Review: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

the wolf wilder by katherine rundell

A girl and the wolves who love her embark on a rescue mission through Russian wilderness in this lyrical tale from the author of the acclaimed Rooftoppers and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms.

Feo’s life is extraordinary. Her mother trains domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves in the snowy wilderness of Russia, and Feo is following in her footsteps to become a wolf wilder. She loves taking care of the wolves, especially the three who stay at the house because they refuse to leave Feo, even though they’ve already been wilded. But not everyone is enamored with the wolves, or with the fact that Feo and her mother are turning them wild. And when her mother is taken captive, Feo must travel through the cold, harsh woods to save her—and learn from her wolves how to survive.

From the author of Rooftoppers, which Booklist called “a glorious adventure,” and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, which VOYA called “a treasure of a book,” comes an enchanting novel about love and resilience.

Description taken from Goodreads.


I don’t know how to feel about this book, but I will be recommending it. Just like its cover, THE WOLF WILDER is beautiful. The prose isn’t whimsical, but it is sweet and thoughtful. This book almost reminds me of Kate DiCamillo’s work.

Except less completely compelling.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many great things about the plot of this story. There’s wolves, there’s RIDING on wolves (which is awesome) and a great historical Russia setting. But I don’t know how THE WOLF WILDER would go with younger audiences. It’s pacing slows down considerably over the course of the book. There are some great moments, but there’s nothing super action-packed.

For fantasy lovers and fans of Kate DiCamillo, I would recommend this book. THE WOLF WILDER is a great take on historical lit, and the ending is really satisfactory. If the pacing was a let down, the characters weren’t by far. I loved getting to know each and every one of them, especially Feo, even though there were some clichés and unrealistic moments in this story. All in all, a good story, but I wouldn’t recommend it readily. 3 stars. Will be checking out some of this author’s other work.

pg count for the hardback: 240

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