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Pyotra and the Wolf

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  30 reviews
For the space of a breath or two, that wolf had entranced her, mesmerised her, made her believe—the impossible. And that was all it took.

Nothing about this wolf was as it should be.

Pyotra Nikolayevna Kulakova lives in a small Russian settlement in the northern Siberian taiga, where the polar night lasts for a good month out of the year and the temperature rarely reaches ab
Paperback, 382 pages
Published February 15th 2021 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Lex Kent
This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There were parts and concepts that I really liked, and then there were some things I didn’t really care for. I was really excited to read this because the musical tale, Peter and the Wolf, was an important part of my childhood. As a child of the 80’s, my parents imparted on me the importance of vinyl since cassettes had such awful sound. I had an early childhood musical education that taught me things like why the Beatles and Stones were two names everyo ...more
Jude in the Stars
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Elna Holst is a chameleon. She’s like a talented forger (albeit with honest intentions), dressing up her writing in the original author’s. In a couple of strokes, she carried me away into Jane Austen’s world with Lucas , and just as easily I just spent a few days in Siberia with Pyotra and her wolf. The way Holst describes the scenery, the sounds, the lights (or lack thereof, in the constant night), the pervasive cold. That last one in particular, the cold, which only highlights how warm Volk ( ...more
Carolyn McBride
From reading “In The Hand”, I knew Elna Holst was a talented and skilled author, but I was unprepared for the deft ways she made the legend of Peter and The Wolf her own. Her novel is the first time I’ve read a story set in Siberia, which I found to be a refreshing change. I felt as though I was truly there, out on the snow and ice and under the Aurora Borealis. Holst’s description of the wolves (both “hers” and the attacker) were like word paintings. She’s so good at it, I’d say she’s almost a ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, f-f, lgbtqia, fantasy
No tale had ever told her she could rely on the generosity of wolves, the eaters of grandmothers and lambs and piglets, the trickers of blue-eyed girls in carmine riding hoods.

But she had a debt to pay, and she would pay it.

2.5 stars. I'm so sad that I didn't enjoy this the way the first half of the book made me think I would. Because it was a really good first half! But unfortunately, the story really fell apart for me in the latter half, there were some storytelling choices that I just pe
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
2 stars. "It was okay." Kind of disappointed, to be frank. The first half of the book lead me to believe this would receive a much higher rating. After that, however, the structure of the book changes and the omniscient narrator begins diving into half a dozen secondary characters who we hadn't met up until that point, and it made the novel feel very disjointed and - I'm sorry to say - uncomfortable and bizarre. I did not enjoy ANY of those points of view and while I understood the chosen direct ...more
Kate (Feathered Turtle Press)
A very, very, very, very steamy sapphic retelling of Peter and the Wolf, with an odd second half.

The Good
– Sympathetic lead
– Descriptive, lyrical prose
– Strong opening chapters
– Nenets / Siberian Indigenous rep
– Lots of steamy sex scenes
– Strong characterization
– Strong setting descriptions

The Bad

Lots of reiterating
– Slow first section
– Uneven pacing
– Second half feels completely different from first

(I received an advanced copy of Pyotra and the Wolf in exchange for an honest review. Thank you
R.J. Sorrento
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Perfect for a winter read! I felt the Siberian chill in this atmospheric queer retelling of Peter and the Wolf. The plot unfolds slowly and mysteriously as we get to know Pyotra, a young woman who has lost most of her family except for her dear brother and her grandfather. She is surviving as best as she can until she is faced with a wolf, unlike any other she has seen. What follows is a quietly beautiful and sometimes steamy love story with plenty of twists and turns. I really loved Pyotra and ...more
Ariel (ariel_reads)
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This was an excellent fairytale-inspired retelling with a prominent queer romance. I loved reading this in winter-- being able to cozy up and read this book while imagining the snowy Siberian landscape was a lovely feeling. The characters feel as though they guide the story; they are each very distinctive and the various narrative tones switch well between each point of view. I wish we had some of Pyotra's brother's perspective prior to the second half of the book, but overall it worked. The plo ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sending me this e-arc! This was a fantastic read—a Russian fairytale retelling with lesbian werewolves! The plot was well done and fast paced. The characters were well crafted and interesting. The smut was also very steamy. 10/10 would recommend.
Amy Marsden
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC I'm exchange for an honest review.

