Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’
At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths. The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .
In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape. Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless. But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one. Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well? And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?
Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.
I love W.R. Gingell, and I am convinced that she can do no wrong. After reading her book, Masque, I jumped at the chance to join her book blog tour for Wolfskin, an impressive retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. I was not disappointed in the least. This book was full of magic, mystery, delightful three-dimensional, characters, romance and a dark curse only Rose is capable of breaking.
The world building in this book was nothing short of remarkable. I was completely enamored with the laws that governed the forest, its magic and those wardens in charge of their specific piece of that forest. The gradual growth of Rose's powers coupled with her inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit made for an exciting read with a heroine truly exceptional in every way.
Bastian is nothing short of swoon worthy. So tortured, brooding, wickedly engaging and quick witted to boot. The banter between him and Rose is so entertaining, and I think part of what makes it wonderful is how very atypical the dynamics of their relationship are. Generally, the heroine and hero fall in love with one another almost immediately in fairy tales such as these, but Rose is still a young girl when she meets Bastian, and she treats him like he is more of an annoying uncle while Bastian must do his best to woo someone out of desperation rather than true regard.
Their relationship eventually grows and develops into something quite beautiful, and the weaknesses that plague them are soon strengths that serve to define them in the end.
The writing was clever, the pacing was perfect, and the author's vivid imagination and attention to detail took me on an exciting adventure that proved to be one of the best Red Riding Hood retellings I have ever read. Please follow this author and read everything she comes out with. It will be the most helpful advice I could ever give you. That and eating chocolate at the same time.
I gave this book five cherry blossoms!
You can continue to follow this blog tour by checking out the schedule here.
W.R Gingell is a Tasmanian author who enjoys reading, bacon, and slouching in front of the fire to write.