Review: For The Wolf – Hannah Whitten

Thank you Orbit Books for the Advanced Copy of this book!

Okay so a rhetorical question, are you interested in a dark, atmospheric, fairy tale inspired, biting fantasy novel, set in a forest, with a half man half tree love interest? OF COURSE YOU ARE.

When I tell you I hoped, prayed and pleaded for an advanced copy of this book, I’m not kidding. I was one bad day away from a summoning circle of crystals and candles. I made the mistake of following the author on Twitter last year and since then she’s been drip feed teasing me with snippets. I knew it was going to be a forever favourite and I wasn’t wrong.

Most of you know by now I’m studying for my MA in Creative Writing, with a specialism in folkloric fantasy inspired by fairytales and set in forests…I’m almost annoyed didn’t get to write this book. With that in mind I consider myself something of an expert in this very specific brand of fantasy. I’ve read a lot of reimagined fairy tales but this is my favourite one so far, let me tell you why.

  • The prose is phenomenal – it’s almost poetic in moments. You can really see on the page how much Hannah Whitten likes words, and that is only a good thing. This book is lyrical, it dances to life on the page.
  • A cursed forest setting? SIGN. ME. UP. The Wilderwood is alive with wrongness, and I loved every second spent in it.
  • Twins are spooky. Sorry twins out there, I love you but you’re spooky. Our protagonist has a twin sister who is involved in blood rituals and cursed magic. SPOOKY SPOOKY.
  • Our protagonist is stubborn, and you know I like a stubborn woman. We don’t get enough of them in fairytales so we have to catch them while we can.
  • THE MAGIC! It felt deeply personal and raw and real, and I loved how reactive it was to our character’s emotions.
  • SLOW. BURN. ROMANCE. There’s nothing better, surely? The romance here was imperfect and inevitable, and it felt so real and intimate. Eamon carries the burden of the past and the forest in a way that makes you want to shout I CAN FIX YOU BABY.
  • This book is paced really well, and it builds with the intensity of the plot. There’s never a dull moment and even in the slower parts, the delicious spookiness of Whitten’s writing will keep you on the hook. I think I could read this woman write about washing machine mechanics and I’d be rapt.

Basically, it’s dark, brooding & delicious and I encourage you all to go buy a copy so we can talk about it!

For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten comes out on June 15th, and you can preorder from your local independent bookstore, or Waterstones.