This is a sapphic retelling of the Russian fairy tale Peter and the Wolf. I love queer retellings of classic fairy tales, so I was excited when the author contacted me about this!

We follow Pyotra as she hunts down the wolf that attacked her little brother with every intention of shooting it in revenge. Except the wolf didn't attack him, she saved him, and the wolf isn't an ordinary wolf, she's Volk, a werewolf. Pyotra comes to this conclusion
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The writing was creative and the story was fascinating. I did look down at one point and panic that there was only 10% left of the book, and it seemed a lot more needed to be wrapped up. In that way the ending felt rushed because I was so invested in the story. The main characters Pyotra and Volk were easy to get behind. And the drunk werewolf on a plane was one of the more entertaining scenes I've ever read. It was a nice breather from the serious action. Content warning of some serious murder ...more
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Rating: 3/5

Pyotra and the Wolf is a Russian inspired queer retelling with a f/f relationship front and center! The beginning of this story is my favorite! It's so atmospheric and the character introduction is so strong!

While shapeshifters and werewolf romances are not usually my favorite thing, Pyotra and the Wolf managed to keep me intrigued with the relationship!

Content Warnings for graphic violence and on the page sex.

The second half of this book is the main reason why I had to lower my rat
Audrey S
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Pyotra and the Wolf is a book that made me so very happy with all of the choices that were made! It is a queer retelling of the Russian fairytale ‘Peter & the Wolf’ except very sapphic, and very sexy.

Pyotra lives in an isolated village on the edge of Siberia and from the first page the atmosphere sinks into you and never leaves (Never for a moment do you not feel the cold in your mind, or the sharpness in the air.) One night Pyotra, spots her younger brother being attacked (she thinks) by a wolf
Pyotra and the Wolf is an interesting take on queer fairy tale retellings and paranormal romance, giving us interesting characters, especially the titular Wolf who is an amazing example of a woman shapeshifter. It’s also a steamy, sensual love story between two women with graphic sex scenes.

The beginning of the Pyotra and the Wolf is a very atmospheric piece of a hunt. This whole part was very interesting, and had some peaceful moments of solitude in the long Siberian nights, with atmospheric de
Lily Marr
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my unbiased review.

Pyotra lives in a remote village at the edge of Siberia. A surprise encounter between the MCs brother and a wolf flips her world upside down.

I want to start off by saying that I LOVE retellings of classical stories but I had never heard of this Russian fairytale before so that prevents me from commenting on the retelling aspect of this story. The writing is creative, the setting description is well established and easy to imag
Aj Smith
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is pure magic and once again Elna Holst has shown that she can weave many spellbinding threads into a tale that is truly enchanting. Saying that Pyotra and the Wolf is based on Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale, with ever deeper layers like matryoshka dolls hints at its greatness but doesn't do it justice. The seemingly eternal darkness of the polar midwinter and the Northern Lights, make the barrier between the living and the dead seem thinner in the Taiga than anywhere else.

I have lo
Ellen Jane
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
An atmospheric, intense, and sensual read! Elna Holst delivers a sapphic retelling of the classic tale, Peter and the Wolf, and it truly did feel like reading a fairytale-turned-novel. Without spoiling the story, Pyotra returns home to find a wolf fishing her younger brother out of the ice—to eat or to save, she can’t quite tell. But the wolf’s eyes captivate her, leaving her unable to shoot her rifle. Almost immediately, she regrets this decision, setting out to chase the wolf all the way to th ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hello hello to this smutty sapphic werewolf story! Elna Holst brings us a wlw retelling of a classic Russian fairytale. I do not know the original story so I can't comment on that aspect of the book, but I can comment on how much I enjoyed this story. The main character thinks her brother is being attacked by a wolf, but it isn't a wolf, its a shifter, and she isn't attacking. Fun tropes like there only being one bed and it being cold outside work perfectly in this story and lead to some smut. T ...more
Laetitia Brunell
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. After Pyotra's brother is bit by a wolf she embarks on a perilous journey into the Siberian wilderness to hunt down and kill the wolf. What follows is a tale of self discovery and adventure. I love queer retellings so was excited to read this. Unfortunately it didn't really work for me, the first half was more what I was expecting, it was very slow and atmospheric and focused on Pyotra and Volk's relationship. The ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia-plus-rep
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Pyotra and the Wolf is a queer retelling of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale, structurally influenced by matryoshka dolls and memory castles. This is a story of darkness and light, love and loss, beast and human. Whichever way the spinning kopek falls."
Nine Star Press

