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The Wolf Princess

The Wolf Princess

4.1 15
by Cathryn Constable

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A captivating, atmospheric mystery set in the crystalline winterland of Russia. Abandoned in a blinding blizzard in the wintry wilds of Russia, Sophie Smith fears for her life. But just like in a fairy tale, a princess comes to her rescue: the beautiful, exotic Anna Volkonskaya. Over a river of ice in a horse-drawn sleigh, she brings Sophie and her friends to a


A captivating, atmospheric mystery set in the crystalline winterland of Russia. Abandoned in a blinding blizzard in the wintry wilds of Russia, Sophie Smith fears for her life. But just like in a fairy tale, a princess comes to her rescue: the beautiful, exotic Anna Volkonskaya. Over a river of ice in a horse-drawn sleigh, she brings Sophie and her friends to a magnificent, if weathered, winter palace. At first, Sophie is enchanted by Princess Anna's stories of long-ago royalty, of white wolves and gray diamonds. But when the princess takes a particular interest in her, Sophie grows concerned. What is her place in the sinister mystery that surrounds her? Even as the wind and wolves howl outside, is she more in danger now, a prisoner of the palace, than she ever was lost in the snow?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Next to fashionable Delphine and bookish Marianne, English orphan Sophie is easy to overlook. Her clothes are worn and drab, her guardian doesn't want to deal with her, and her school's headmistress is constantly on her case. But on a school trip to St. Petersburg, the girls find themselves abruptly abandoned in a snowy wonderland. Soon, they meet a beautiful and mysterious princess who seems especially taken with Sophie. Swept away to her icy palace, the three are pampered and entertained until they begin to suspect that the princess has ulterior motives. The breathtaking, wintry setting brings this old-fashioned fairy tale to life. Readers can practically hear the howling winds, the cry of the wolves, and the silent beauty of moonlit snowfall. The story moves slowly at times, but patient readers will enjoy the Russian history and wonder what Princess Anna is hiding. Savvy readers will likely guess Sophie's true identity long before Sophie does, but the predictable plot doesn't detract from the story. The Wolf Princess will appeal most to strong female readers looking to curl up with a dark tale on a cold, wintry night.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX
Publishers Weekly
Constable's fantasy debut depicts a fiercely romantic Russia, "a world made out of winter." Sophie Smith is a bored student and neglected orphan who attends the New Bloomsbury College for Young Ladies in England. Perpetually self-conscious about her impoverished roots and low social standing, Sophie is baffled when a wealthy and mysterious visitor from St. Petersburg is drawn to her, whisking Sophie (and her two friends) away on a trip to Russia—ostensibly to draw new students to enroll at New Bloomsbury. But the girls are abandoned at a hut in the Russian countryside and saved by Princess Anna Feodorovna Volkonskaya, who invites them to her winter palace where there are far more questions than answers. Why aren't they allowed to speak to the servants? What are the princess's motives for lavishing Sophie with attention? And, most importantly, are they guests or hostages? Constable's lyrical storytelling creates a hypnotic realm of ice, and from this mythical setting emerges a message about rising above one's circumstances and discovering a sense of belonging. Ages 10–14. Agent: Hilary Delamere, the Agency (U.K.). (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Wolf Princess :

"A very special debut with a spellbinding fairytale ambiance. Contemporary but deliciously nostalgic..." -- The Bookseller UK

"Constable's passion for Russia comes across vividly; she knows you have only to give reality a slight push to make it marvelous. A classic winter's tale." -- The Financial Times

"Adventure, mystery, a touch of romance; elements of fairy tale, good triumphing over bad; best friends; a gorgeous horse -- and wolves to boot. Timeless." -- Books for Keeps

“Lyrical storytelling.”—Publishers Weekly
“Breathtaking…Readers can practically hear the howling winds, the cry of the wolves, and the silent beauty of moonlit snowfall.”—School Library Journal

