No one spins a story quite the way that Katherine Rundell does. She has taken me on journeys across the rooftops of Paris, deep into the Zimbabwe veldt, and inside the terrorizing tactics of an English boarding school.
Now she sends readers into the vast and frigid Russian forest.
Her stories are based in the real world. But she takes elements from fairy tales and weaves them into a story that is totally fresh and real and somehow magical. Real and yet magical: how is that possible?
The magic is in the wolves, the deep winter snow, and a brave young girl.
Meet young Feodora, known to all as Feo, who lives with her mother in Tsarist Russia. Their woodland cottage is a sanctuary for wolves. These wild animals serve as temporary pets for the wealthy but are ultimately discarded. Feo and her mother, known as the Wolf Wilders, help these abandoned animals return to their true nature.
Wolves became Feo's strongest ally in her quest to find her mother and to restore the dignity of her people. They help her find the the courage to achieve this momentous task.
What Feo learns about courage:
The courage of wolves: what one young girl learns
- Value what you can do. Value what you know. "There will always be things that money cannot buy, things that you have to earn."
- Sometimes the real is more fantastic than the imaginary. "That" said Alexei, surveying their handiwork, "is the stuff that fairy tales are made of."
- A girl on a mission is not to be trifled with. "The set of her chin suggested she might have slain a dragon before breakfast. The look in her eyes suggested she might, in fact, have eaten it."
- Becoming brave is a process. "I don't know where courage comes from. But I do know that if you can scrape together just a bit, more if it comes to you without your trying."
- Think long range. "The future needs our protections: It's a fragile thing."
- Allies can be found in the most unusual places. "It helps to have wolves on your side."
- Always work for what matters the most. "We have the land in our blood and fire in our feet, and we're coming to change our stories forever."