Don’t Call the Wolf

HarperTeen. Apr. 2020. 512p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062877970.
Gr 9 Up–This novel reimagines the classic Polish story “The Glass Mountain” in a lush new setting that still maintains classic fairy-tale elements. Ren, a young queen, reigns over a forest that is slowly dying and being eaten away by the evil Golden Dragon, who spreads flames and new monsters. Ren works with Lukasz, the last remaining Wolf-Lord, to hunt the dragon and restore peace to her kingdom, while promising to help find the brother Lukasz lost. As the two form an unlikely alliance, each must trust that the other will fulfill their promises, as well as work through their budding feelings toward each other. This book immediately hooks the reader with its dark and twisted scenery and Eastern European stylization. The traditionally inspired creatures seen throughout the story are given modern characteristics while remaining recognizable with their classic names and descriptions. While the world is highly immersive, there are still elements with fewer descriptions, which adds to the magic of the story, but can also cause confusion.
VERDICT In a genre full of retellings, this book sets itself apart with its homage to traditional storytelling. Perfect for fans of S. Jae-Jones’s “Wintersong” duology.

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