The Mad Wolf's Daughter
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home.One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend.Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?

The Mad Wolf's Daughter Details

TitleThe Mad Wolf's Daughter
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 6th, 2018
PublisherKathy Dawson Books
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction

The Mad Wolf's Daughter Review

  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you just want to read a book that knows how to run.There are many way to define the term “great writing” as it applies to children’s literature. Eloquent. Ennobling. Distinguished. These terms all work. Here’s another one. Booooooooring! Tell me you didn’t read at least one book as a child deemed a “great work of literature” only to find yourself snoring by page four. We’ve all been there. I do believe that there is a mistaken understanding out there that the slower a novel moves, whet Sometimes you just want to read a book that knows how to run.There are many way to define the term “great writing” as it applies to children’s literature. Eloquent. Ennobling. Distinguished. These terms all work. Here’s another one. Booooooooring! Tell me you didn’t read at least one book as a child deemed a “great work of literature” only to find yourself snoring by page four. We’ve all been there. I do believe that there is a mistaken understanding out there that the slower a novel moves, whether it is for children, teens, or adults, the more worthy it must be in terms of literary achievement. Lest we forget, books with speed and velocity on their side can contain just as much emotional resonance as even the slowest of tomes. To back up this claim I present you with today’s book. It may be set in 13th century Scotland, the land of bogs, but nothing in Diane Magras’s high-spirited tale is ever (forgive me) bogged down. Fast on its feet, never slowing, never stopping to catch its breath, and yet filled to the brim with complex character development and personal growth, Magras pulls off one of the trickiest conjuring tricks I’ve seen. Behold! A book able to pull depth and meaning out of frenzy. Come one! Come all! You never saw the like.12-year-old Drest is small and female, but underestimate her at your peril. She’s a canny lass, living as she does with her war-band brothers and her father, called The Mad Wolf. But even a canny child can be caught unawares. Without warning Drest’s father and brothers are captured by invading knights while she escapes unscathed. Left alone with one of the knights (wounded by one of his own) the girl cooks up a plan to exchange the man for her family. That means trekking off to Faintree Castle, a journey fraught with peril. Along the way Drest makes allies (the boy Tig with his crow Mordag and the accused witch/healer Merewen) and enemies (a ruthless bandit bent on pursuing Drest, a mob of villagers) alike. On her side Drest has stamina, cunning, and strength enough for all her companions. Yet she still has a lot to learn about the world, about her herself, and even about the family she believes to be so just. An Author’s Note at the back contains extensive information about the state of Scotland in 1210, Feudalism and Village Life, Women, Healing, Castles, Swords, The Landscape, and even the basis behind The Characters’ Names.I wasn’t kidding before when I said that this book moves at a sharp clip. My six-year-old daughter has taken to watching me as I read middle grade novels for 9-12 year olds, asking every 30 seconds or so, “So what’s happening now?” (apparently actually reading the book to her is out of the question). With most stories that amount of time wouldn’t yield a lot of change. With this book, I honestly had new information to impart with every update. Then I read ahead 30 pages or so, so when she asked for a summary I had to tell her about the rescued boy with the crow and the witch who’s about to be burned and the bandit that almost catches them and more and more and more. All in 30 pages! Considering the fact that the book could potentially have come across as a long slog across the Scottish countryside, the fact that Magras is able to zip the reader from point to point effortlessly without sacrificing character development along the way is more than admirable. There is another way in which the writer is able to keep the book moving. As an author, Magras utilizes a clever trick to keep the reader from dwelling too long in Drest’s head alone. To guide her choices (and her chances) Drest imagines the voices of her brothers and father in times of strife. What this means for the reader is a continually amusing, and very comforting (in its way) stream of advice and counter advice from men that won’t always agree with one another, even if they’re merely imaginary. And you’re certainly not bored.Writers are often told that you should create characters with agency, and that reject passivity as part of their hero’s journey. Usually the hero will hear the call, reject the call, and then find something inside of themselves that makes them follow the call. Drest isn’t really like that. Pretty much from the get-go she is determined to use Emerick (the knight) to get to Faintree Castle to rescue her family. There are some moments later on when she feels a bit down, but at no point does there come a time when she thinks better of this plan. It’s interesting to be placed so squarely inside the head of someone with so few doubts. Of course, that’s Magras’s secret plan on the sly. Drest at first is steadfast in her vision of right and wrong. Then, through a series of events, she comes to doubt everything she took for granted.One of the central themes of the book is the question of morality in the face of family loyalty. Separated for the first time in her life from her brothers and father, Drest encounters but the outward perception of her family by the masses. In some cases villagers are sympathetic towards her on behalf of what they owe her family. In other cases, quite the opposite is the case. As she collects stories about her family’s actions, some are true and some are not but it is often impossible to distinguish. This places Magras in a tricky situation. If Drest’s family really does consist of true brigands, then the only solution is to permanently separate her from them in some way by the story’s end. So the author