I'll be the first to admit that this is first lesfic novel I've read featuring a romance with shapeshifters and werewolves. Elna Holst contacted me on instagram offering me a copy of the novel and I was intrigued by the que
Giorgia Larocca
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
First of all, I'd like to thank the author for letting me read this before everyone else 💖 as anyone who knows me can tell, I have a soft spot for queer retellings of classic stories, and Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" is such a staple of my childhood (90s kids might remember the animated version) that I was nothing short of excited at the prospect of reading this novel. Combining steamy romance with Russian folklore, Holst delivers us a gripping adventure through the Siberian tundra, w ...more
Pamela Usai
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Holst really thought : I'm going to take a classic, Russian fairytale but I'm going to retell it with queer characters and a no-holds barred look at femininity. AND GUESS WHAT. THEY DID. THEY THOUGHT THAT AND THEN DID IT.

"Pyotra and the Wolf" is a sapphic retelling of the Russian symphonic classic, "Peter and the Wolf". Pyotra, the titular character, lives in Northern Siberia, and an encounter on the tundra between her brother Sergei and a wandering female wolf suddenly turns her otherwise idle
I'm not going to rate this one. I skimmed the last 40% to get the plot and understand the story, but overall this one just wasn't personally for me. Because of that, I feel like it would be unfair for me to rate it. I think a lot of people would like it and I really enjoyed the queer Peter and the Wolf retelling aspect. I just didn't expect it to be like...werewolf erotica. Just not for me! ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had high hopes for this book a queer retelling of a fairy tale? Sign me up! But for me this one fell a little short of expectation. It was so slow to start, but I held out because some of the scenery was good and I wanted to see how this particular author handled the wolf reveal. I figured once Pyotra knew the wolf she was hunting was a shifter things would get more interesting - and they did for a while. The sex scene was oka
Kristel Greer
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was sent a copy of this book for review.
Pyotra is a lonely woman living in Siberia. Her mother was murdered by wolves and her father drank himself to death. When her brother Sergei falls through the ice and then attacked by a wolf, she sees red and decides to hunt down the wolf. As she treks through the wilderness after the animal, she gets the sense that this is no ordinary wolf. We switch to the POV of the wolf and she is in fact named Volk. She is not me
I can't read straight
To say that I did not like this book would be an understatement, for this reason, I am not going to rate it.

The atmosphere is extremely charming, the Siberian taiga is not often seen in books. This and a captivating start had given me hope. Pyotra, a very young inhabitant of a small settlement in Siberia, begins her adventure to "avenge" her little brother attacked by a wolf. The wolf has something strange and Pyotra begins her journey in search of revenge and answers.

The first part is definitel
Mr Pink ink
Thank you to Pride Book Tours & the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Pyotra, along with her blind grandfather and baby brother, lives in the Siberian taiga, where wolves are often roaming; since her mother was attacked, and killed,by wolves, Pyotra has never been particularly fond of them. Until, returning from the shops one day, Pyotra sees her little Sergei in the jaws of a big, white wolf.

After reviving her brother and ensuring
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
* Thanks to NetGalley and NineStar Press for providing an advance copy for review purposes *

Pyotra lives in the Siberian taiga with her grandfather and her little "duckling" brother. She is not particularly keen on wolves, since her mother passed away after being attacked by a pack of them, so she is intent on revenge when she catches a wolf holding on to her brother on a hole on the edge of a frozen lake. After taking care of her brother wounds, Pyotra follows the wolf into the wilderness with
E.G. Jönsson
rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2021
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Often quirky, always queer, Elna Holst is an unapologetic genre bender who writes anything from lesbian lust and love stories to the odd existentialist horror piece. Find her on Instagram (@elnaholstwrites) or Goodreads (yes, you're right here). ...more

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