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The Naturalist #1

The Warlock and the Wolf

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Winner of the Nautilus Gold Award in YA Fiction

Mina stands up for animals.

But can she stand up to her parents' killer?

"Uncannily believable" --Historical Novel Society

Brave orphan Mina dreams of becoming a great scientist, even though she's just a beginner.

But when her parents' killer escapes from prison and threatens to kill again, she must make the terrifying leap from apprentice to master--if she wants to survive.

Book 1 of The Naturalist combines historical fantasy with thrilling adventure and a touch of Renaissance romance.

342 pages, Paperback

Published December 25, 2015

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Delfy Hall

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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,030 reviews2,604 followers
September 13, 2016

The Warlock and the Wolf is a historical fantasy set in mid-17th century Netherlands, in the South Holland city of The Hague. The story begins with the hanging of a woman, accused of being a witch. It was a quiet affair in the woods, but news of it soon spread to our protagonist, a young naturalist apprentice named Mina who spends much of her time in the wilderness studying the fauna and flora. One day, Mina is suddenly set upon by a strange creature—something with the body of an owl but the face of a human woman—and its talons rake and injure her. Fortunately for Mina though, she is saved from further harm thanks to the timely arrival of a talking wolf, who chases the creature back into the woods.

Wait, a talking wolf? Mina is sure that she imagined it all, or that the strange owl creature’s talons must have infected her with a disease and somehow made her hear and see things that weren’t there. Being a woman of science, she is ready to dismiss the whole thing, and certainly she’s not about to tell her mentor, the great Pieter Moll who serves as chief naturalist to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. Mina has hopes of succeeding Pieter one day, and it would do her no good to talk of anything related to the occult or supernatural.

Still, when Mina hears the details of the witch’s hanging from her aunt, she grows unsettled. The supposed witch’s name was Leonara, and as the story goes, the woman did have some magical power, which she was using to keep a murderer named Gregor from escaping his prison cell. And as Gregor was the man who killed Mina’s parents when she was little, the story was understandably of interest to her. Sure enough, the news comes that Gregor is now on the loose. Worse, he’s reputed to be a powerful warlock, and it may seem he still has unfinished business with Mina and her family.

With a premise like that, it’s no wonder we here at The BiblioSanctum were intrigued by this SPFBO entry. Within the first five chapters, we were introduced to a historically rich setting, a fascinating young heroine, and talking animals. I have to admit, it was this last point that really sealed the deal for me and made me decide to nominate it for our shortlist. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a quirky little hook like that to make me want to know more about what’s going on.

I also took to the main character right away. Most of all, I liked how quickly the book established a complex picture of Mina, presenting a number of conflicts which immediately made her an interesting protagonist. One of the main themes of the story is Science versus Magic, and Mina frequently finds herself in the middle, torn between her family history and her desire to be a master naturalist. She also endeared herself to me with her determination to make it in the scientific community despite the field being dominated by men. To be named her Pieter’s successor is all she has ever wanted, and she will fight her detractors to the end in order to fulfill her dreams. However, if it comes down to a battle between being true to herself versus pursuing her aspirations, what will she do then?

The story also has a “folklore” feel to it that I enjoyed, with a nice mix of fantasy and history. Mina’s newfound ability to speak with animals made for some humorous scenarios as well, and the author has a knack for writing conversations and giving each creature their individual personalities. Perhaps it is no surprise then that the character who stole the show was not even a person but an animal, the titular wolf Basa. He was the absolute greatest, and I liked him more than many of the human characters in this book.

Despite a solid beginning though, I thought the book’s momentum started flagging towards the middle and the story didn’t end as strongly as it started. Mainly, I think it was because no other characters besides Mina really stood out for me. There’s some build-up to a possible romance, but I felt disconnected to it because the love interest came across as somewhat clichéd. The villain also didn’t affect me much, as no compelling reason was really given to explain his motivations. Mina’s actions also become inconsistent towards the end, and often I found myself frustrated with her impulsiveness every time she ran headlong into danger, having learned nothing from her past mistakes.

