Set in Russia, this is the story of a mother and her young daughter who work and live with wolves; one a wolf wilder, the other in training.
More than 100 years ago in Russia wolf cubs were much prized as pets, considered good omens and bringers of good fortune to a family. They were taken from their mothers new born cubs and sold into the upper classes for as much as one thousand roubles; a white wolf cub could bring as much as twice that amount.
As wolves are not born to settle into captivity they eventually become fat, sick and lazy, tending to eat little pieces off the people around them, which is not acceptable. Once this happens they are returned to the wild, or to a wolf wilder, like Feodora (Feo) and her mother Marina, who train the wolves to be able to survive and live in their natural habitat.
General Rakov, a general in the Czar’s Army, arrives at their house in the woods blaming them for the death of one of the Czar’s deer; he eventually burns down the house, as he is perhaps afraid of what she and the wolves she has trained could do to him and his men.
Ilya, a young soldier in Racov’s Army has befriended Feo, and helps her try to rescue Marina, which is going to prove a lot more challenging that it seemed when they tried to enlist the help of local villagers, who were also very afraid of what Racov and his men could do to their village.
It took one girl, her wolves and massive courage to carry out her plan, a daring rescue mission into the heart of St Petersburg with her friends, a group of homeless children, and of course the wolves, to rescue her mother, and see the final end of the fearful General Racov.
There is a little bit of everything worked into this wonderful story set during a time in Russian history when the Czar’s Generals could do almost anything, were brutal men and human life was not considered of much worth. As in all Russian tales there are several layers to the story, each as fascinating as the other.
Compelling reading, beautifully written, this is a tale that will live in your memory for a long time, allowing you to bring out the special bits to enjoy time and time again, as you do when a story told already has that timelessness. Although written for the younger reader it has a wide audience appeal.
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|