must play it both ways. The family must be vindicated for the most part, but be guilty of some kind of horrid crime as well. Drest’s father, it turns out, admits to some innocent deaths, albeit unintentional ones. So Magras is able to maintain the theme of Drest learning that her family is fallible while also keeping her with them (for the time being). I won’t say it’s flawless, of course. Few books for kids are, let alone debuts. So I was, admittedly, somewhat baffled by the fact that at no point Drest (or anyone else for that matter) raises any questions about of her mother, except for a very brief mention that she never knew her (or, it is implied, cared to). Yet for a story set in 1210, it is strange that no mention comes of Drest’s closest familial relation. Mind you, the ample Author’s Note at the back does a very good job of distinguishing the roles of different kinds of matrons and maidens in the medieval era. Readers can read into those what they will. Or just assume that Ms. Magras is saving the info for a future book in the series.I was trying to think of books similar to this one and a title that sprang immediately to mind was Tamora Pierce’s Alanna: The First Adventure. When it comes to girl-with-sword tales, nobody tops the Pierce. Yet as I thought about it I came to slowly realize the pop culture character that sits even closer to Drest’s soul. Rey from the new Star Wars films wield a light saber and not a sword, but deep down she and Drest are mighty similar. So to the librarians of the world I say this: Know a Star Wars girl hungry for some strong female characters? Hand them this, hand them Alanna, hand them The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and then just keep on going. Girls with swords unite!You know what’s hot this year? The 13th and 14th centuries in Europe. Boy, kids today that hunger for a little horse dung and serfdom are certainly in their element this year. Between this book and the also charming The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, I don’t think I’ve seen Medieval life encapsulated so beautifully and so frequently. This book, being historical fiction, has a distinct disadvantage when held up alongside Murdock’s book or The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz. I might be wrong but there’s not a single heavenly body in disguise on any of these pages. Kids sometimes get the impression that historical fiction is dull on some level. To those kids I hand Drest. Dirty. Filthy. Dead set. Warrior. Drest. A book for those kids that yearn for adventure, as well as children that would prefer their adventures to be played out by somebody else. By the end of this book Drest learns that “sometimes words alone can save your life.” The words on these pages may bear that out. A magnificent debut.For ages 9-12.
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  • Jen Naughton
    January 1, 1970
    After reading some "happy sigh" books lately, I'm tempted to turn this into a "happy sigh" book only blog. I mean, why waste time with ho-hum regular books when you can enter another time for a few hours and emerge with a "happy sigh"? The last fifty pages of this book were me reading as slowly as possible so it wouldn't end. Before this adventure, Drest trained to be as tough as her five brothers and father named, "Mad Wolf." She believed all their one-sided war stories completely. When a band After reading some "happy sigh" books lately, I'm tempted to turn this into a "happy sigh" book only blog. I mean, why waste time with ho-hum regular books when you can enter another time for a few hours and emerge with a "happy sigh"? The last fifty pages of this book were me reading as slowly as possible so it wouldn't end. Before this adventure, Drest trained to be as tough as her five brothers and father named, "Mad Wolf." She believed all their one-sided war stories completely. When a band of knights captures all of them, Drest is left alone to save them. During their capture, she sees one knight attack another and then leaves him for dead. This is her first glimpse into the reality that not everyone is who they say they are. Along with the injured knight, who may or may not be her new friend, she attempts to rescue her family. The story isn't just an adventure, in many ways, it is a coming of age story as Drest learns more about her family and some of the terrible things they have done in the name of war. Even in medieval days deciding that you aren't going to behave like your family is an unsettling part of growing up.Drest and her adventures held me spellbound, and for the time I was reading, I felt immersed in medieval Scotland. The Authors Notes and Glossary show how meticulously accurate this story is. I'm wishing for a sequel or better yet a series featuring Drest, a fierce, fair, female knight.Verdict- Buy- Especially all you homeschoolers. We're just starting our middle-ages year, and this fits perfectly into a living book list for grammar or logic stage history. It's not too young for high schoolers either if you need something light to balance out some original source reading.I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lola Reviewer
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t find anything about this story original.It’s the sort of over-published book you find in your packed boxes two years after moving into your new home. You take it out of the box, as you finally decided to unpack some of the old stuff (yay you!), and you can’t help but ask yourself, ‘‘Ugh, why did I buy this in the first place? It seemed like such a good idea at the time but it’s so not worth the money it cost.’’It begins in a confusing way: there are enemies invading Drest’s father’s terr I don’t find anything about this story original.It’s the sort of over-published book you find in your packed boxes two years after moving into your new home. You take it out of the box, as you finally decided to unpack some of the old stuff (yay you!), and you can’t help but ask yourself, ‘‘Ugh, why did I buy this in the first place? It seemed like such a good idea at the time but it’s so not worth the money it cost.’’It begins in a confusing way: there are enemies invading Drest’s father’s territory and her whole family is being kidnapped. Who are they? We don’t know. Why? We don’t know. It sounds straight-forward when I explain it, but the reading part is different, especially