the price of faith | the wolf and the woodsman by ava reid

by - 9:00 AM

"It's not about cruelty. It's about power. Without power, all you have is anger and spite. Cruelty comes when you have the strength to turn your anger on someone else."

isbn: 9781529100730 | pages: 461
     publication date: June 06, 2021 | source: net-galley/physical copy from publisher
     genre: adult, fantasy | trigger warnings: author's note
rating: 6.8/10

    A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    |    B O O K S H O P * 
B O O K D E P O S I T O R Y    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S

a story of faith and cultures
The Wolf and the Woodsman
 is a book that pushes both its characters and readers on how far they're willing to go and how much they're willing to sacrifice for their faith. Set amidst Hungarian history and Jewish folklore, this story is absolutely captivating with an atmosphere and cast that slowly grabs its reader and pulls them into a cold and cruel world. Évike is a wolf-girl who has been shunned her entire life for her mixed blood and lack of gifts. When the king's Woodsmen come to claim a seer, Évike is disguised and sent into the forest as tribute, betrayed by her people, and forced to the same fate as her mother. 

Right from the get-go, this story was immersive with so much atmospheric tension both from the danger of the woods and from the unknown that comes with being taken by the Woodsmen. Évike is one of those characters who embraces her status as the outcast and literally survives this book through sheer determination and will. Her strength is astounding and that's what makes her so admirable and impactful as the main character. 

the power of fear and heritages
Both Évike and Gáspár are tested beyond their capabilities throughout this book on different fronts and it was both fascinating and rewarding to see them work through their differences. I loved how (for the first time in what feels like forever) we have two characters who don't seek to change their beliefs and personalities to fit someone else but continously challenge each other to become better human beings. The discussion of religion and of ethnic and cultural cleansing also delved deeper into the horrible acts committed throughout history and opens up this space for conversation for both the characters and the readers to examine personal biases and why the fear of someone else plays such a huge role in hatred.

There are honestly so many thoughts I have for this book and all I want to do is dive back in because I know there's so much I can still learn from Évike's story. For a debut, Ava Reid absolutely blew me away and I'm waiting eagerly for her future works.

disclaimer: I received a physical copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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