A dark, evocative and unforgettable fantasy debut steeped in Hungarian history and Jewish mythology, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden.’Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut . . . It will twine like a dark forest around your heart.’ Samantha Shannon, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
Stories don’t have to be true to be real…In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered. But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other.
Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman – he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.
As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.
‘Gorgeously written and grimly real, The Wolf and the Woodsman quite literally took my breath away. It has the unsettling-but-compelling gore of Henderson’s The Year of the Witching, the folkloric lilt of The Bear and the Nightingale, and the moral complexity of Seeing Like a State. I’m obsessed.’ Alex E. Harrow, Hugo-award winning author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
‘Assured and compelling throughout, and the worldbuilding is richly imagined, densely textured, and endlessly delightful.’ Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor
‘Reid has crafted a story that is not only relevant for our times, but has timelessness about it that truly makes it shine. The Wolf and the Woodsman is not a book I will soon forget.’ Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart
‘Combining religion, magic, and evocative language, Ava Reid has created a daring fantasy world full of imagination and fierce heroics’ Luanne G. Smith, bestselling author of The Vine Witch
‘The Wolf and The Woodsman is one hell of a ride. I couldn’t put it down.’ Greta Kelly, author of The Frozen Crown
‘One of those transportative, delicious books that completely engrossed me for a full day.’ Samantha Rajaram, Author of The Company Daughters