Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, figured out that what amused her might also amuse others. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, making music, or attempting to bake. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children in a house ruled by a temperamental cat.
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.
For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn't the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
“A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in epic fantasy”—Kirkus (starred review)
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he'll return to the world's captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can't control, at least she knows that in the Wildwood, she can't hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn't learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole.
I'd like to thank Orbit for fulfilling my destiny of reviewing this book. If it weren't for that email, I would have had to wait until release day to read it and we know we can't have that. Bear hugs for the publicity team.
This story has a total gothic feel to it with lots of blood and shadows to go around. Red is determined to fulfill her destiny as a sacrifice to the weird killer forest, but find herself not only obligated to stay and fix what her ancestors had messed up but for the love of Eammon, the Wolf/ Warden of WIlderwood. Amidst her internal struggle with her magic and her feelings for the broody man who lives in the creepy wood, but her sister is scheming to find a way to rescue Red and ends up messing things up a whole lot more than she ever thought possible. But she had good intentions, you see. You can't fault her for that.
With that little story run-down, let's get to the nitty-gritty.
Red is a fierce protagonist. I loved her attitude and her determination. Resigned to being just an offering to a forest that may or may not kill her, she bravely lives up to her fate only to find out things aren't what they seem. She's not one to roll over and when Eammon pushes her, she pushes right back. Don't tell this girl to stay put because guess what? SHE WON'T.
Neve is just as strong-willed and will do anything to protect her sister despite being betrothed to the man Red's been fooling around with. But hey, she's been thrust into her position the same as Red except she doesn't have much guidance.
The romance between Red and Eammon is sweet and happens very quickly. I wouldn't say it's enemies to lovers, but more of a slow burn and appreciation of one another. They see each other for more than what the world has deemed them and they've found a love in that. I can appreciate a good bond as they have.
Whitten's visceral writing is enviable. She takes words and puts them together so beautifully. She pulls you into this world of danger and romance and doesn't let you go. To think this is her debut novel should excite you because I have a feeling she's going to rain down some books in her future and I'm going to devour each and every one.
Thanks again to Orbit. You the best.