The Wolf and the Woodsman

The Wolf and the Woodsman

by Ava Reid

Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

Unabridged — 13 hours, 10 minutes

The Wolf and the Woodsman

The Wolf and the Woodsman

by Ava Reid

Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

Unabridged — 13 hours, 10 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

If you’re like us and can’t get enough of fractured fairy tale retellings with fabulous, fierce heroines as the heart of unforgettable stories, books like Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, just wait until you meet Évike, the star of this incredible story of hidden magic and family ties based on Hungarian and Jewish folklore. (And you know you want this jacket on your shelf and in your IG.)

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-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline-her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king's blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he's no ordinary Woodsman-he's the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it's like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they're on, and what they're willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.*


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ava Reid paints a rich and complex picture of a kingdom steeped in ancient magic, straining along seams of religious and cultural tension. From the first page to the last, every facet and detail is beautifully wrought. Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut—a powerful and haunting tale of a young woman's will to live, of love flowering in defiance of tyranny. It will twine like a dark forest around your heart." — Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

"A thought-provoking, thrilling magical twist on the history of religion and politics that I couldn't put down. In her stunningly rendered—and frankly terrifying—forbidden forests, Reid conjures up some of the ghastliest monsters I've ever read, and yet never lets us forget the worst horrors are perpetuated by human hands." — S.A. Chakraborty, bestselling author of The Empire of Gold

"Gorgeously written and grimly real, The Wolf and the Woodsman is both a myth and a mirror, a bloody fable about two people caught in the jaws of history. It quite literally took my breath away. It has the unsettling-but-compelling gore of Henderson's The Year of the Witching, the folkloric lilt of The Bear and the Nightingale, and the moral complexity of Seeing Like a State. I’m obsessed.” — Alix E Harrow, Hugo Award–winning author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

"The convincing enemies-to-lovers romance, fascinating religion-based magic system, and thoughtful examination of zealotry make this a notable debut." — Publishers Weekly

“Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman is a harrowing adventure, set in a harsh, wintry land populated by horrific beasts and hard people. The intricate, imaginative world grabs from the first page, and the landscape is rich, with much to discover. Not all of it pleasant, as our heroes are doomed to find out.” — Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

“Évike may be the only one in her village without ‘powers,’ but that doesn’t stop her from being an in-your-face heroine who stands up for the things she believes in and never backs down. Reid has crafted a story that is not only relevant for our times, but has timelessness about it that truly makes it shine. The Wolf and the Woodsman is not a book I will soon forget.” — Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is a book that made me remember how beautiful and gut wrenching historical fantasy can be. It’s a fundamentally Jewish tale, one that gripped me from beginning to end. A riveting debut that will keep you up all night, desperately chasing the heart-pounding conclusion.” — Victoria Lee, author of The Fever King

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN, beautifully written and expertly told, is a darkly magical tale from beginning to end. I was equal parts terrified and delighted, somehow swept away and grounded in a world as beautiful as it is deadly.” — Isabel Ibañez, author of Woven in Moonlight

"I enjoyed The Wolf and the Woodsman very much. Évike is a memorable protagonist, deeply flawed but trying, almost despite herself, to do the right thing. The writing is assured and compelling throughout, and the worldbuilding is richly imagined, densely textured, and endlessly delightful." — Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor and The Angel of the Crows

“Combining religion, magic, and evocative language, Ava Reid has created a daring fantasy world full of imagination and fierce heroics.” — Luanne G. Smith, bestselling author of The Vine Witch

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is one hell of a ride. Évike is an unlikely heroine, torn by warring duties and identities but despite it all, she discovers a power that could save a nation from itself. But only if she lives. I couldn’t put it down." Greta Kelly, author of The Frozen Crown

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a dark, folkloric and viscerally beautiful book. It will haunt you, and you will be grateful.”  — Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne

"With a setting rich in detail and folklore, a fascinating look at the complex morality of religious disagreements, and an enemies-to-lovers romance between strong characters, this is an excellent debut." — Booklist

"Ava Reid writes magic, myth and folklore so well that you almost forget how poignant the themes of nation-building, propaganda and religious persecution are until they smack you right in the face...Written with a timelessness of spirit, a magical world that knows no bounds, and characters who will make your heart pound and your eyes well up, THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is an intricate, gut-wrenching fantasy that will set the bar for dark historical fantasy for years to come." — Bookreporter.com

"The Wolf and the Woodsman is stunning...This novel feels atmospheric and dark, showing a brutal world full of violence and gore, but still had moments for hope and love inside of it...I loved every minute I spent reading this book, and I can’t wait for more people to experience it." — Caits Books

S.A. Chakraborty

"A thought-provoking, thrilling magical twist on the history of religion and politics that I couldn't put down. In her stunningly rendered—and frankly terrifying—forbidden forests, Reid conjures up some of the ghastliest monsters I've ever read, and yet never lets us forget the worst horrors are perpetuated by human hands."

Isabel Ibañez

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN, beautifully written and expertly told, is a darkly magical tale from beginning to end. I was equal parts terrified and delighted, somehow swept away and grounded in a world as beautiful as it is deadly.

Luanne G. Smith

Combining religion, magic, and evocative language, Ava Reid has created a daring fantasy world full of imagination and fierce heroics.