As followers of my reviews will know, I’m also big on atmosphere when it comes to historical fiction. This was something I struggled with while reading this book, but I really think it would work better for readers familiar with the context of the setting. One thing to know is that the last execution of a witch in the Dutch Republic was probably in the early 1600s, which sort of explains the “in between” nature of belief for the people in this story as the populace moves towards an age of scientific enlightenment while some still hang on to superstitions. Admittedly, not being too well-versed in the history of the time and place left me confused and feeling untethered to the world at times, and I wanted more context to go with the historical facts and figures. The writing was also sparse in description, and I think some fleshing out of the setting would have helped in making this story feel more immersive.

My verdict: The Warlock and the Wolf captured my attention right away with its intriguing premise and complex heroine. While the momentum gained by the strong intro didn’t carry through as far as I would have liked, I still think it’s a great read, which I would recommend especially for fans of historical fiction and magical stories. There’s lots to like, and plenty of potential for more.
Profile Image for Anne.
384 reviews144 followers
March 1, 2016
Witches, naturalists, talking wolves, science and magic. All taking place in 17th century-Holland. Damn rights I had to read this one!

It's the year 1647 and the prologue kicks off with the hanging of a witch in the woods near The Hague, Holland. The Hague was part of the Dutch Republic, also known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, also known as the United Provinces (and some other names, geez, someone couldn't make up their mind). Here's a simplified political map to get a better idea of the country back then. The Hague is located roughly in the middle of the province of Holland, near the sea.


So a witch was hung. That was something quite uncommon in the United Provinces during that time period. Due to the advancing science and Calvinism, people simply didn't believe in witches anymore. There are more arguments for the non-existence of witch hunts in these parts, but you can look those up yourself if you're interested in the topic. The Southern Netherlands/Spanish Netherlands surely took a while longer to stop prosecuting witches: around 1720.

Since no one really believed in witchcraft anymore and witch hunts were something of the past, the hanging of Leonara went by quietly, her body being left to rot while still hanging on the noose. However, Mina Walraven, the protagonist of the book, finds out about the hanging soon enough. Her parents were killed by a man named Gregor and it appears the only thing which kept him locked up in prison all this time was Leonara's witchcraft. With Leonara gone, he's on the loose again, seeking  vengeance and leaving a trail of destruction. Not a very good trail, though, because no one's been able to track him down...

When Mina is attacked by Gregor's evil pet, a magical owl with the face of a human, she is saved by a giant wolf named Basa. When she can hear Basa talking to her, Mina's life will never be the same again. Especially because she doesn't believe in magic. Or does she now? Make up your mind woman! I know I would believe in magic after a wolf starts talking to me. Then again, this is Holland we're speaking of. It could've been any type of drugs as well...

I loved Mina's character. She's a female scientist in training, which is pretty cool in itself, but a female scientist in the 17th century is like, übercool. She has a mind of her own, hardly ever listens to what anyone tells her to do (especially when it comes to men) and soon discovers she has the ability to talk to all animals. I thought it was pretty funny that most of the animals only thought about food. I wouldn't be surprised if it were really that way!

Basa, the wolf, is just a big badass cuddly bear. There's a scene in which they sleep together in the same bed, spooning I believe, which is just awesome. If my dog wouldn't snore like a congested walrus, I'd love to spoon with him as well.

There are quite a few characters in this book (not too many, though) of which I will only highlight a few of my favourites:

Hendrick, an old cartographer who still has it in him to kick the crap out of villains.
Aunt Hester, Mina's aunt who's a herbalist and lives together with Mina in a cottage in the woods.
The Moll-family, which looks after Mina like she's one of their own. Mina also happens to be the apprentice of the head of the family, Pieter Moll, a master naturalist.

Most of the characters are drawn out well. A couple of them, though, are either bland or extremely stereotypical. The master villain in the book, Gregor, is one of the latter ones. You can just picture a typical looking villain with long greasy hair and such, going "MUAHAHAHA!". He also has a way of showing up everywhere, yet still can't find the things he's looking for.
Joris, Mina's cousin, seems to be suffering from some kind of borderline personality, going all the way in his extremely contradictive emotional reactions.

