Zima knows to put the safety of her pack above all else—and to avoid both the dangerous humans who are intruding upon her forest and Baba Yaga, the witch who every wolf knows will spell them if she gets the chance. But when Zima’s brother is hurt, she must appeal to Baba Yaga to heal him.
The witch agrees, for a price. She needs a wolf’s acute sense of smell to help restore the rightful tsar to the throne, and so she switches bodies with Zima in exchange for healing her brother.
Baba Yaga instructs Zima to stay put in her hut while she’s gone, but when a human girl named Nadya arrives bearing news of a plot to destroy the forest, Zima knows she must act. She sets off, with Nadya by her side, to foil the tsar’s dark plan.
Can she succeed in time? Or will her home—and her family—be destroyed?
A Wolf for a Spell is a beautiful, layered fantasy which reads like a fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Door by the Staircase and Begone the Raggedy Witches. Karah Sutton weaves a complex tale of magic, mystery, and hope full of elements of Russian folktales, creating an atmospheric story perfectly represented by Pauliina Hannuniemi’s beautiful illustrations throughout. The characters, particularly Zima, are all strong and distinct, and the plot is unusual and twisty. I highly recommend A Wolf for a Spell to readers of fantasy ages nine and up.