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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid ~ Review

Title: The Wolf and the Woodsman
Author: Ava Reid
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
Number of Pages: 448
Version Read: Kindle ebook
Blurb: 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.

My Review: I really don't know how to start this review since I have many thoughts about it. So my understanding is that this book is about antisemitism and I can sort of see that. It seems like every religion and culture is treated like trash in this story except for the Regyar. The main heroine Evike is part wolf girl and Yehuli. Which is just bad all around apparently. Even the other wolf people treat her like shit because she can't use magic (but she actually can later in the story). 

So the King of Regyar and his adopted second son Nandor just pretty much want to wipe out the wolf people and the Yehuli. Gaspar, who is the King's legitimate son is hated because his mother was Merzani. The Merzani are another hated race of people. There is so much hate in this book. The King has soldiers that are called The Woodsmen and they have to commit to their faith by losing body parts and they have to remain celibate. Most Woodsmen are trained from childhood but Gaspar was basically forced into it when he hit the age of twenty and his father took one of his eyes. Evike and Gaspar are attracted to each other but Gaspar fights against it because he is a Woodsman. They eventually do end up together though. 

This tale was hard to get through just because of all the hate in it. If you can get past that it's a good book. I'm not even going to lie I almost didn't read this book just of all the Twitter drama that she engaged in with several other authors when a certain's author's book was released. That wasn't cool and if they had beef with that author they shouldn't have waited two years to say anything. The fact they did it on her book's release day was really shitty. 

Rating: 3½ stars

*I received an eARC from NetGalley and a finished early copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
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