These things, plus the final showdown, were a bit disappointing. They certainly made it harder for me to rate this book properly, especially because they are the only disappointments I encountered. The writing style is very good, I only caught one typo and no strange grammar flows whatsoever, which is pretty amazing if you consider the fact that I read the ARC version. It's truly a page turner with plenty of action and magic; I believe I finished the last 70% of the book in one or two days.

Then there are the historical facts. I absolutely loved reading about the old cobbled streets of The Hague and about the stadtholder's home. I've been there a couple of times myself last year and really, add some horses to it and you'll feel like you're in the 17th century again.

Den Haag - Binnenhof - Poorten 2

I also loved reading all the Dutch names in an English text. I couldn't find any mistakes whatsoever, so I'm concluding the author did a great job at researching things.

Based on my level of enjoyment, I decided to give this book 4 brownies. Bare in mind that my opinion might be a bit biased because of all the Dutch history. Then again, it did make me an extra critical reader...

An ARC of this book was provided by Victory Editing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nia Ireland.
405 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2016
This story reminded me of the book Witch Child by Celia Rees, which was 0ne of my favourite’s growing up so I enjoyed the sense of nostalgia that went along with it.

This reads like historical fiction with a twist of Norse mythology, which is always a winner in my book!
The main character, Mina, is out in the forest observing animals to learn their habits and sketch them for a compendium of wildlife she and her mentor are compiling, when she is attacked by a stryx (an evil owl-like creature, servant of evil magic doers).
After she’s scratched by the stryx, she gains the ability to talk to and understand animals – including the giant wolf Basa, who protects her as she seeks revenge against the warlock Gregor, responsible for the death of her family.

Even though witches are no longer persecuted in Holland, mostly because no one believes in them any more, Mina is wise enough to keep her new gift a secret though she does get caught trying to steal a comically greedy goose, to bribe him with corn in exchange for information.
Of all the animals she talks to, the goose and Flop, the demanding and narcissistic cat are my favourites for the giggle factor.
I did find Basa, the wolf, a little bit bland when it came to personality and with very little explanation as to why he was spending his time looking out for this poultry stealing madam.

While at dinner with her mentor and his family, she is introduced to Adam, a young and surprisingly/conveniently attractive minister who moonlights as a witch-hunter. Though she is a skeptic and atheist at heart, she finds herself attracted to this man and knows how important it is that he not find out what she can do – of course, in time, he does find out and seems to come to terms with it with surprising ease for someone who hunts witches.

After their first meeting, tragedy strikes and Mina is now on the hunt for Gregor, the evil warlock who has torn her family apart. He is searching for some items which will allow him to open a portal to a dark dimension and release a mythological creature who is trapped there, she must find out what he’s planning to do an foil him in the attempt or the world will be devoured – thankfully, despite some pretty significant boo-boos along the way with the wolf sighing at her stupidity, she is able to save the day.

I felt that the characters in this book were a little flat and struggled to identify with any of them apart from the greedy goose, however I did enjoy the story itself; the Norse mythology, the idea of magic in a world that won’t allow it and of course, the ability to talk to animals.
Profile Image for Liis.
571 reviews109 followers
March 26, 2016
Fully enjoyable read from a historical Holland where one dark skinned orphan girl is hands-on and stubborn enough to pave her life the way she wants it to play out. She is a science apprentice to a Naturalist for the state and her duties see her going out to the wild, knowing the herbs and the animals. I like the respect towards all things nature her character had. I love nature myself and could just sit in the middle of a forest under a tree whole day- the only acceptable excuse to spend a day doing nothing. Fabulous!

The most fantastic aspect to this whole book is the fact she can communicate with animals. This in turn makes the best part of the whole novel- the way each animal's characteristics were portrayed. It was fun and lighthearted and exactly how each of those animals would come across to humans.

