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The Wolf and the Woodsman

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-v
Expected publication: June 8th 2021 by Voyager
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Average rating 4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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chai ♡
First of all, you cannot liken this book to both Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale and not expect me to go unfathomably unhinged ...more
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
why yes, I am absolutely obsessed with the fact that so many dark woodsy books with wolf in the title seem to be coming out in 2021!!

a note: a lot of people are marking this as YA but it's actually adult pals <3 just a heads up
Ava Reid
Dec 17, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Since ARCs of my book are beginning to enter the world (and I am henceforth banning myself from Goodreads, which is a space for readers, not authors), I thought it would be a good time to provide some grounding and content warnings for THE WOLF & THE WOODSMAN.

I've pitched this book as having a "magic system based on body horror," which is I think apt - and so, naturally, there are a lot of graphic, on-the-page depictions of gore. (I've listed out the various iterations of that below).

I think i
Emma Cathryne
The Wolf and the Woodsman is a perfect book for winter, a delicious blend of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Witcher . It follows a twenty-five year old "wolf-girl" named Évike, a motherless girl who lives within a matriarchal tribe of warriors, magicians, and seers. However, their way of live has been deemed "pagan" by the devout king and his army of monster-hunting Woodsman, and every few years one of their number is plucked away by the king and taken to the capital to face an unknown fat ...more
Maria Dong
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will try very hard not to give away any spoilers!

I had the incredible good fortune to read a super early version of this book. Almost a year later, I still think about it all the time. I was hooked from the first paragraph, to the point where I played hooky from work for the first time in my entire adult life, just so I could keep reading, and stashed myself in a panera for something like six hours while crying real actual tears every half hour or so. I read the entire thing in a single breath
Isabel Ibañez
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Get ready for this one, friends.
Feb 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
for someone who hates living in hungary i sure add books mentioning hungary awfully fast(even tho i have no idea how this is related to hungarian history but ig i’ll find out)
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*Spoiler free*

I saw a flash of a picture of this book for a giveaway and was practically sold. Then I saw a flash on the description, a girl who has no magic because she has been abandoned by the gods, based on Hungarian history and Jewish myth, and the only survivors of a monster attack being Évike, the main character, and the cold, one eyed captain of the Woodsman. Then I basically fell head over heels for this book and definitely, definitely, wanted to read it. Trigger warnings: torture, anti
Shelley Parker-Chan
Oh world, you aren’t ready for this magisterial, stunningly aesthetic work of faith and mythology. Do you maybe like beautiful, mutilated enemy love interests who look good on their knees? DO YOU?
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
UPDATE: I just read the revision and it's even more perfect, truly truly perfect, everyone better get on this before the inevitable ENORMOUS FRANCHISE AND FILM AND COMICS AND GAME ADAPTATIONS THAT WILL BE ABSOLUTELY 100% DESERVED.

My friend wrote this and it is extremely good. :)
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love wintery fantasies -- especially The Winternight Trilogy -- so I was really excited for this one! The worldbuilding and plot were wonderfully atmospheric and right up my alley, and the romance is really lovely. I'd have liked the pacing to be a little more even and drawn out however, especially in the latter half of the book, because it feels a little too brisk to spend time connecting with characters. Really good overall though! ...more
Jan 07, 2021 marked it as to-read
As a Hungarian, whose mother-in-law is called Évike, I could not be more curious about this book!!!
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A warm, thick stew on a winter day: Be careful to sip and not gulp. I would have liked to race through this one, desperate to know what was to come, but it's far too lush for big bites. ...more
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I finish collecting myself off the floor, I will have a review! This was incredible! A book I will cherish.