since we know nothing about the characters in the beginning. It was too much, too soon. But anyway, Drest, the passionate and overconfident girl that she is, decides to journey for six days to a castle in order to bring her family back with the hope that they are still alive by the time she gets there. I’m fine with this sort of story arc, regardless of the fact that it’s been done a thousand times before. I don’t think I could ever get tired of characters setting off to an unknown place to save their family, friends or loved ones, because it is such a noble course of action. These storylines keep you guessing, usually, and they can be emotional and even fun to witness.But for that to happen, the one doing the search must be determined (Drest is), have a great sidekick (Drest doesn’t) and make us care for the ones needing a rescue team (of which Drest does a so-so job). We barely start to get to know Drest’s father and brothers when they suddenly disappear. And while it was charming for Drest to hear the voices of her family members in her head at first, it became unnecessary after some time. Her thoughts are often… not her own. She is traveling with an enemy knight, supposedly her captive, but more like a companion is my opinion. I enjoyed the writing style as well as the short and structured chapters. I felt like this story was indeed going somewhere and I had no problem following Drest’s adventure once it began. However, I could not bring myself to care very much for Drest herself, her brothers or her father, who we quickly learn is not who she thought he was. It also takes a while for us to even learn why he was taken in the first place. Normally I could accept that, but I truly was confused in the beginning. No one invades another territory and takes captives without a reason in mind. Last thing: Am I the only one who was disappointed to learn that this is in no way connected to the Big Bad Wolf?Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Sarah Glenn Marsh
    January 1, 1970
    If you're looking for action, adventure, and lots of heart in a story helmed by a strong young warrior, this is an absolute must-read!!!THIS is the book I longed for when I was younger, and was still longing for until an early copy landed in my hands. And it not only lived up to my long-held hopes; it smashed and surpassed them, delivering an unforgettable story of family, friendship, and bravery. I loved every page!
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  • Diane Magras
    January 1, 1970
    NewsSo here's a bit of news:I got my first author copy!!!Here it is, in all its glory, on a saltire, no less, with a claymore letter opener (I know, I know, it's a sword from the wrong era, but it's Scottish and it's what I have on hand):And then there's also this lovely piece, a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which states:"Empathetic, bold, and entirely herself at a time when women were dismissed as weak, Drest shines in this fast-paced adventure."The book will be in print in a bit mor NewsSo here's a bit of news:I got my first author copy!!!Here it is, in all its glory, on a saltire, no less, with a claymore letter opener (I know, I know, it's a sword from the wrong era, but it's Scottish and it's what I have on hand):And then there's also this lovely piece, a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which states:"Empathetic, bold, and entirely herself at a time when women were dismissed as weak, Drest shines in this fast-paced adventure."The book will be in print in a bit more than a month, and I'm feeling quite honored and humbled by all this.***This was quite something to see on Publishers Weekly:"If the promotional language on ARCs was universally accurate we should all need larger bookstores, that’s certain, but if any galley were to be held up as a model of truth in advertising it is The Mad Wolf's Daughter by Diane Magras. And yet the character of the book transcends the simple truth of its descriptors."Why? A rising tide lifts all boats, they say, and it is apropos to storytelling as well. A great story elevates all its constituent parts. Sure, it’s true that The Mad Wolf's Daughter is a middle grade fantasy with feminist elements, a strong young heroine, an informed exploration of relevant social issues, and the transposition of established gender roles, but it is the book’s great storytelling that makes all its components shine."Here's the full review.***So I have a new cover. Isn't my wee lass absolutely…well…tough as steel? (She'd whack me with that sword if I called her anything else.)Art by the incredible Antonio Javier Caparo.A bit of the text is changing from the ARC too, with a tweaks to a couple of scenes. So, with the map (in progress; I'll share it when I can, but I saw the first draft today and it is BEAUTIFUL!) and those tweaks, there will be some new material for readers, even if you've snagged an ARC.And that, the final version, will be in print four months from Monday!Want to be up in the news of what's happening with the book, read my writing prompts for students, or take a glimpse of my beloved Scotland? I've a blog in in which I do all that and more, and for that you may sign up here!***The ARCs are in!And here's a wee pic of those lovelies…It's truly an incredible feeling to holds my very first book (even in ARC form) in my hands. The feeling is pretty much a mix of awe, wonder, delight, and utter gratitude for the work of my incredible editor.And for something else to send a shiver of delight down my spine: Said editor send me these lovely snippets of advanced praise not long before the ARCs were printed:I hope other readers enjoy it as much as these two heroic authors did!
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  • K.A.
    January 1, 1970
    If you're looking for a strong MG female heroine, Drest, from The Mad Wolf's Daughter, is it! I loved this fast-paced Scottish Medieval adventure of sword and legend. Can't recommend it enough!!!
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This debut historical fiction middle grade novel is a fast-paced, page turning adventure! Drest's strong 'voice' was refreshing & the plot line intricially woven with lots of twists and turns!
  • Amanda Rawson Hill
    January 1, 1970
    This book will suck you in. Drest is a kick butt female heroine who also wields the weapon of mercy even when it's hard. I loved it.