Victoria Lee

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is a book that made me remember how beautiful and gut wrenching historical fantasy can be. It’s a fundamentally Jewish tale, one that gripped me from beginning to end. A riveting debut that will keep you up all night, desperately chasing the heart-pounding conclusion.

Alix E Harrow

"Gorgeously written and grimly real, The Wolf and the Woodsman is both a myth and a mirror, a bloody fable about two people caught in the jaws of history. It quite literally took my breath away. It has the unsettling-but-compelling gore of Henderson's The Year of the Witching, the folkloric lilt of The Bear and the Nightingale, and the moral complexity of Seeing Like a State. I’m obsessed.

Genevieve Gornichec

Évike may be the only one in her village without ‘powers,’ but that doesn’t stop her from being an in-your-face heroine who stands up for the things she believes in and never backs down. Reid has crafted a story that is not only relevant for our times, but has timelessness about it that truly makes it shine. The Wolf and the Woodsman is not a book I will soon forget.

Samantha Shannon

"Ava Reid paints a rich and complex picture of a kingdom steeped in ancient magic, straining along seams of religious and cultural tension. From the first page to the last, every facet and detail is beautifully wrought. Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut—a powerful and haunting tale of a young woman's will to live, of love flowering in defiance of tyranny. It will twine like a dark forest around your heart."

Kendare Blake

Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman is a harrowing adventure, set in a harsh, wintry land populated by horrific beasts and hard people. The intricate, imaginative world grabs from the first page, and the landscape is rich, with much to discover. Not all of it pleasant, as our heroes are doomed to find out.

Katherine Addison

"I enjoyed The Wolf and the Woodsman very much. Évike is a memorable protagonist, deeply flawed but trying, almost despite herself, to do the right thing. The writing is assured and compelling throughout, and the worldbuilding is richly imagined, densely textured, and endlessly delightful."

Bookreporter.com

"Ava Reid writes magic, myth and folklore so well that you almost forget how poignant the themes of nation-building, propaganda and religious persecution are until they smack you right in the face...Written with a timelessness of spirit, a magical world that knows no bounds, and characters who will make your heart pound and your eyes well up, THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is an intricate, gut-wrenching fantasy that will set the bar for dark historical fantasy for years to come."

Tasha Suri

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a dark, folkloric and viscerally beautiful book. It will haunt you, and you will be grateful.” 

Greta Kelly

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN is one hell of a ride. Évike is an unlikely heroine, torn by warring duties and identities but despite it all, she discovers a power that could save a nation from itself. But only if she lives. I couldn’t put it down."

Booklist

"With a setting rich in detail and folklore, a fascinating look at the complex morality of religious disagreements, and an enemies-to-lovers romance between strong characters, this is an excellent debut."

Isabel Ibañez

"THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN, beautifully written and expertly told, is a darkly magical tale from beginning to end. I was equal parts terrified and delighted, somehow swept away and grounded in a world as beautiful as it is deadly.

Library Journal

07/01/2021

DEBUT Lacking magical powers, Évike has never been valued by her village. When the king's Woodsmen come to the village for a human tribute, Évike's foster mother offers her up. The Woodsmen take Évike on a long, hard journey to the city, during which she and the crew's one-eyed captain slowly come to rely on each other. It comes out that he is Gáspár, the heir to the king. But Gáspár's bastard half-brother wants the throne, and their evil tyrant of a father is likely to acquiesce. Should Évike help Gáspár? He might be her best hope to save herself, her long-lost father, and her persecuted Yehuli community. VERDICT This dark, YA-crossover, coming-of-age fairy tale really only has its Eastern European atmosphere going for it. The action focuses almost exclusively on Évike and Gáspár, who are very two-dimensional. Readers expecting something like the Grishaverse or Naomi Novik's books will be disappointed.—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.

Kirkus Reviews

2021-05-05
A young woman from a desolate village and a disgraced prince must join together to save the kingdom from the prince’s violent, religious zealot of a half brother in Reid’s debut fantasy.

Évike, the only woman in her pagan village without magical abilities, is shunned and bullied because the gods have chosen not to grace her with power. So when members of the king’s Holy Order of Woodsmen make the perilous journey through the forest to take a “seer,” a pagan woman with the power to see the future, Évike is offered up as a substitute. The King, who represents the dominant, monotheistic state religion called the Patrifaith, steals a pagan woman every year to use as a blood sacrifice. Rather than lose someone with the power to foresee ruined crops and other dangers, Évike’s village is happy to send her to die instead. But when all the Woodsmen except their captain are killed off by forest monsters, Évike learns he is no ordinary Woodsman but Prince Bárány Gáspár himself. Gáspár is desperate to give his father, the King, a magical edge to a war he is currently losing. Otherwise, Gáspár’s despotic brother, Nándor, will have the chance at a hostile takeover, and if Nándor is on the throne, everyone outside the Patrifaith is in serious danger. That includes not just Évike’s village, but other groups like the Yehuli, who follow a lightly fictionalized version of Judaism and include Évike’s long-lost father. There is an overreliance on simile in the prose, and sometimes the action gets muddled, but overall this is an impressive debut. Reid’s academic background in ethnonationalist religious history is used to great effect here, and she shows how folklore is bent and twisted to fit the dominant culture of the moment. Reid wades thoughtfully into thorny conversations about religious persecution, identity, and personal sacrifice.

Compelling, complicated, and worthwhile.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177350912
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/08/2021
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,335
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