolf friends (& some human ones she makes on the way) to save her moth ...more
Jul 24, 2015 added it
Shelves: publicist-books
What a wonderful story! This is the type of book my younger self would have loved too. It's an adventure story that involves family and friendship, and wolves, and what it means to be in a pack. All the right elements.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Orphans of the Tide
  • Letters from the Lighthouse
  • The Land of Roar
  • The Girl Who Speaks Bear
  • The Girl Who Stole an Elephant
  • Boy in the Tower
  • The House with Chicken Legs
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars
  • A Clock Of Stars
  • The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)
  • Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles, #1)
  • The Griffin Gate
  • Return to Roar
  • The Snow Sister
  • A Pinch of Magic (A Pinch of Magic, #1)
  • The Boy At the Back of the Class
  • The Haunting of Aveline Jones
  • A Sprinkle of Sorcery (A Pinch of Magic, #2)
See similar books…
Katherine Rundell was born in 1987 and grew up in Africa and Europe. In 2008 she was elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her first book, The Girl Savage, was born of her love of Zimbabwe and her own childhood there; her second, Rooftoppers, was inspired by summers working in Paris and by night-time trespassing on the rooftops of All Souls. She is currently working on her doctorate along ...more

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
30 likes · 48 comments
“Stories can start revolutions.” 31 likes
“It's inhuman to take your books away before you know the end.” 30 likes
More quotes…