  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    There are so many things I loved about this medieval middle grade novel; the historical Scottish setting, the fast paced action, the strong main character, Drest. The attention to historical detail was quite fascinating to read and I learned a lot I didn't know about this particular time period, especially with the author's note at the end. Drest is a fiery lass and her dedication to her family and relationship with her brothers is what endeared me to her. This is a perfect book for middle grade There are so many things I loved about this medieval middle grade novel; the historical Scottish setting, the fast paced action, the strong main character, Drest. The attention to historical detail was quite fascinating to read and I learned a lot I didn't know about this particular time period, especially with the author's note at the end. Drest is a fiery lass and her dedication to her family and relationship with her brothers is what endeared me to her. This is a perfect book for middle grade readers looking for great fiction based in real history.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book, and was so happy because I've been looking forward to it ever since I first saw that cover. Here is my honest review:What a page turner! An epic adventure through a vivid world, I enjoyed every minute of this book. Drest is a fantastic character, strong and fierce and full of determination, yet still vulnerable, still a girl left fully on her own for the first time. I loved watching her grow, from frightened and uncertain, trying to imagine what her family would d I received an ARC of this book, and was so happy because I've been looking forward to it ever since I first saw that cover. Here is my honest review:What a page turner! An epic adventure through a vivid world, I enjoyed every minute of this book. Drest is a fantastic character, strong and fierce and full of determination, yet still vulnerable, still a girl left fully on her own for the first time. I loved watching her grow, from frightened and uncertain, trying to imagine what her family would do, to a legend in her own right. Can't wait for the sequel!
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    5/5 for Mad Wolf's Daughter by @dianemagras; thanks to @PenguinKids for sending me this book to share with the @kidlitexchange network (#partner). All opinions are my own._*_*_*_*_*Swipe for the back!_*_*_*_*_*Wow! I completely inhaled this historical fiction tale set in medieval Scotland. Magras is a master at character development; I was strongly attached to Drest, Emerick, the enemy knight she takes captive and eventually befriends, and Tig, the young lad who helps them on their quest. When I 5/5 for Mad Wolf's Daughter by @dianemagras; thanks to @PenguinKids for sending me this book to share with the @kidlitexchange network (#partner). All opinions are my own._*_*_*_*_*Swipe for the back!_*_*_*_*_*Wow! I completely inhaled this historical fiction tale set in medieval Scotland. Magras is a master at character development; I was strongly attached to Drest, Emerick, the enemy knight she takes captive and eventually befriends, and Tig, the young lad who helps them on their quest. When I saw that both Karen Cushman and Kristin Cashore (Graeling! still one of my faves!) had blurbed for this one, I knew I had to read it despite that it's a genre outside my usual comfort zone. I AM SO GLAD. Drest is possibly the bravest, kindest, most daring heroine I've seen in a long time. Her feats are awesome, but also completely believable and the imagined inner narrative she has with her captured older brothers is just wonderful. I read this in less than a day and raced through the last two thirds. I even cried! Let's just say I often find that reading these middle grade books as a parent makes me especially sensitive to parent-child scenes. Does that happen to any of my fellow adult friends who read middle grade books? Do not miss this book! It is a must-buy for all elementary and middle school libraries. I can't wait to put it in my historical fiction section and I'm really glad I read it because I do think it's one that will need a bit of booktalking to start flying off the shelf. _*_*_*_*_*#kidlitexchange
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  • Juliana Brandt
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot say enough about The Mad Wolf's Daughter. I read this in one sitting, and much later, I'm still vibrating with the excitement and perfection that is this book. I wish...ack, I wish I'd had this book as a kid! This is Alanna, but in a world and family where Alanna hadn't needed to disguise herself as a boy. Where Alanna could, unquestioningly, be herself from start to finish. And be taken *seriously* as a force from start to finish.This is what angers me: that often in fiction, we must d I cannot say enough about The Mad Wolf's Daughter. I read this in one sitting, and much later, I'm still vibrating with the excitement and perfection that is this book. I wish...ack, I wish I'd had this book as a kid! This is Alanna, but in a world and family where Alanna hadn't needed to disguise herself as a boy. Where Alanna could, unquestioningly, be herself from start to finish. And be taken *seriously* as a force from start to finish.This is what angers me: that often in fiction, we must disguise boys as girls to allow them to *do* anything.It is terrible how that trope erases so many children, how it trains them to think that they cannot do miraculous things, cannot *be themselves* unless they pretend to be something they're not. Yes, sure, some worlds (our world, I know) do not allow females to be empowered as they are. But too, there are ways to subvert this! THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER does it brilliantly and cleverly, and oh how my whole heart is in love with Drest's family for this very reason.Drest has teeth. Clever teeth. Brave teeth. Teeth she sinks into conflict that she should not win, and yet, she finds a way to do so! I cheered for her from start to finish, and was unreasonably thrilled to watch her take ownership of the shape of her heart at the end. And when I got to the end and found hints of a sequel layered in, I shouted from the couch, "YES, MORE DREST!" I am going to be shoving this book into the hands of every Middle Grade-reading kid I know.*sighs happily forever*