Other good bits of the novel were of course the delightful plot, even though it entailed a burning witch and a certain ancient snake. The religion aspect of stories always makes me roll my eyes. It's ironic how something so "holy" can always be turned into the evil guiding the hands of the narrow-minded.

I had one small issue about 60-70% through the book- it was stalling. There was this witch and I was thinking that she could have been cut out of the whole story and nothing would have changed. As in, a whole chapter or two could have just been cut and the story wouldn't have missed a thing. I just felt the character was put in there to help with the "build up" but it made me a bit impatient.

The second book in the series promises to be a fabulous read what with the journey on the sea, the possibility of a developing relationship and the new environment to explore for Mina.
Profile Image for Regina Foo.
Author 1 book23 followers
May 9, 2016
The Warlock and The Wolf by Delfy Hall is an awe-inspiring, engaging and addictive fantasy novel that not to be missed.

This young adult fantasy fiction is the Gold winner of Nautilus Book Awards for Young Adult fiction. (Source: http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/upl...)

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

The background of the story is set in The Hague, Netherlands during 17th century of the Dutch Golden Age. Even though I know nothing about the Dutch history prior reading this book, I found the setting of the book very attractive.

Orphaned since 8 years old, Mina (Wilhelmina Walraven) is our 18-year-old main female protagonist of this book. She is an apprentice of the stadtholder's naturalist, Pieter Moll, who is actively compiling information about the flora and fauna in The Hague into a compendium. While doing research on the animals, she often protects them from being harmed. Being a scientist, she believes only in facts and evidences, until she meets a strix which attacked her and a life-saving wolf. Since then, she struggles a lot in questioning her own belief and at the same time finding clues to solve the mysteries about her parents' death.

This book is very well-written in a sense that the words are flowing smoothly to easily enable me to immerse myself in the world of the book. Often, I found myself unable to stop reading it even though it's time for bed or when I was reading it during lunch break at office.

The pace of the story is quite steady with a few tensions involving adventures and dangers in between. These excitements were one of the reasons that makes me continue reading the book.

I particularly enjoy reading the interaction between Mina and the animals. The conversations show how helpless the animals are under the power of humans. Even though it's a fact, but it's still amusing to learn from the animals that their main desire is food. On the other hand, it's sad too to know that animals think humans are not trustworthy.

Mina's ability to talk to animals brings her a very loyal companion - the wolf named Basa. Though it's unknown why Basa is willing to risk his life in helping Mina to fight against the evil plan of Gregor (the main antagonist of the book who is a warlock), he never fail in protecting her from danger. Basa is smart and caring which makes him an inseparable ally of Mina especially after the death of her only close family member. Even though Mina is an independent and strong-willed character, she feels lonely and helpless to the loss of her aunt Hester.

Mina is a well-developed character. She is determined and she often knows what she wanted for her life. She would even give up her chance to marry the handsome minister - Adam Everts in order to pursue the evil warlock even though she does feel something for him. Even for other secondary characters like the Molls family, I'm able to feel their presence and significance in Mina's life.

There's another good reason to read this book if you're a fan of mythology, this book has a few magical and mythical creatures introduced into the story such as the warlock, witches, magical healing stones, Midgaardslang (a sea serpent), Fenrir, gnome and more. If you're into these, don't hesitate to get a copy.

**For image credit/source, kindly visit my blog post.

This review is originally posted on my blog: http://wp.me/p6Uw1h-kV
June 24, 2016
To whomever recommended this book to me, THANK YOU!!! A historical novel with magical elements that is set in 16th century Holland featuring a Black African heroine (though from the somewhat oblique description, I'm thinking of the actress who was in the film 'Belle'). Speaking of which - dear Delfy Hall, it's perfectly fine to actually describe a character fully. And in this case where the lead character is of color in a genre where they're not always represented, such details are important.

