An enchanting Russian folklore retelling.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.
Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!
Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
The wolves do not trust humans or witches. Yet, when her pack is in danger, Zima, a young wolf, is forced to take Baba Yaga’s help. But Baba Yaga does not help for free. She wants something from Zima – her keen sense of smell. The result – Zima switched bodies with Baba Yaga, who flees into the forest to set her secret plan to fruition. Meanwhile, Nadya, an orphan girl, visits Baba Yaga seeking her help. How will Baba Yaga, Zima, and Nadya help each other and help their beloved forest?
Wolves, Witches, forests – my favorite concoction in the world. I am glad to say Karah Sutton’s A Wolf for a Spell brews this concoction perfectly.
A Wolf for a Spell is a story of compassion, finding friends in the unlikeliest of places, and facing your fears. It is lucidly written and poignantly drives home the fact that you do not need to be the biggest, fiercest wolf to lead your pack. Sometimes, you can be the wolf whom no one believes can win. What is important is to believe in yourself and not let fear hold you back.
The book sketches vivid portraits of a pack of wolves running through verdant forests, large and tall gold-decked castles whose turrets touch the sky, and a dangerous but magical and protecting forest. The magic in the book does not overwhelm the plot. The simple illustrations further bolster the strength of the book.
Further, all the characters felt real to me. However, Zima was my favorite. She does not cling to the rigid beliefs of her pack, trusts her instincts, and forms her own opinions. Moreover, the story builds to a tense and bittersweet climax.
A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton is an enchanting Russian folklore retelling. It is a perfect wintry read and will endear itself in no time to the middle-grade audience. Recommended for young readers.
The Amazon.in is an affiliate link. If you purchase from here, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
Many thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my digital copy of the book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Tour schedule here.
Karah Sutton has loved Baba Yaga, ballet, and blini ever since she had to do a research project on her Russian heritage in the third grade. Her hunger for adventure inspired her to move from Kentucky to New Zealand, where it was rumored she would find talking trees and the occasional wood elf. Karah spent four years as a bookseller before she turned to writing her own fiction. A Wolf For a A Spell is her first novel.