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Publisher's Summary

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times best seller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national best seller 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.

©2021 Ava Reid (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: The Best Fairy Tale Retelling Audiobooks


Fairy tales, mythology, and folklore have provided an endless fount of inspiration and imagination for writers for centuries. So, it’s no surprise that as sensibilities shift and these tales are revisited with a modern lens, creators feel the pull to reinvent, reimagine, and refocus. Here, we’ve gathered the best fairy and folk tale retellings of all time, from both new and best-selling writers alike. What magic will you discover within?

What listeners say about The Wolf and the Woodsman

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to get through it

I bailed at chapter 15. The story is well-written and the narrator is excellent. My problem was listening to the mean-spirited heroine of the tale. A backstory is laid out to accommodate the anger, viciousness and meanness, bit it is still difficult to listen to chapter after chapter. Add the incessant whinging and Ian sorry to have spent time with the unlikable character.

1 person found this helpful

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meh

The character development leaves something to be desired. It was a love story with weird magic and a lot of easily defeated monsters, very lackluster heros. I finished it but wouldn't recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Must Read!!

I loves the storyline, the performance of the narrator, and everything in between. I couldn’t put it down, then hated that it ended. Definitely not what I expected in the best way. If you like adventure, tension, and an individual’s journey to understanding themselves. This is a must read! I think even if this is outside the genre you usually read, read this anyway. You will not be disappointed.

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Wow!!!

I loved this, the story is beautiful, the narrator is excellent. I will read/listen to this one again and again. I honestly didn't want it to end. I want to stay in this world.

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Great world building

My favorite part of this book was the lore. Everything was so interesting and surprising.

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Nice folklore, bland character

I personally found this book suffered from going through the motions of the plot for the sake of getting through them more than for the sake of the joy of seeing the action unfold. The characters were more like vague archetypes than vibrant people. The strength of the book was really in the feeling of folklore about it and I think it did deliver on that well.

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Uneventful and Unfulfilling

I finished this book on the 6th, but really debated if I wanted to review it or not. I decided to because it was bugging me.

The story was so uneventful and unfulfilling. It's like nothing exciting happened. There were events and things were done in reaction to those events, but overall nothing blew my mind and things just kind of went along.

The protagonist was so... boring. She just "went along" with events. She wasn't really proactive. She didn't go out of her way to do anything or initiate anything. Anything that she did do was because the story required her to do it in order to make it a story and fill her role as protagonist. I found her character weak and pathetic, to be quite honest.

The story kept me interested enough to finish it, but I don't think I'm ever going to suggest this book to anyone.

And as a side note, I hated the ending. It just reiterated "going along" with the story.

In some books, the narrator makes or breaks the story. Well... this narrator went along. She wasn't bad just perfect for this bland story.