Be that as it may, this was a wonderful read with an engaging young heroine. Mina is the apprentice of a naturalist who only believes in science. Her life is about becoming the first woman naturalist working for the royal family, even though her sex rather than her race appears to be the issue. She also has an affinity for animals, to the point where she rescues them from erstwhile hunters and does not eat meat. The Holland in which she lives has no time for beliefs in witchcraft and magic. All of that changes with a scratch on her arm from a mythological half-woman/half-bird. The injury gives her the power to speak to animals and them to her, a power she does not want and one, if known, might lead to allegations of witchcraft.

There's also a dangerous, escaped warlock whom she has been told was responsible for the death of her parents. Mina is smart and brave, if often foolhardy, but she's fiercely loyal to her family and friends, including a full grown wolf named Basa who has appointed himself her guardian. There are gnomes, trolls, the world serpent, witch hunters and talking animals. This was a quick read and a sequel, but The Warlock and the Wolf doesn't read like a cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Joan.
400 reviews8 followers
January 9, 2016
Magic surrounds humans.
This is a YA novel and a fairy tale. This story was to have taken place in Holland in 1647 when Holland no longer persecuted witches and many individuals no longer believed in witchcraft. Mina Walraven was a young scientist descended from freed slaves, an orphan and had been trained as a naturalist. As a scientist, she didn’t believe in magic, but her parents were murdered by a man reputed to be a warlock and in time she found that when she was around certain birds and animals she mentally communicated with them. Then a huge wolf showed up, who mentally told he was her protector and although he remained hidden from other humans, he stayed close to her and warned her of danger and attacked anyone or animal that he felt endangered her life.
Mina was continually torn between her scientific self and her belief in magic, which she could no longer deny.

Probably children from twelve through the teenage years would enjoy this book because it emotionally and actively would attract them. The story is well written and does dramatize an age that historically existed and I recommend it.
Profile Image for Royce Sears.
Author 3 books25 followers
March 28, 2016
The Warlock and the Wolf is a very well written imaginative tale that I would recommend to any fantasy lover! The characters are engaging and memorable as the author's voice takes the reader down an enjoyable journey into an often overlooked part of our history. I will forever hear the voice of a chimpmunk or squirrel as they chatter at me on my walks saying, "Nut?" as a result of this book! Very well done!
Profile Image for Ashley.
191 reviews29 followers
July 1, 2017
Check out this and other reviews on my blog! https://navigatingneverland.org/2016/...

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, so here it goes….


The Warlock and the Wolf has a great, interesting plot that kept me engaged in the book from the very first page. The story takes place in 1647 Holland, in a time where people don’t believe in magic or witches anymore, though there are still some who take it upon themselves to hunt them down.

Mina is a scientist and doesn’t believe in God or anything magical, nothing that doesn’t have evidence. Things change a lot for her when she receives an ability that allows her to communicate with animals. She is able to overcome her disbelief in magic in order to use her ability to find her parent’s killer, rumored to be a Warlock, after he escapes from prison. He is apparently up to something, so it is up to Mina with the help of a few of her friends to find out and stop him before it is too late.

The pacing of the story was spot on! There were no parts throughout the book in which I became disinterested in the story because the author did a fantastic job blending the information we needed to know into conversations or informative, but brief paragraphs.

I enjoyed not knowing how the story was going to end! I hate it when I can predict the endings because that just makes reading the book a bit boring. The ending was decent although the climax wasn’t as spectacular as I was hoping for. The confrontation between Mina and Gregor (the Warlock) was just a bit disappointing and too easy for how powerful he was said to be.

Besides the climax, there were a couple of other things that bothered me about the plot. There didn’t appear to be a clear reason given for Basa (the wolf Mina befriends) to help her as much as he did. I mean Basa even says he only talks to his own kind and is looking for a pack of his own. I’m guessing he just thought that she was interesting and after spending more and more time together he starts to care for her, but I’m not sure.

The other issue with the plot was with Gregor. He is up to some evil scheme, but its not really explained well why he is doing it, nor do we really get to see him in all his glory. He is said to be extremely powerful, but other than a few spells we don’t really get to see that.