VOYA - Caitlin Augusta
Orphan Sophie Smith pines for a fairy tale adventure, but the New Bloomsbury College for Young Ladies provides only hand-me-down sweaters from the lost and found and the friendship of her roommates, Delphine and Marianne. Sophie receives her heart's desire when the school sends Sophie and her friends on a class trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. Through a mysterious series of events, the girls end up alone at the Volkonsky Winter Palace, the rundown, deserted home of the Volkonsky royal line. The remaining descendant of the Volkonskys, Princess Anna Feodorvna Volkonskaya, welcomes the girls as her guests but seems to have ulterior motives for her hospitality. Princess Anna's quest for the lost Volkonsky diamonds may help Sophie connect with her own past. In Constable's first novel, readers meet a heroine who shares their own desire for a life less ordinary. Sophie's journey from downtrodden orphan to Russian palace dweller will please romantics. Atmospheric details of bundling up for Russian winter and lavish imperial furnishings add to the opulent setting. Unfortunately, the author telegraphs the plot twists early in the story. Readers will quickly figure out the facts that Sophie blindly ignores, and the story loses some drama because of it. Constable does not fully develop her secondary characters. She does not spend enough time fleshing out Sophie's companions, and it is hard to fully understand their motivations. Constable's exotic Russian setting and a dramatic chase scene help rescue Sophie's lackluster companions. Reviewer: Caitlin Augusta
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever met a princess? In this story cloaked in fairy tale imagery and magical illusions, Sophie travels to Russia from her boarding school in London. Sophie’s parents have died—and she knows very little about her past. She lives with a guardian, Rosemary, who has little interest in the girl. Then one day Sophie has the opportunity to travel to St. Petersburg, only to end up trapped in a snowy land far away from the old capital city. Sophie meets Princess Anna, who enchants people with her beauty. But something is very wrong at the palace, which is quickly falling into the snow drifts and there is no money for repairs. Sophie begins to feel a strong connection to the first wolf princess who ever lived here. Could Sophie be a descendant of this princess? Young readers will be enchanted by this magical story, which reads like a suspenseful fairy tale. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.; Ages 10 to 14.
Kirkus Reviews
An uneasy mix of school story, adventure and fairy-tale tropes, this British import hits all the expected notes--orphaned heroine, exotic setting, hidden treasure, unknown heritage and exciting events--but never quite manages to produce an engaging composition. Heroine Sophie Smith is only slightly more fleshed-out than her friends, Delphine (part French, very stylish) and Marianne (the smart one who, of course, is not stylish and wears glasses). Orphaned at a young age, Sophie spends the majority of her time at boarding school. With only vague memories of her father, Sophie treasures the necklace he left her and hears his voice in her dreams. When the chance to visit Russia, a country that has always fascinated her, on a school trip arises unexpectedly, Sophie jumps on it. Diverted from the school's itinerary, the three girls wind up in an isolated, dilapidated castle complete with hidden passages, loyal retainers and a real, live princess. Readers will realize much sooner than Sophie that all is not what it seems and will surely wonder at the naïveté of contemporary kids who willingly go off with a complete stranger. The uneven plot drags before taking a sharp turn into melodramatic violence. Unfortunately for readers who persevere, the ending is ultimately both unbelievable and essentially unresolved. Considerably less than the sum of its parts, this mash-up won't satisfy fans of fantasy or realistic fiction. (Adventure. 9-12)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

CATHRYN CONSTABLE is a former journalist whose articles have appeared in TATLER and THE SUNDAY TIMES of London among other publications. THE WOLF PRINCESS is her first novel. She is married with three children and lives in London, England.

