Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Enchanting, terrifying and sublime all rolled together in this stunningly crafted fairy tale. So many elements of fairy tales are drawn together…hard stepmothers, animal shapeshifters and the love of a girl for a boy that is doomed from the beginning. The author explains in her note that she loves fairytales and was inspired by East of the Sun, West of the Moon. This story is set in Siberian Russia in the 19th century.

Echo feels a thread of connection to the woods and to a wolf who appears to her. When she discovers him caught in a sharp trap, she doesn’t hesitate to save him though he does not thank her but scars her for life. The villagers believe her to be marked by the devil and avoid her always. Her only love comes from her father, brother and the books she devours.

When her father remarries, Echo finds hatred shown to her from her step mother. When her father travels for work but does not come home, Echo decides to search for him not knowing just how much her life will change. When the wolf leads her to her half dead father, he makes a deal with her and her life becomes his.

Stuck for a year in his house, she tries to understand him and to learn about the magic that binds them together. As the year comes to an end, Echo must make some huge decisions.

This adventure is thought provoking, mind bending and heart wrenching. It is also superbly written and perfect for older readers who want to see the fierce woman face her demons and save her world!

A Fantastic fairy tale!

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