Other than the couple of issues with the plot, I did enjoyed the story, but these were rather large issues with the plot and just can’t be ignored. I am at least glad that it wrapped up nicely so I’m not eager to read book two; however, I enjoyed the book enough that I would love to read the next book in the series and see what becomes of Mina on her travels.


Since the story takes place in Holland, there isn’t too much world building to be done. We just need to have a clear sense of the place and time.

The level of detail was decent and I could get a sense of the period in which Mina lived. Hangings were the preferred form of punishment and people traveled by carriage. Detailed descriptions of buildings were also given. I suppose I wouldn’t have minded even more detail just because I have never been to Holland, so it is a bit harder to picture than it would be for those who live there. However, there was enough given to provide a reasonably clear picture of the setting.


I loved Mina’s character and thought she was really well developed! There was a lot we find out about her in such a short novel, and I instantly made a connection with her because she has such a profound love of animals. She also doesn’t believe in anything without hard evidence, so it takes awhile for her to be come accustomed to her gift, as well as magic. Mina has such a great head-strong personality, is great at sketching and tracking, and tends not to listen to others. Even though it is unheard of for a woman to have a job, she is determined to be a scientist and doesn’t want anything to do with getting married and having kids. I thoroughly enjoyed her determination and hard work. She is not without her flaws either! Not listening got her in trouble quite a few times as did her love for animals. Even her ability was partly a curse since others believe her to be a witch.

The other character I really enjoyed was the cat, Flop. Once Mina is able to understand animals, Flop has such a great personality! He is exactly how I would picture a cat to behave and think. I tended to compare him quite a few times to my own cat because I knew that is exactly what Sherlock (my cat) would have said! He calls himself Maximus.:) I wish he had a lot more of a presence in the book than he did.

Basa, the Wolf, was decent, but not my favorite. He did have a bit of a personality, but nothing compared to Flop. As I previously mentioned, Basa never gave any reason as to why he was such a great friend and protector of Mina.

On her adventure, Mina encounters other animals including birds, geese, and even a chipmunk. They all had great personalities, especially the chipmunk and the geese. Loved all of them!

Gregor wasn’t actually in the book enough to really get to know him. He is quite mysterious, and there was no evidence to show how powerful and evil everyone says he is. He can do a few shape changing and binding spells and such but nothing BIG! I wish he had more of a presence in the book. Apparently, he wanted to show everyone how powerful he was, so he was going to summon a demon from the underworld, but that didn’t turn out well. He was rather bland for a villain.

There were quite a few other characters, but only Adam (a priest) had a good personality and was developed. All the other characters just sort of blended together and I had a hard time distinguishing between them.


I absolutely loved the writing of the book! I have no complaints! It was easy to understand, flowed nicely, and their weren’t any typos or editing issues that I noticed that would distract from storytelling.


The cover of the book is also spectacular! The illustration is great, it’s eye catching, and fits the book perfectly! I also liked the title, but it should probably have been something a bit different since the Warlock just didn’t play a big part in the novel.

Overall Thoughts

Despite a couple of issues with the plot and climax, I enjoyed this book. It is one of the first historical fantasy books I have read and I wasn’t disappointed! Some of the characters were memorable, especially Mina and her animal friends, and the world-building and writing were great! This is a great read for anyone who loves historical fantasy or wants something a bit different to read. Although it can stand on its own, it is only the first book in The Naturalist Series.

My rating: 3.9/5
Profile Image for Iris.
387 reviews16 followers
August 3, 2016
Deze recensie is als eerste geplaatst op Carpe Libra

Een tijdje geleden werd ik door de auteur van The Warlock and the Wolf benaderd of ik dit boek wilde recenseren. Aangezien het zich zou afspelen in het 17e-eeuwse Nederland was mijn belangstelling toch wel gewekt. Ik vind het altijd interessant om erachter te komen hoe buitenlanders over ons koude kikkerlandje denken. Bovendien klonk de beschrijving ook heel mysterieus en precies in mijn straatje. Een pratende wolf? Magie? Count me in!