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The Wolf Princess 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read the sanple and it sounds very good and I think that i want to buy it
ShannonODonnell More than 1 year ago
The Wolf Princess is a captivating tale that transports us to Russia with vivid imagery and powerful descriptions. While it maintains a fairytale feel, it rises to the next level with its depth of intrigue and mystery. Even if you figure out what's coming, it won't matter, because the experience of journeying there is worth every page. It's the writing and the world building that make this book a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book SO MANY SECRETS! wish i could tell you them! I only gave it a 4 because i want a 2nd book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has strong plot and so many twists. This gripping story will keep you on the edge of your seat and glued to your nook. Remember, not everyone is who they seem to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sweet loving tale full of truth (and frost and snow) Captures your heart. You'll love the twists and suprise. Fanisty goes wild. If you like adventure you will like The Wolf Princses. Hope you read this cool tale.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Sophie Smith has never been special or interesting. She is the poor girl at her elite private school complete with her shabby clothes, unbrushed hair and callous guardian. Sophie thinks things might have gone differently if she wasn't an orphan. But she is. Trapped in her grey English boarding school. Trapped in her grey boring life even as dreams of winter in Russia, majestic wolves and a strange forest haunt her. Nothing interesting ever happens to Sophie. She wouldn't expect anything different. Then a stranger comes to the school and invites Sophie and her roommates--glamorous Delphine and bookish Marianne--on a school trip to St. Petersburg. The following adventure is even more than Sophie could hope for as they girls are abandoned in a blizzard and whisked away to a wintry palace to rival Sophie's grandest dreams in The Wolf Princess (2012) by Cathryn Constable. I went into this book with high expectations and only a vague sense of what to expect beyond a rags to riches fairy tale story. In a way that is exactly what The Wolf Princess delivers. But in other ways it was a disappointment. Sophie is fascinated with Russia in a way that should be endearing and draw readers in as well. Instead it comes off as vaguely condescending as she describes Russian words knocking into each other and, at one point, describes a Russian character's handwriting as distinctly foreign. All of the characters in the story feel like caricatures complete with an icy winter princess, a sturdy Russian officer and, of course, one friend who is defined solely as being glamorous and half-French (no, really) and another who is interesting only in that she is intelligent (I don't even remember if we were ever told her hair color). Beyond that Sophie is infuriating. She is a mousey heroine with absolutely know self-confidence. Instead of blossoming or coming into her own as the story progresses Sophie continues to doubt herself and remind readers and her friends that she is decidedly not special. Worse, her friends are quick to agree. The book is also oddly out of time. Reference to cell phones suggest the book is set in the present although the atmosphere and attitudes of the characters seem to suggest an earlier time period. The characters are similarly ageless. The Wolf Princess is marketed for ages 10-14 meaning, because the ages are never implicitly stated, there is a huge spread for how old the characters can be. Taken as a middle grade novel Sophie's behavior might make more sense but I doubt it would make her more tolerable. This story is likely to appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Leigh Bardugo's Grisha books or wants a riff on the tropes found in A Little Princess. However readers should be wary of the flaws in certain aspects of The Wolf Princess. Possible Pairings: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Sender Unknown by Sallie Lowenstein, Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a very meaningfull and majestic book I highly recomend it to anyone interested in action adventure mistery and wonder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book love it im reading it 2 times
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did't really get the meaning of the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You guys seriously need to stop saying 'cool i think im going to get it'' Only say REVIEWS!! You know people want reviews not some retard saying hes going to get it >:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an army for use open to the general public. We are close to being the same thing as the Ghosts, but we will have more training. Sign up for training in the next res. Training starts July 1st. The Secret Police will grow over time as more people hear about us. The SP will have safe houses for people and animals that have been hurt by evil clans and such. Place bios in this res. Here is an example of a correct bio.*NAME* Ciurtney Kastens. *AGE* 12. *WEAPON OF CHOICE* Sniper rifle. *RANK* General/Sniper.**** Here are the Rank Choices; SCOUTS have low armour, yet are vital in battle. MEDICS are also low armoured, but help many wounded soldiers during battle. TANKS are heavily armoured, and very powerful. SNIPERS are like scouts, yet have more powerful weapons. ABOUT PLATOONS Platoons have thirty soldiers at most, with at least five of each rank. Platoons will be lead by me or a corporal. Thank you for your time, and I hope you ask questions or join my army! ~General Courtney Kastens
Anonymous More than 1 year ago