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  • Avery (Book Deviant)
    January 1, 1970
    See more of my reviews on my blog the Book DeviantThere is just something about middle grade novels that makes me feel so happy and safe and I just can't get enough of them. The Mad Wolf's Daughter is no exception. I read the entirety of the novel in less than a day, so engrossed in the story that I just had to finish it then and there. It was a fun read, but that doesn't stop the story from being meaningful. It gave me nostalgia for Ranger's Apprentice, and makes me want to read more MG at the See more of my reviews on my blog the Book DeviantThere is just something about middle grade novels that makes me feel so happy and safe and I just can't get enough of them. The Mad Wolf's Daughter is no exception. I read the entirety of the novel in less than a day, so engrossed in the story that I just had to finish it then and there. It was a fun read, but that doesn't stop the story from being meaningful. It gave me nostalgia for Ranger's Apprentice, and makes me want to read more MG at the moment.I really enjoyed the story. It was straight-forward, but Magras added enough twists and turns throughout the narrative so that it didn't seem that way. The count down had me at the edge of my seat, and Drest's adventures on the way to save her family were very heartwarming and entertaining. I love how Drest was so adamant to follow her father's code, despite her father not even being there. Each twist of the plot was because Drest chose to be a good person, putting others before herself and her needs. Even when it would have benefited her to walk away, Drest recognized that something was wrong and that it had to be remedied.Each character was very entertaining and lovable. I probably loved Drest and her relationship with Emerick (the injured knight) the most, mainly because there was no forced romance between them. I was so thankful for that, because the friendship that develops between the two of them is beautiful. I especially enjoyed Tig as well, with Merewen coming in a close second.The last thing I want to mention is that ending!!! I was honestly shocked, and hadn't been expecting it, so I was emotional for a little while? But I especially loved how it ended, and how Drest took things into her own hands.Final Rating: ★★★★★Overall?I really need to read more middle grade. The Mad Wolf's Daughter is an amazingly fun novel that was full of twists and turns. I love how it centered friendship and doing what's right, while also standing up for yourself. Magras focused on important lessons while also making the story fun and interesting.Would I Recommend?Yes! Especially if you're looking for middle grade fantasies. I really hope Magras decides to write a sequel, because the ending was left very open for the possibility. If there is one, you can bet that I'll snatch it up with no hesitation.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the rare books that lives up to the hype. It would have been a five-star book if the ending had been more of an ending and not felt like it was just a convenient stopping place. Drest, though, is an amazing character and her companions, Tig and Emerick, are worthy co-adventurers. The three face danger, betrayal and menace on their journey, but they also experience people at their best and most helpful. I'm always a fan of a girl-with-sword novel and this is a strong entry in that This is one of the rare books that lives up to the hype. It would have been a five-star book if the ending had been more of an ending and not felt like it was just a convenient stopping place. Drest, though, is an amazing character and her companions, Tig and Emerick, are worthy co-adventurers. The three face danger, betrayal and menace on their journey, but they also experience people at their best and most helpful. I'm always a fan of a girl-with-sword novel and this is a strong entry in that sub-genre and, I hope, the opening to an equally strong series.
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  • Laura Mossa
    January 1, 1970
    A very special thanks to Diane Magras for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of The Mad Wolf's Daughter. It publishes on March 6, 2018. All opinions are my own.Wee lass Drest and her family are attacked by knights from Faintree Castle.  Drest desperately wants to join her father, Mad Wolf of the North and her five brothers in this battle, but Mad Wolf orders her to hide. She witnesses her family bound, captured, and sailing away from her.  Her only hope of finding her family is a you A very special thanks to Diane Magras for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of The Mad Wolf's Daughter. It publishes on March 6, 2018. All opinions are my own.Wee lass Drest and her family are attacked by knights from Faintree Castle.  Drest desperately wants to join her father, Mad Wolf of the North and her five brothers in this battle, but Mad Wolf orders her to hide. She witnesses her family bound, captured, and sailing away from her.  Her only hope of finding her family is a young knight named Emerick who Drest witnessed being attacked by one of his own men.  She strikes a deal with Emerick to take him to Faintree Castle and in return, he will release one of her brothers, although Drest plans to rescue her entire family.Throughout their journey, Drest hears tales of her family's brutality from Emerick, which she does not believe to be true.  In addition, a bandit by the name of Jupp shares his own story of her father's cruelty.  Drest begins to realizes that words are strong weapons because not only is she beginning to doubt her family but also she is struggling to figure out her own identity. Can a warrior be brave and kind?The Mad Wolf's Daughter is an adventure that has action and heart.  With each chapter, Diane Magras kept me on the edge both excited and afraid to read on.  I absolutely love Drest who learns that you can't always control our own legend, and sometimes words not swords can save lives.