Thank you Netgalley for an early copy for exchange of an honest review.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Évike is the only non-magical woman from her pagan tribe, a fact which finds her ostracized by her community. It doesn't help either that her father belonged to the Yehuli faith, a minority loathed by the pagans as well as by the nation's rulers who follow the Patrifaith. Those rulers allow the pagans to survive in their magical woods provided that they are willing to sacrifice one woman, from time to time, to the king. When a group of Woodsmen, an order
Rachel Nevada Wood
Jan 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I think that this book was just not quite my cup of tea. My main issue is that the primary driving force of at least 75% of the novel is simply survival. I wanted to hope (and wish) for so much more than that, but really midway through the book the only thing I could tangibly point to wanting for our characters was survival. This works well for the book, as that's also what Evike is motivated by throughout the novel, but it frequently made me lose interest. It also made me question Evike's decis ...more
Samantha Dupree
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arcs-read
I'm still having a hard time expressing what this book meant to me and how much I loved it. I can't wait to own an actual, physical copy of it later in the year. I will now spend the next five-ish months recommending this to everyone I know.

What's not to love?? Exploration of the power of words, biting yet loving religious/political commentary, a SLOW BURN romance with oodles of sexual tension and promise that delivers when and what it needs to? It was everything I didn't know I wanted and more.
Courtney Gould
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, horror-adjacent
I don't even know where to start with this one.

THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is brilliant. A perfect intersection of lore, storytelling, and heart. This is a story about stories, and about the way that stories shape nations, cultures, and societies. TWATW is bloody and heartwrenching, gorgeous and horrifying all at once. I spent much of the book with my shoulders tensed up to my ears, afraid to read the next page.

Reid's prose is so lyrical it swallows you whole. The world building is complex, rich
Steve Westenra
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm lucky enough to have read an earlier version of this book. Reid is a good friend and great writer, and I'm excited to see this beautiful book out in the world. (:

The lush descriptions and focus on folklore and storytelling should please fans of Naomi Novik who are looking for something similar, but that skews a little darker in tone.

While some of the plot elements are very much on the adult side, I would hazard a guess that adult fans of YA, and of crossover fiction will find a lot to love h
Luna Reader
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5/5 Stars

This book was okay. I just expected something very different from the fevered Spinning Silver comparisons. This book was forgettable to say the least, and lacks the multi POV epicness of Spinning Silver. The voice was dull, and the romance lacked spark. The writing was pretty, at least. I'm sure there are readers who will enjoy the kind of slow, meandering nothingness this book offers
Samantha Rajaram
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book! It’s one of this transportive, delicious books that completely engrossed me for a full day. I read it in one sitting. The descriptions of the world of this book are lush and beautiful and still somehow austere. The love story at its center is captivating, but it’s the political/cultural subtext that makes this book such a gem. It can be read on so many levels. A beautiful book!
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ava's writing is show stopping and the world she crafted is as vicious as it is beautiful. I was hooked from the very first line and I binged the rest of the story in the same week. You'll feel like you dived right into a dark fairytale. ...more
Grace Li
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yes
A beautiful, unflinching, unputdownable exploration of power, mythology, and faith. Also, one of the very best enemies-to-lovers stories I have ever read. Absolutely extraordinary.
Drenched in snow and blood, THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is dark, romantic, and complex—a story that will ensnare you from the very first page.

*Please be advised there are several instances of violence, including against animals, throughout.
Sophie Cohen
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s not every day your friend writes a book. So when one does, you write a review asserting that the writing is in fact impeccable and everyone should preorder it pretty please.
"this is fundamentally a book about nation-building"

me, obsessed w/ nation-building (and researching it), now completely obsessed w/ this book. oh my god.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Madalyn (booksandcatsandnaps)
Jan 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
actual, literal baba yaga.
Dec 19, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-releases
getting 'the werewolf of polnoye' vibes from this one. hoping it doesn't disappoint. ...more
Jan 20, 2021 marked it as to-read
This book has been likened to my two favourite books by my two favourite authors. please, I need this now.
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Ava Reid was born in Manhattan and raised right across the Hudson River in Hoboken, but currently lives in Palo Alto, where the weather is too sunny and the people are too friendly. She has a degree in political science from Barnard College, focusing on religion and ethnonationalism. She has worked for a refugee resettlement organization, for a U.S. senator, and, most recently, for an AI robotics ...more

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