Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Sara Lewis Holmes
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
The Wolf Hour, by Sara Lewis Holmes is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. The story takes a dark twist, featuring the wolves as the victims. A witch manipulates the classic stories to harvest the magic from wolf bones. Once caught in a story, the "characters" cannot escape. Poor Martin, a young wolf, is caught in the story of the three little pigs, but being a well-educated wolf, has no interest in blowing their houses down. He is mauled by the pigs, who have made a contract with the witch to harvest wolf bones. Meanwhile, Magia, the woodcutters daughter, has the magic to manipulate the stories as well. She makes a deal with the witch, but loathes becoming the murderous woodcutter in the Red Riding Hood story. In the end, Magia must choose her own story to save her family.
This novel is a dark retelling of classic children's fairy tales. An interesting element of the story is how an unknown entity, presumably the storyteller, pulls away from the novel and talks directly to the reader, sounding a bit like a demented witch herself. The ending of the story seemed a little disjointed because many of the plot points remain unresolved. For example, despite Magia's future being a huge concern throughout the novel, the book ends without giving a clear resolution to Magia and her family's future. Another confusing element is that the setting is not made clear. The author also uses several foreign words, which is distracting through the first half of the novel. Google translate reveals several Polish words, which may lead the reader to believe that the story takes place in Poland, however, the location remains unknown.
*Contains mild violence.