Monday, March 05, 2018

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

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A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
The Mad Wolf's Daughter
Diana Magras
Genre: Adventure, Historical, Middle-Grade
Publication date: March 6th, 2018
by Kathy Dawson Books

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--with all the excitement of Ranger's Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.

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?
-A copy was provided by Kathy Dawson Books for review-

I am garbage for a good middle grade adventure so when The Mad Wolf’s Daughter was pitched to me, I was on board and wanted to gobble this book up. Good thing it wasn’t disappointing, amirite?

Here is the thing, among the sea of commercial fiction that dominates Middle Grade books, The Mad Wolf’s Daughter doesn’t necessarily stand out but thats not really a good or bad thing? Familiar tropes and adventures are good things and just because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter isn’t necessarily //different// doesn’t mean that it is a bad book or a mediocre book?

The thing about tropes (at least in my opinion) is that it all comes down to how the author uses them to enhance their story. You’re never going to read a book that is free of tropes because that is not how literature works. If you @ me and say “but not the classics,” I WILL prove you wrong. My aside aside, what I am trying to say is that Magras takes common tropes and uses them to give us a worthwhile adventure that is exciting and even a little refreshing.

Drest’s life is shaken when when knights come and kidnap her family. She is left behind and now its up to her to save her family. So she embarks on an adventure and picks up misfits along the way all the while learning about her family’s dark past and dealing with her familial identity and how to be Drest without being her family. Wow, that was a long sentence. I feel like I was holding my breath as I was writing that. ANYWAY.

This adventure is filled with magic, friendship and self-discovery. Truly, the best combo for any adventure written for any demographic.

I know I’ve basically been dancing around specifics regarding the story but it’s hard to feel like I have anything worthwhile to say about individual characters within the story. They are serving their story rather than the other way around and that is perfectly fine. Younger readers can easily self-insert within the story and explore their own identities through these characters and older readers, well there isn’t as much here for us but hey, if you’re trash for adventure, join me on this journey.


About the Author

Diane Magras grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel. She is the editor, writer, and chief fund raiser for the Maine Humanities Council. She volunteers at her son’s school library, and is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her books are set
Diverse Books Out February 2018

Diverse Books Out February 2018

Posted by on 03/04/2018 • 4 Comments

Heyyy, I am still here doing these roundups. I mean, it is only February and I still have like 10 more months to give up but I haven’t yet! These roundups tend to focus on YA and MG books because those are easiest to keep track of but I do try to include romances because I also read those and I want to make the list as thorough as possible. If I miss a book, or include one that shouldn’t be on here, let me know!!!



***The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza has an instance where a character is deadnamed

Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Fresh Batch (March 4th – 10th)

Fresh Batch (March 4th – 10th)

Posted by on 03/03/2018 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

To Kill a Kingdom Alexandra Christo Publication date: March 6th 2018by Feiwel & Friends

Goodreads Purchase

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the…

What I’ve Been Reading: February Update

What I’ve Been Reading: February Update

Posted by on 03/01/2018 • 5 Comments

January kind of flew by but I feel like February has felt like it has gone on forever. I did get a lot of reading done but at the same time, I haven’t really wanted to read in the same way I wanted to last month. That might be in part due to the fact that I’ve been stressed out all month and just need something to let up so I can breathe and read. For this upcoming month, I do hope that I will be able to go back to unhauling my backlist TBR.

I read 5 sequels in February (technically more but I am sticking to old series that I started instead of new books.) That’s one less than last month but hey February has less days so…

How to Support Diverse Books (aside from buying them)

How to Support Diverse Books (aside from buying them)

Posted by on 02/28/2018 • 2 Comments


Here is the thing, even though you may think that there has been a huge influx of diverse books, there really has not been. Diverse authors, especially people of color, still face many barriers when it comes to getting their books published. You can check the CCBC Publishing Stastisitics for more info. We might not always be able to buy every single diverse book that comes out (even if we will try) because our wallets aren’t infinite but there are more things we can do that also supports diverse books!

1. Request upcoming releases at your library if they don’t already have them pre-ordered. Even if you are planning on buying a copy.

Libraries are always welcome to open recommendations from patrons!

2. Check diverse books out from the library!…

Centers the White Woman’s Experience: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Centers the White Woman’s Experience: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Posted by on 02/27/2018 • 3 Comments

Here is my thing with this short collection of poems. It’s good. It’s really good. It is also extremely creative and Lovelace’s talent really shines through with the poems. The problem I had and why I don’t actually know what to rate the collection of poems is that it also felt like it was very much the narrative of a white, cishet person.

Amanda Lovelace is a white woman which explains this and I wouldn’t ask her to write from a POC perspective when she really really REALLY cannot claim those experiences. She does try to not forget her non white cishet counterparts within her poems, which is appreciated but that doesn’t change the fact that the entire time I was reading the poems, I was painfully aware of my…

Top 20 2000’s Pop Jams

Top 20 2000’s Pop Jams

Posted by on 02/26/2018 • 6 Comments

DON’T @ ME. I AM 2000s GARBAGE and to be honest, my top 20 is always shifting depending on my mood. Anyway, I am just gonna embrace my identity and call it a day.

The Playlist The Songs 1. All Star by Smash Mouth

This song played at every single one of my school assemblies and I still never got tired of it because HEY NOW, YOURE AN ALL STAR.

2. Hey Ya! by OutKast 3. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat tbh and it makes me feel better.

4. Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects


5. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

Okay so if…

Fresh Batch (February 25th – March 3rd)

Fresh Batch (February 25th – March 3rd)

Posted by on 02/24/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Tess of the Road Rachel Hartman Publication date: February 27th 2018by Random House Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Purchase

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and…