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The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
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The Wolf Princess

by Cathryn Constable

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» See also 4 mentions

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Reading a fantasy novel set in the middle of a Russian winter complete with snowy forests and fur capes was an excellent way to cope with a heat wave. Looks like I need another one to get through the next few days. Charming story ( )
  ewillse | Jan 18, 2016 |
Sophie Smith is an orphan, a charity student at a dismal boarding school. Sandwiched between her roommates, the fashionable Delphine and intellectual Marianne, Sophie is almost invisible -- until the day she catches the eye of a visiting Russian woman. Sophie has an inexplicable longing for Russia, and hopes to go there for the school's spring trip, but she knows her absentee guardian will never approve such an expense. When circumstances conspire to allow Sophie and her friends to make the trip, she is pleased (even though the others would rather go someplace warmer than Saint Petersburg). In Russia, Sophie, Delphine, and Marianne are whisked away, not to stay with a host family as expected, but on a train ride through a blizzard to an exquisite but neglected palace deep in the Russian countryside. There, they meet a princess and learn of the tragic past of the Volkonsky family who used to live in the palace. The princess claims to be delighted to have company, and fetes the girls with picnics and skating parties and sleigh rides in the snow, despite the legendary white wolves that haunt the area around the palace. But why have Sophie and her friends been brought there? Is is by chance, or the whim of the princess . . . or is there some darker reason?

I'm a sucker for anything with a Russian feel, so this fantasy is right up my alley. It's not a perfect book -- the characterization is a little flat, and seasoned readers will find the plot twists fairly predictable -- but it does really well with describing the setting and creating atmosphere, well enough in my mind to make up for its other defects. If you're a fan of juvenile fantasy and are looking for a lovely winter read, you should certainly consider this modern fairy tale. ( )
  foggidawn | Dec 12, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cathryn Constableprimary authorall editionscalculated
Delon, MelanieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sophie Smith is a teenage orphan stuck in a boarding school in London, but at night she dreams of Russia and wolves--then, on a class trip to St. Petersburg, she finds herself and her two friends deliberately separated from the group and whisked off into the silver forest of her dreams, where a mystery awaits.… (more)

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