Title: A Wolf for a Spell
Author: Karah Sutton
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2020
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this e-copy to review! All opinions are my own.
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.
Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!
Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.” (Goodreads)
This was a fun and adventurous MG! Plus, I really enjoy the illustration of the cover as well as the artwork that was included in the book throughout.
A Wolf for a Spell has different point-of-views that we follow throughout the book: a wolf named Zima, Baba Yaga, and a girl named Nadya. Each of their story connects to one bigger plot that involves the tsar.
I liked each character that was introduced, especially the ones with the PoV. Each one has to make certain choices and some of those choices don’t have great consequences. I liked that Zima was willing to sacrifice a lot for the sake of keeping one of her friends alive. It shows great bravery and friendship to do that.
There are definitely many Baba Yaga retellings throughout the year. I don’t remember reading one so I can’t say how it compares to others but I did enjoy who she was in this particular story.
The plot is very adventurous and the pacing was nice. It wasn’t too fast nor too slow. The setting was pretty enchanting but I do wish there was a bit more setting development.
Overall, I liked this one. It was a good MG and I can see many loving this story especially if they are familiar with Baba Yaga, enjoy a good MG, or like multiple PoVs.