Ik heb me dan ook prima vermaakt met het lezen van dit boek. Het was super leuk om allemaal Nederlandse begrippen en plaatsen tegen te komen, zoals de Ridderzaal en Sinterklaas. Ook geschiedkundig zit het goed in elkaar. Delfy Hall heeft haar huiswerk goed gedaan! Het enige wat ik me wel afvraag is of de Nederlanders van de 17e eeuw echt zo ruimdenkend waren over mensen die afkomstig waren van slaven. Natuurlijk hoop ik van wel, maar of het ook zo was…

Anyway, daar heb ik me maar niet te lang mee bezig gehouden. Ik was namelijk zo gegrepen door de heerlijk beklemmende schrijfstijl van de schrijfster dat ik nergens anders meer aan kon denken. Op sommige momenten droop de spanning gewoon van de pagina’s! Ook de vermenging met de bovennatuurlijke wereld zorgde ervoor dat Iris een paar uur heerlijk heeft genoten. Een wereld vol gevaarlijke heksen en nog verschrikkelijkere wezens… Tel daar nog eens het goed uitgewerkte verhaal en het mysterie dat in The Warlock and the Wolf op een goede manier naar voren wordt gebracht bij op en Iris was in de boekenhemel.

Althans dat zou ik zijn als Mina er niet was geweest. Hoe verfrissend het ook was om over een jonge vrouw te lezen met dromen. Voor iemand die in die tijd niet genoegen nam met alleen maar een huisvrouw te zijn, was ze te hittepetitterig en ronduit te naïef naar mijn smaak. Ik snap niet dat ze niet inzag dat in een mannenmaatschappij die niet zoveel op heeft van vrouwen die zeggen waar het op staat of die meer willen bereiken, het niet handig is om zomaar je ongezouten mening te verkondigen aan diegene die je loon betaald. Ook al ben je het er niet mee eens. In plaats van een directe confrontatie zijn er ook andere manieren om te bereiken wat je wilt zonder je moreel te schenden. Ook op andere fronten heeft Mina nog veel te leren en zorgde ze voor het nodige rollen van mijn ogen. Aan het einde was ik gelukkig wel een beetje aan haar doen en laten gewend geraakt en had ze ook haar les wel geleerd, hopelijk. We shall see...

Het leukste van het hele verhaal vond ik eigenlijk dat Mina het vermogen vergaart om met dieren te praten en hoe dit door de auteur wordt verteld. Delfy Hall heeft namelijk alle verschillende soorten dieren, en de individuele dieren op zich, een manier van doen en laten en dus ook denken meegegeven die precies bij het dier past! Oh zou toch zo tof zijn als ik ook eens een babbeltje met een hond, of zelfs beter, een wolf kon maken :)


The Warlock and the Wolf heeft voor een paar uur prima vermaak gezorgd. Het bevat een spannend verhaal en een intrigerende wereld. Dat het een setting in ons 17e eeuwse Den Haag had, maakte het des te leuker. Ook het mysterie was goed uitgewerkt. Als ons hoofdpersonage nu eens niet zo naïef was en tot tien kon tellen had ik dit boek meer kunnen waarderen. Desalniettemin staat het vervolg al op mijn TBR. Het verhaal en de wereld smaken gewoon naar meer!

***Ik heb dit boek gratis en voor niks van de auteur ontvangen in ruil voor een eerlijke recensie. Dat heeft mijn mening over dit boek of de inhoud van deze recensie op geen enkele wijze beïnvloed.***

Profile Image for Iris.
387 reviews16 followers
July 29, 2016
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

A book that takes place in 17th century Holland? A talking wolf? Magic? Count me in! I'm always curious as to how foreigners regard our little, cold and wet country. The rest also seemed very promising, so off Iris went, to a time long ago.

It resulted in a nice journey. Reading this book was fun, especially seeing all those Dutch terms and places like 'de Ridderzaal'. Delfy Hall sure did her homework. Although I do question if we Dutchies were as broad-minded about slaves and their ancestors in the 17th century, even though I wished we were...

