The Wolf and The Woodsman


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In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. 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.

Reviews for The Wolf and the Woodsman

“Ava Reid paints a rich and complex picture of a kingdom steeped in ancient magic, straining along seams of religious and cultural tension. From the first page to the last, every facet and detail is beautifully wrought. Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut – a powerful and haunting tale of a young woman’s will to live, of love flowering in defiance of tyranny. It will twine like a dark forest around your heart.”

– Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Priory of the Orange Tree

“Ava Reid’s THE WOLF & THE WOODSMAN is a harrowing adventure, set in a harsh, wintry land populated by horrific beasts and hard people. The intricate, imaginative world grabs from the first page, and the landscape is rich, with much to discover. Not all of it is pleasant, as our heroes are doomed to find out.”

– Kendare Blake, #1 NYT bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

Content Warnings for The Wolf and the Woodsman

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  • Gore, including graphic descriptions of dismemberment, amputation, mutilation, and immolation
  • Torture, including whipping
  • Animal death (graphic; the animals are not pets)
  • Self-harm, including self-amputation
  • Antisemitism
  • Cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing
  • Physical abuse by parents and parental figures
  • Graphic descriptions of vomiting