During the night, Drest’s family is attacked. Told to hide by her father, Drest is left all alone after the battle. With the help of an injured knight, Drest must find her way back to her family, and rescue them before they’re executed.
Why this book?: I was told it was similar to one of my favorite childhood books, Ranger’s Apprentice! Plus it just sounded amazing.
I would like to thank the people at Penguin Young Readers for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
There is just something about middle grade novels that makes me feel so happy and safe and I just can’t get enough of them. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is no exception. I read the entirety of the novel in less than a day, so engrossed in the story that I just had to finish it then and there. It was a fun read, but that doesn’t stop the story from being meaningful. It gave me nostalgia for Ranger’s Apprentice, and makes me want to read more MG at the moment.
I really enjoyed the story. It was straight-forward, but Magras added enough twists and turns throughout the narrative so that it didn’t seem that way. The count down had me at the edge of my seat, and Drest’s adventures on the way to save her family were very heartwarming and entertaining. I love how Drest was so adamant to follow her father’s code, despite her father not even being there. Each twist of the plot was because Drest chose to be a good person, putting others before herself and her needs. Even when it would have benefited her to walk away, Drest recognized that something was wrong and that it had to be remedied.
Each character was very entertaining and lovable. I probably loved Drest and her relationship with Emerick (the injured knight) the most, mainly because there was no forced romance between them. I was so thankful for that, because the friendship that develops between the two of them is beautiful. I especially enjoyed Tig as well, with Merewen coming in a close second.
The last thing I want to mention is that ending!!! I was honestly shocked, and hadn’t been expecting it, so I was emotional for a little while? But I especially loved how it ended, and how Drest took things into her own hands.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
I really need to read more middle grade. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is an amazingly fun novel that was full of twists and turns. I love how it centered friendship and doing what’s right, while also standing up for yourself. Magras focused on important lessons while also making the story fun and interesting.
Would I Recommend?
Yes! Especially if you’re looking for middle grade fantasies. I really hope Magras decides to write a sequel, because the ending was left very open for the possibility. If there is one, you can bet that I’ll snatch it up with no hesitation.
Diane Magras grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel. She is the editor, writer, and chief fund raiser for the Maine Humanities Council. She volunteers at her son’s school library, and is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her books are set.
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Page Count: 288
Genre: Middle Grade/Historical/Fantasy
Synopsis: via Goodreads
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home–with all the excitement of Ranger’s Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.
One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.
Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend.
Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?
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