Title: THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER
Author: Diane Magras
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“[I]t’s clear we’re in the hands of a master storyteller….’The Mad Wolf’s Daughter’ feels like an instant classic.’”
— Soman Chainani, New York Times
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.
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?
This is the book I would’ve read and re-read over and over as a child. It makes the adventurous, sword-wielding girl in my heart happy. There was so much to love about this book.
The setting is gorgeous. From the first page, the reader feels like they are in medieval Scotland and the descriptions are beautiful and detailed. I wanted to live there. I felt like I traveled through the villages and forests and towns.
Drest is a fiery girl with a lot of sense and heart. She can defend herself but she thinks about things. She is bold but she is kind. She loves her family and she loves her land. So much depth for a middle grade main character and Magras does an excellent job of filling her out while still making her believably young.
I also love a book with different sorts of villains. Yes there was the bandit, but there was also war, and doubt, and fear. A child’s villains aren’t just people in their lives ,and this book handles it so well.
It has a classic feel that will last through the years but is fresh with ideas that are important to today’s youth.
Highly recommend for young readers both boys and girls.