The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid is her debut standalone novel. I was very excited to read this book. The description was very intriguing and the cover was beautiful. So of course I had to buy this aesthetically pleasing book about a badass wolf girl. Like always, I will not have any spoilers for The Wolf and the Woodsman.
Évike is the only woman in her forest surrounded village that doesn’t have magic. All because of her mixed heritage, the gods have abandoned her and she is considered an outcast. Now that the Woodsmen are coming to collect a pagan girl, Évike is betrayed and given to them.
However, during their journey to the capital, the group is attacked by monsters leaving only Évike and the one-eyed captain. However, the captain is no ordinary Woodsman, but the outcast prince: Gáspár. His father relies on collecting pagan magic to keep his power. Gáspár believes that his zealot of a bastard brother plans to take the throne through violence against the pagans and those like them. The two unlikely companions make a pact to stop the bastard prince.
This mission has the pair traveling to the north and to the capital itself. During this journey their mutual dislike starts to transform into affection. However, as they grow and reconnect with lost family members the two must make decisions. What side will they take and what are they willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them from the start.
I’m going to do this review slightly different. One reason for this is because it is a standalone and the other is because I didn’t really connect with the characters much nor did I really enjoy The Woolf and the Woodsman. Therefore, I will be focusing on why I didn’t enjoy this book and touch on the characters only a little bit.
First, the characters: Évike and Gáspár. These two characters couldn’t be the more opposite of each other and the typical star-crossed lovers trope. What I like about Évike is that she is ordinary, but fierce. However, that’s it: a girl who is fueled by anger and bitterness. I didn’t see much complexity to her character. Now Gáspár is the calm collected dark haired love interest. Again, there isn’t much complexity to his character and is a basic template to the “broody male” type. Honestly, he had potential but really boring.
Finally, what I dislike about The Wolf and the Woodsman. It had SO MUCH potential. That’s the biggest downfall, the story is there, but this feels like a first draft. I understand that The Wolf and the Woodsman is a standalone, but it really should’ve been either longer, it’s a little over 400 pages, or at least a duology. There are parts that are giant info dumps, drawn out, rushed, or happen randomly and I have no idea why it happens or what’s going on. Also, the romance aspect of The Wolf and the Woodsman was rushed and just kind of happened. There wasn’t much relationship building and they fall in love suddenly. Now I will say that you can just see it blossom for Évike, but Gáspár wasn’t an active participant. The only part of the book that I enjoyed was the ending, which is sad.
“What’s worse, a liar or a monster?”
“Humans don’t need some shadow-demon to tempt them; we are imprudent enough on our own.”
“If girls can be wolves, can’t men be beasts?”
“It doesn’t matter how sharp my claws are; I can’t cut a thousand throats.”
“How much can you blame a hunting dog for biting when it’s only ever been trained to use its teeth?”
Star Rating: /5
Spice Rating: /5
Add it to Your List: Add to your Goodreads
Snag a Copy: I will always suggest getting the hard cover, but buy in any format on Amazon
Interested in other books that I’ve read? Check out my other book reviews here!