Anyway, I did not let that bother me for long. Besides, I was too caught up by the story to think about anything else. What a terrific story did the author write! One full of mystery. Full of paranormal events that intermingle quite nicely. At some moments, the tension was too much to bear. Be still my poor heart! You could say I spend quite some time in book heaven :)

Or at least I would have been if it wasn't for Mina. How refreshing it was to read about a young woman with dreams. Someone in the 17th century who doesn't want to be a housewife, but she was too naive for my taste. I just failed to understand how she could not see that in those times it was a male society. A male society that did not look favorably to woman wind their own mind, especially if you're talking back to the one that pays you. Instead of a direct confrontation, there are so many more ways to get what you want, without standing on prissy toes and violating your believes. Why couldn't Mina see this?
On other fronts Mina has a lot to learn too and this made my eyes roll quite often. How naive she is! Fortunately she matured toward the end of the book or I got used to her sometimes idiotic behavior. I at least didn't need to roll with my eyes as much.

The best part of the story for me was the fact that Mina could talk with animals and how this is described by the author. Delfy Hall made a way of characteristics and behavior for each species and individual animal that fits them quite nicely! Oh I would love to be able to do that myself, talking to animals. That would be so amazing!


The Warlock and the Wolf gave me excellent entertainment for quite some time. It entails a vexing story in an intriguing world. It stars a great and well done mystery and the fact that it was set in the 17th century The Hague only added to the fun. If only our main character wasn't as naive and would count to ten before reacting, I could have appreciated this book a lot more. Nevertheless, I did add the next book to my TBR right after finishing. This story and world are too interesting to let go!
34 reviews2 followers
January 27, 2016
The Warlock and the Wolf is the story of a girl. She is a very unique girl with a special interest in nature and she desires to rise to a place where women traditionally could not hope to aspire to. Mina lives in Holland, yet this Holland that is created for us by Delfy Hall is unlike any you have ever imagined. There is magic galore, witches and warlocks. In the midst of this is our budding naturalist, the orphaned Mina, whose parents were supposedly murdered by an evil warlock. This warlock has been kept imprisoned by the power of a witch, but in the very beginning of this book we witness the death of this witch and the evil warlock is released from his prison. He sets out immediately to carry out his nefarious plans, and those plans involve the poor, unsuspecting Mina.

As Mina navigates the world of a young woman, tries to assist her mentor in his duties AND keep herself safe from the clutches of the warlock who killed her parents. During one of her nature excursions she is scratched by a very strange bird-like creature and after that she finds that she can commune with animals. She is horrified at first, but soon learns that this ability will be her one saving grace. A very believable friendship develops with a wolf who helps her unravel the mystery surrounding the horrible doom that surrounds her.

The ground is laid for a sequel, so we can expect more from Mina in the future as she goes in search of her family. This book was nicely paced and held my attention throughout. There was just enough magic and just enough realism to make this one believable. Mina is a plucky young heroine and I really liked her because her mind wasn't solely on romance, although the topic does come up from time to time. There is more to this girl than the concerns of the young. She is deeper than that and that is what I liked about her the most. I think you will like Mina, too.
811 reviews20 followers
April 6, 2016
Mina Walraven believes in science. She is training to (hopefully) one day work in The Hague. Her passion is animals. But her life is far from perfect. She is living with an Aunt because both of her parents have been murdered. She does not believe in magic…at least not until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly she can communicate with animals. This ability saves her live.

The warlock who killed her parents is rumored to have escaped from prison. And suddenly she is starting to question everything she once believed. But her new-found ability must be kept a secret, because the people of her town are on a witch hunt…literally. But it is hard to conceal her new found companion, a huge wolf named Basa, who is trying to protect her.

Wolves, witches, gnomes and warlocks…with a huge dose of mystery, this first book in The Naturalist series takes the reader on a wild ride as Mina runs from pursuers with demonic powers while, at the same time, trying to protect the ones she loves. Along the way she finds a few individuals who are willing to risk their own safety to aid her in her mission.
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