Wolf wilders are almost impossible to spot.
A wolf wilder is not like a lion tamer nor a circus ringmaster: wolf wilders can go their whole lives without laying eyes on a sequin. They look, more or less, like ordinary people.
Published in September 2015 by Bloomsbury Books
Pages - 317
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta
This book is astoundingly beautiful. From the characters through to the story, not forgetting the magical setting. It's the type of book that you will want to keep and reread on a yearly basis.
From the first chapter, I held my heart in my hands and I couldn't let it go until the very end of the book. Such an emotional journey. No one has made me cry as much as this, since Patrick Ness's Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go.
I really enjoyed the Russian setting. I love reading about other countries and cultures and Rundell really brings it too life. I'd never head of a wolf wilder before and now I find myself wanting to learn more about them.
I loved Feo like she was one of my own. She was strong and feisty. There were elements within her that I could see in myself. Just like Feo, I like the quietness, the space and time alone and I felt Feo's happiness when she was with the animals she loved best.
But Feo's life isn't happy for long and it felt like life was continually shooting bullets for her to dodge.
The setting for this book is written in such detail, you can almost feel the ice and snow under your fingertips.
I loved Rundell's writing style. There is a magical quality to her voice. It is brimming with passion and fire as Feo strives to save her mother and her beloved wolves.
A passionate book that shows you how strong the love of an animal can truly be. Definitely one I will be recommending widely.