The Boy, the Wolf, and the StarsFeatured
Long ago, the land of Ulv was filled with magic. But that was before a wolf ate all the Stars in the night sky, ridding the world of magic and allowing Shadow Creatures, beasts made of shadow and evil, to flourish. Twelve-year-old Bo knows the stories but thinks the Stars and the wolf who ate them are nothing more than myths—until the day Bo’s guardian, Mads, is attacked by a giant wolf straight from the legends. With his dying breath, Mads tells Bo that Ulv is in danger and the only way to prevent the Shadow Creatures from taking over is to return the Stars to the sky.
And so Bo—accompanied by his best friend, a fox called Nix, a girl named Selene whose magic is tied to the return of the Stars, and Tam, a bird-woman who has vowed to protect Bo at all costs—sets off on a quest to find the three magical keys that will release the Stars. But Bo isn’t the only one who wants the Stars, and the friends soon find themselves fleeing angry villagers, greedy merchants, and a vengeful wolf. And all the while, an evil witch lurks in the shadows and time is running out.
When Bo forgets to do a seemingly meaningless task, things escalate and his caretaker is killed, sending Bo on a journey to find the stars he was sure never existed and save the world before the witch and the wolf take over.
This book captures an enchanting adventure, and I loved the inclusion of all the mythology of this world in addition to Bo's story. As a hero, Bo is unassuming and not quite confident, but he believes in his caretaker and the mission he sent him on. As he forges ahead, his confidence grows, and he begins to come into his own. The other characters we get to know, such as Tam, are equally as compelling, but the world-building really blew me away. I would add a note of caution for sensitive readers that the book definitely has some dark and creepy parts, as Bo is faced with the many sides of human nature and death (particularly those via the Shadow Creatures).
THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is a compelling and enchanting middle grade fantasy with memorable characters and fantastic world-building. Highly recommend for fans of THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON and THE WITCH'S BOY.