I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
Series: Wilderwood #2
Published: June 2022
The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…
Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter, is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally – though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again – the rogue king Solmir.
Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.
For the Wolf was one of my favourite reads last year, so I was really looking forward to the second book in this duology. In fact, For the Throne was probably one of my most anticipated reads this year.
This second book picks up right where the first one ended. I didn’t re-read For the Wolf before starting this one, but it might be worth doing if you have the time as, outside of the main characters, I had a hard time remembering who was who for a few chapters.
The book mostly follows Neve, Red’s sister, while she is stuck in the Shadowlands with Solmir, but there are also some chapters in Red’s POV as she struggles to find a way to save her sister and even some showing Raffe’s POV. Neve was by far the most interesting character, and I loved getting to know her more deeply than before, exploring her complexities and witnessing both her incredible strength and her touching vulnerability.
The author does an amazing job with the atmosphere. It was dark and chilling and just absolutely perfect. I could almost feel the Shadowlands as Neve and Solmir made their way through them to try and destroy them and the Old Kings. I also really liked the original way in which some classic folklore tropes and elements were woven through the story, and the addition of the gods was a very welcome one for me.
Action on the surface wasn’t quite as captivating as that in the Shadowlands for me, and I did find that rather a lot of it was too slow-moving to really hold my interest. I still love Red and Eamonn, but some of the other characters failed to really grow on me and, by the end, there were a few too many couples going around. Some of the surprising twists were also not so surprising after all, which was disappointing as I love being surprised!
Still, I really liked the ending and was very satisfied with it as a conclusion to this duology even if this second book didn’t quite live up to the first one for me. Hannah Whitten was a fantastic discovery and I look forward to reading many, many more of her books in the future.
Content warnings are available on the author’s website.