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    “Sometimes words alone can save your life.” I received an ARC from Penguin Young Readers Group for a fair review and a blog tour.The StoryWhat an exciting story about 12 year old Drest as she journeys to save her family after she is the sole survivor of a raid that has taken them captive. I think my favorite part about this book was that when she was processing a situation it wasn’t told in a way that she was thinking it out…even though she was. In multiple scenarios Drest imagined her various “Sometimes words alone can save your life.” I received an ARC from Penguin Young Readers Group for a fair review and a blog tour.The StoryWhat an exciting story about 12 year old Drest as she journeys to save her family after she is the sole survivor of a raid that has taken them captive. I think my favorite part about this book was that when she was processing a situation it wasn’t told in a way that she was thinking it out…even though she was. In multiple scenarios Drest imagined her various brothers giving her advice on how to handle the situation. Even though it was her own thoughts it reflected how much of her own training came from each of her brothers and dad, but also how she herself branched off as her own courageous person.The story itself had consistent pacing that started off in a way that sets the vibe that Drest is the youngest and not the most experienced. By the end she has grown, learned, and experienced so much more that she has readily earned the appreciation from the whole war band. The book is an ode to little girls who can be just as brave as any boy.The World BuildingThough the story itself isn’t an epic fantasy I felt that I could easily escape into the world. Through the language the characters used, to the subtle descriptions of the surrounding, weaponry, attire, and even the actions of the towns people, I was able to imagine the world that Drest was traveling through. There were only a few times that I thought the scenario a stretch, but for the most part I thought it all a story that is entirely plausible.The end of the book included a glossary as well as an author’s note that included research that would help any young reader understand with background information about historical Scotland and even where inspiration from names came from.The CharactersI am only going to express my love for our hero Drest here. What a tough cookie! I love that though she may let some people assume she was a boy, she still was proud to be a girl and to not let it affect her concept of her abilities. Never once did she think that she couldn’t accomplish such an impossible task because of her sex or even her age. Even though she had never gone off to battle herself, she thought herself just as much a part of her fathers war band just as any other brother of hers, declaring herself to be a legend. She is such a brave and snarky character that you can’t help but cheer her on.The SoundtrackPhil Good – Better Blog | Bookstagram | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Amy Graham
    January 1, 1970
    A strong female protagonist in a medieval Scottish setting, what's not to love? Really can't wait to recommend this to my students.
  • Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    Drest is an absolutely marvelous character who will stick with readers for a long time. An adventure story with family as a central theme, this book has a classic feel. Highly recommended!
  • A.M. Morgen
    January 1, 1970
    Medieval historical fiction for kids is a very small genre, but is inhabited by some of the giants of kidlit like Avi and Karen Cushman. The Mad Wolf's Daughter is a worthy addition to this group, especially because of how it resists traditional gender norms while not sugarcoating the violence and danger of the time period. Drest is the only daughter of the Mad Wolf, the fearsome leader of a family of fighters. When the Mad Wolf and his sons are captured, Drest is able to escape. The rest of the Medieval historical fiction for kids is a very small genre, but is inhabited by some of the giants of kidlit like Avi and Karen Cushman. The Mad Wolf's Daughter is a worthy addition to this group, especially because of how it resists traditional gender norms while not sugarcoating the violence and danger of the time period. Drest is the only daughter of the Mad Wolf, the fearsome leader of a family of fighters. When the Mad Wolf and his sons are captured, Drest is able to escape. The rest of the book follows her daring journey to rescue her family. Along the way, she is challenged in every single capacity. The plot is exciting, but the real star of the show is Drest. She's a very complicated character who mostly carries the book on her own. She's also one of the fiercest, strongert, most determined main characters I've ever seen. She is literally carrying one of the other characters for most of the book.The extensive author notes at the end are a great wealth of information and the author is meticulous in her research. The only thing that disappointed me about this novel is that it's not based on a real character or real events. It doesn't diminish the story in any way, but I wish Drest were real because she feels so real to me!
