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Book Review: The Wolf Princess – A Perfect Winter Read


THE BOOK: The Wolf Princess

AUTHOR: Cathryn Constable

THE GENRE: Young Adult, Children’s Literature, Fantasy

AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.cathrynconstable.net

the wolf princess cover


Alone in the world, Sophie dreams of being someone special, but she could never have imagined this. On a school trip to Russia, Sophie and her two friends find themselves on the wrong train. They are rescued by the beautiful Princess Anna Volkonskaya, who takes them to her winter palace and mesmerises them with stories of lost diamonds and a tragic past. But as night falls and wolves prowl, Sophie discovers more than dreams in the crumbling palace of secrets .

Review – The Wolf Princess

Winter stories about wolves are great.  The Wolves of Wilhoughby Chase.  The Box of Delights, with its thrilling line: The wolves are running.  The Wolf Princess goes one better.  It has not only snow and wolves – white wolves! – but diamonds too.

It’s the kind of book that draws you into a magical and mysterious world.  Even the chapter titles, with their Spirograph-like artwork add to the magic.  There are many mysteries.  Why does Sophie keep dreaming about her father, a strange girl and a wolf in the snow? Who is the mysterious visitor?  Why have Sophie and her friends been taken to Russia and the Volkonsky Winter Palace?  What happened to the Volkonsky family and their diamonds?  One of the few flaws in this book is that some of the mysteries are a little easy to solve.  (Or is that just me?)  But that takes nothing away from the rich and atmospheric world it is set in.

I bought this book as an early Christmas present for myself and really enjoyed it.  When I was a small girl, I once wrote a story about a princess who had a white wolf for a pet, so I loved it that Cathryn Constable had the same idea.  The part where Sophie and her friends get taken away by train and sleigh to the Winter Palace also reminded me of a story I used to read at my grandma’s house: “The Secret Ballet of the Steppes.” If, like Sophie, you have always dreamed of going to Russia, this book will take you there.  It’s the perfect book to read on a winter’s night in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.

Adaptation Recommendation

I just read that The Wolf Princess is to be made into a 2D/CGI Walt Disney film, due for release in 2017.  I could tell it would make a good film when I read it, so watch out for that, and read the book first!

Overall rating

four and half rating border

“You had me at hello.”


By on December 13th, 2014

About Elizabeth Hopkinson

Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy writer from Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK - home of the Brontë sisters and the Cottingley Fairies. She loves fairy tale and history, especially the 18th century, and is currently writing a trilogy set in a fantasy version of baroque Italy. Her short fiction has appeared in many publications, and her historical fantasy novel, Silver Hands, is available from all good book outlets. You can check out Elizabeth's website at hiddengrove.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.

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