“‘Hold my hand, Sophie. We have to leave!’
It was her father’s voice. She couldn’t see him, but she knew, somehow, that his hair was dishevelled and that he was wearing his tatty overcoat, the one with the hem that hung down like a ragger wing. He slipped his hand into hers, clasping it tight, and together they ran through the frozen silver forest.”
13 year old Sophie has very little, she attends New Bloomsbury College for Young Ladies on a scholarship that her guardian, Rosemary, made sure she got so Rosemary didn’t have to actually look after her. Everything in Sophie’s life is plain, just beige, but Rosemary keeps dreaming that there is more to life than this. When a mysterious visiter to the College selects Sophie as a tour guide and then asks the college to send Sophie to St Petersburg to talk her daughter into studying at the college Sophie is overjoyed. She and her best friends set off with the 6th Form Russian class on a journey they will never forget. with their host being the glamorous Princess Anna Volkonskaya, they are whisked away to the Volkonskaya Winter Palace and told of the families lost diamonds and the palaces tragic past.
Oh wow, with a beautiful Russian backdrop and a tragic tale of love and protection The Wolf Princess is a must for any reader who loves being whisked away on an adventure, young or old!
I was sent this book as an unsolicited review copy, with a note telling me that if it wasn’t for me, as its 10 plus and not YA, that was fine, but if I wanted a fascinating story reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe then it was a must read. I wasn’t sure that that was something I did want but as soon as I started reading I knew I would adore this book and I quite literally couldn’t put it down.
The story is amazing. I will admit that it’s outcome is a little predictable but that might have been because I’m a more advanced reader than those its targeted at. Sophie and her friends couldn’t begin to dream about what life in St Petersburg had in store for them and I loved everything that happened as soon as Dr Starova picked them up from the station… This was about 50 pages in and I will admit that before then I was just itching for the good bits to begin because it was just the backdrop we needed to understand Sophie’s past and her life before Russia. As soon as they were met by Dr Starova you could tell there was something strange about her and this is further expelled when Dr Starova just leaves them on a train to be thrown off in the middle of nowhere. I won’t go into much more detail about the plot but the trip to the Winter Palace is an eventful one and the girls’ time there is magical, dangerous and beautiful all at once. With elements of romance, unknown family history, crime and trickery The Wolf Princess captivated me completely.
The characters were lovely, though the three main girls were a little younger than I am used to so it took some getting used to. Sophie was portrayed as plain and average in everyway but this is soon something which we dispel when we see how loyal and trustworthy she is for her friends. Marianne and Delphine are a handful and I think Sophie balances them out so well. Delphine comes across as really stubborn and selfish at times but that is kinda forgotten when she is so lovely when Sophie needs her. Ivan was fantastic and such a wonderful father figure for both the Princess and Sophie as the book goes on, he totally had the lovable butler thing going on! Dimitri was, well, hot… sorry but he was and the relationship that he and Sophie develop is awesome, I really loved how Sophie treated him as a normal guy even though she was basically told he was poverty and a servant for the household. Him and his family were so nice and I loved the idea that they had been there for so many years, keeping the Winter Palace alive even when its owners had pretty much abandoned it! The Princess, well I didn’t trust her from the start, she comes across as kind of sweet old lady with an apple ish (disney reference for you there) even though she’s young and beautiful and I thought she may have been hiding something but I guess she becomes a very interesting character as the story goes on.
I will say that the perfect setting for my reading of this book was definitely my living room on what must have been the coldest day so far this year… I was freezing but I’m not sure if it was my house or the snow and scenery in this book which made me feel so cold! I loved the backdrop to the book and thought it sounded so beautiful, even if it sounded terrible too. The wolves that appear are terrifying but as the story progresses I even loved them and their side of things. I couldn’t fault this book at all and I think its almost like a younger version of a Zoe Marriott book so any fans of her will probably love this!
The Wolf Princess was published on October 4th by Chicken House. My copy was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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