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  • ❇Critterbee
    January 1, 1970
    Drest is awesome - strong, smart, fierce and determined. She hops right into action and does not flinch from doing what is right even if it is terrifying and difficult. She is tough, doesn't give up, and is supported by all of her brother's voices in her head throughout her journey. The pacing is frantic, full of peril, the adventure doesn't stop. It is refreshing to see such a strong heroine fighting tooth-and-nail for who she loves. She makes mistakes, but she always tries to do what she belie Drest is awesome - strong, smart, fierce and determined. She hops right into action and does not flinch from doing what is right even if it is terrifying and difficult. She is tough, doesn't give up, and is supported by all of her brother's voices in her head throughout her journey. The pacing is frantic, full of peril, the adventure doesn't stop. It is refreshing to see such a strong heroine fighting tooth-and-nail for who she loves. She makes mistakes, but she always tries to do what she believes to be true and correct.There were a few things that I did not love. In the beginning, when her family is taken, I thought it odd that none of her brothers would take her warning seriously, as she saw the knights coming to attack well in advance and repeatedly told them that danger was coming. Also, Drest's Father had told her to be strong, 'for she was not like the frail women and girls that his code had sworn them to protect...' It's not enough that so many books today have that lead heroine who is 'not like other women', do we have to have this in middle grade fiction as well? Full of action, a bit disjointed, lovely heroine.*eARC Netgalley*
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  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I don’t have the words to review this book the way it deserves to be reviewed. I can tell you it’s one of my top favorites of the year. I can tell you Drest is a character I’ve needed to know, and #MGlit has needed as well. I can tell you I’ve never enjoyed a book set in a medieval time period, of any genre, until now. And I can tell you that this is a rare gem of a book that young readers interested in historical, adventurous stories will LOVE. I’m sad to see it end (I’ve been lingering ov Wow. I don’t have the words to review this book the way it deserves to be reviewed. I can tell you it’s one of my top favorites of the year. I can tell you Drest is a character I’ve needed to know, and #MGlit has needed as well. I can tell you I’ve never enjoyed a book set in a medieval time period, of any genre, until now. And I can tell you that this is a rare gem of a book that young readers interested in historical, adventurous stories will LOVE. I’m sad to see it end (I’ve been lingering over it for days), but I will eagerly anticipate more of Drest’s adventures.
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  • Sabrina Fox
    January 1, 1970
    Drest has never been off of her homeland, but one night when she wakes to see that her and her family are being invaded, she has no choice but to leave in order to save her father and her brother's who've been taken back to Faintree Castle to be hanged.Accompanied by a left-behind knight, a boy named Tig and his pet raven, and her brother's voices in her head when she needs advice the most, they make their way towards the castle braving bandits and other great dangers along the way.The medieval Drest has never been off of her homeland, but one night when she wakes to see that her and her family are being invaded, she has no choice but to leave in order to save her father and her brother's who've been taken back to Faintree Castle to be hanged.Accompanied by a left-behind knight, a boy named Tig and his pet raven, and her brother's voices in her head when she needs advice the most, they make their way towards the castle braving bandits and other great dangers along the way.The medieval Scottish setting and language was what made the story for me. I loved hearing Drest and her brothers use slang that that area uses. Not only that, but I was really glad about how Drest's character was written. She went from a small scared child hiding out on a cliff, to chasing after her family's captors and braving things no child should have to endure in their lifetime. The character development in Drest was top-notch, and I really would like to read another book starring her. A girl can hope!
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  • Kim Chance
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely adored this book! Drest is such a fierce heroine and I loved all the action and adventure! I'm a huge fan of medieval Scottish literature, and this book was verra pleasing!! I highly recommend!
  • DaNae
    January 1, 1970
    This was great, good fun. The execution may have been a bit rocky, and I'd like to have felt more attachments, within the relationships. It is unclear that there might be more.
  • Ariana
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*This turned out to be quite a charming and enjoyable read. The general concept of the novel is very traditional, but it is spiced up by many unique elements and plot twists that Magras employs throughout. I had such a fun time following the journey of this brave young warrior and her friends. The story mixes danger, mystery, and intrigue with warmth, love, and friendship Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*This turned out to be quite a charming and enjoyable read. The general concept of the novel is very traditional, but it is spiced up by many unique elements and plot twists that Magras employs throughout. I had such a fun time following the journey of this brave young warrior and her friends. The story mixes danger, mystery, and intrigue with warmth, love, and friendship to create a highly immersive read. With solid characters, a well-written narrative, and plenty of action and adventure, it is incredibly easy to fall in love with this tale.In this novel, we follow a young Scottish girl named Drest, who’s life is turned upside-down when her father and brothers are captured and taken to the prison at the nearby Faintree Castle. After these knights invade her home, Drest barely escapes the hostility brought upon her family, be she is the only one to do so. Therefore, she is thrown into an unexpected adventure, and must find the courage deep within herself in order to save the ones she loves the most. Trusting one of the wounded knights to lead her to the castle, she draws strength from the encouraging voices of her five brothers that she hears in her head. Joined early on by a young boy named Tig, the unlikely trio soon become comrades, as they fight through the many perils that lie ahead of them.However, not everything is as it seems, and the indiscretions of the war-band—her family—are beginning to come to light. This leaves Drest questioning not only who she should put her trust in and whether her family should actually be freed, but also who she is. Despite the obstacles she fights through along the way, the most challenging part of her journey might in fact be at the very end.I found this to be a very captivating and fast-paced story, and I fell into it very easily. It hooked me right from the start, as we are thrown directly into the action. And the characters were a very high point of the novel. Drest is an incredibly strong heroine and a fantastic model of bravery, both physically and mentally. She develops very realistically throughout the course of the narrative, starting off much more timid and unsure of her abilities and steadily blossoming into a true warrior. A multi-dimensional and dynamic character, Drest is truly the driving force in this novel. I would have liked to have seen the relationships between the characters developed a bit more than they were, particularly the war-band. We get a fairly good idea of their personalities as the story unfolds, but I think that area could have been focused on slightly more. This was by no means a huge detriment to the story, but I feel as though that would connect the reader even more to the characters, their relationships, and how those elements are tested throughout the narrative.As far as the writing itself goes, I thought this novel was beautifully written. Magras really has a way with words—everything flowed perfectly and carried me quickly and smoothly through the story. Her writing suits the target age range for this novel so well. She words things very intelligently and clearly. The text is not pared down so far that it comes across as too basic or simple, but it never feels as if it would be too difficult for young readers to understand. She expertly wrote in a style that challenges but would not confuse a middle grade audience.Magras also does a fantastic job of accurately building the setting of this Scottish headland and beyond. Every detail is not only clearly depicted, everything is very realistic. The backdrop of this story is full of depth and history. In the same vein, the language used feels spot-on for both the time and location, and you can tell the effort and research she put into this aspect of the narrative. The slang used, the way all the characters address one another, it all feels authentic and immerses you deeply in the story. I had no trouble both transporting myself into the world and hearing every line of dialogue with the accompanying Scottish accent.The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is a very well-crafted and enchanting story of the strength and courage one can find within oneself in the face of adversity. Though it is targeted at a younger audience, I believe that readers of any age will be able to take an interest in this novel. The messages that radiate from this story are very positive and enlightening. It is sure to teach a middle grade reader important lessons about the warrior we all have inside of us. This is full of heart, and is a wonderfully wholesome and exciting fantasy that young readers will surely eat up.
