Title: Don’t Call the Wolf
Author: Aleksandra Ross
ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.
It’s no secret that I love any kind of fairytale retelling. Don’t Call the Wolf is a magnificent debut novel centered around a Polish fairytale, The Glass Mountain, full of adventurous quests, wolves, dragon hunters, and magical forests. I expected to really enjoy this book, but I did not expect to fall completely in love with the story.
“If ever you are lost, or alone, or frightened, remember that this is your home. These Mountains will always call you back.”
What is this book about? Don’t Call the Wolf follows Lukasz, a young man from a long history of dragon hunters, and Ren, the self-proclaimed Queen of the Forest, as they strike a bargain to defeat the Gold Dragon and save the forest.
What did I like? Aleksandra Ross can write. Her prose was absolutely beautiful and fit perfectly for a fairytale retelling. From stunning descriptions to the dark, atmospheric vibes her writing portrays, it’s easy to become lost in this magical story. The writing in Don’t Call the Wolf is half the reason I love this book so much.
The story is told through the POVs of both Lukasz and Ren, and I have nothing bad to say about either protagonists. In the beginning, Ren was distrustful and wild, but she gradually began to open up to others as the story went on while maintaining her fierceness and bravery. Her arc was handled flawlessly and because of that I think it had a much more meaningful impact both on the story, as well as on me as the reader. Lukasz was amazing. After losing his nine other brothers and suffering a debilitating injury, Lukasz finds himself alone in the world, lost and vulnerable. I loved reading his chapter and was so incredibly easy to root for him and want him to find nothing but happiness.
“But tonight his mind was burned, his veins were black, and his arms were full with the creature he loved, and tonight at least, he was still human.”
What didn’t I like? My only issue was the final conflict. The twist definitely caught be off guard–in a good way!–but it felt like it was wrapped up way too quickly. I appreciated the author’s intent not to have long, drawn out action sequences (because those can get tiresome), but the last battle was paced too fast compared to the rest of the book.
Overall thoughts: Don’t Call the Wolf had me enchanted from the first chapter. The incredibly writing and wonderful characters help create a magical fairytale retelling that was so easy to fall in love with.