The Mad Wolf’s Daughter
By Diane Magras
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? (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I’ve included two covers for this one. Which one do you like better? Now, that I’ve read the story, I can pick out different characters in the first cover. The second features Drest front and center as the hero.
I wondered if I’d find this story believable or too far-fetched. Drest’s world sucked me with the details of her life sprinkled through the text, and the other places she traveled. The reason I believe The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is a success in maintaining believability is that Drest doubts herself, and the memories of her brothers talking to her bolster her courage.
I also loved how other characters came to believe in Drest. The boy she rescues is the first of many. Eventually, the boy she saved, escorted, or captured, depending on your point of view, comes to admire her and she changes the way he sees himself and the nation. Even her own father and brothers are surprised at what they see her do, and they don’t even know the half of it!
When Drest is traveling back from her journey to free her family, her legend has grown. She learns an important lesson that legends don’t always control the stories about them.
If I were to distill this book into one would it would be courage. Giving our children role models who face their fears, but persist with courage, is vital. I would certainly want my children to emulate Drest’s kindness, loyalty, protectiveness, and bravery. I can easily picture The Mad Wolf’s Daughter as a classic in children’s literature.
I loved reading Drest’s story and will look forward to more stories from this author, whether they are about this courageous lass or another person entirely.
5 out of 5 stars
If you love The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, try The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, a story revolving around a girl and her quest to find her place in Texas in the 1900s.
If you can’t find anything to read, send me a message, and I’ll help you find a book. The world is full of adventure, and we all deserve to live it.