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  • Vicke Denniston
    January 1, 1970
    WowI pre-ordered this book from the description, something I rarely do unless I know the author or it's a series. I was not disappointed in the least. I'll be even happier if I find she'll write more
  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    Great adventure story with a fantastic female heroine. If you like the Inquisitor's Tale, give this a try.
  • Krysta
    January 1, 1970
    The book is a largely random collection of incidents that happen as Drest journeys to free her father and brothers. Each time they enter a village, Drest saves someone and makes a scene. The other characters like to go on about how she is a legend, but I fail to understand how something like fighting a band of boys who hold sticks and one spear counts as particularly legendary or heroic; she may be one against six, but she has a real weapon and she has been trained to use it. Her other legendary The book is a largely random collection of incidents that happen as Drest journeys to free her father and brothers. Each time they enter a village, Drest saves someone and makes a scene. The other characters like to go on about how she is a legend, but I fail to understand how something like fighting a band of boys who hold sticks and one spear counts as particularly legendary or heroic; she may be one against six, but she has a real weapon and she has been trained to use it. Her other legendary events have her facing greater odds and adults, but she escapes too easily and cleanly each time for it to feel like she is ever in a real or dangerous fight.The setting is supposed to be 13th century Scotland. However, the place names and characters are all made up, so the setting ultimately feels generically medieval. There is feudalism, people fight with swords, and villagers fear witches--all stuff I could find in any medieval-esque work.The characters are not particularly memorable, either. Drest is notable mostly for her tendency to think with her brothers' voices in her head--a trick meant, I suppose, to make readers feel that they know the brothers and thus care about their capture. It just ends up making Drest look slightly unhinged. Tig, her companion, is all but a nonentity even though he has a trained crow and claims he is a witch; he reads as "generic companion boy inserted because the protagonist is female and we want a balanced team to lead this book." The other main character does nothing but get faint, complain about pain and hunger, and get carried around by stronger people; he is basically the Steve Trevor of the story.The book sets itself up for a sequel, but this book bored me, so I don't have plans to read it. I'm a little baffled by all the positive reviews I have seen. Many people seem enchanted by the "strong female lead" and the idea that a girl can be a knight in a story, but I think that we're at a point in children's literature where female characters who carry swords actually are not that uncommon, so that alone can hardly make the book worth reading.
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  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    What a great book! Drest is such a fierce lass, full of heart and courage and an intrepid fighter's attitude that made me want to clench my fist and pump it in the air over and over again. The way the author weaves in Drest's view of the secondary characters she's set on saving throughout her journey was pure genius, letting me get to know this crew and Drest in a way I couldn't have otherwise. And the variety of characters, from softer Emerick to bouncy Tig... truly a fantastic ride I won't soo What a great book! Drest is such a fierce lass, full of heart and courage and an intrepid fighter's attitude that made me want to clench my fist and pump it in the air over and over again. The way the author weaves in Drest's view of the secondary characters she's set on saving throughout her journey was pure genius, letting me get to know this crew and Drest in a way I couldn't have otherwise. And the variety of characters, from softer Emerick to bouncy Tig... truly a fantastic ride I won't soon forget!
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  • Renee Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Fast-paced medieval Scottish adventure with a dauntless heroine. Drest, the youngest member of the Mad Wolf's war-band (and the only girl), awakes to an attack which sees her entire family captured and awaiting a death sentence. Toting a captive, this feisty twelve-year-old embarks on a mission to save her family. Battles, witches, allies and treachery season the plot. Don't miss this wonderful heart-stealing heroine!
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