Wolves of the Witchwood is the second novel in children’s The Impossible Quest series by Kate Forsyth.
First published eighteen years ago Kate Forsyth is a well established (and wonderful!) Australian fantasy author. However since the release of her epic fantasy/historical/romance retelling of Rapunzel, Bitter Greens her work has really started to get the notice it deserves.
But back to the Wolves of the Witchwood.. The story picks up directly where Escape from Wolfhaven Castle left off, following our four young hero’s, a wolfhound named Fergus and a unicorn as they flee though the woods. There’s Tom the cooks son, Sebastian, a knight in training, Lady Elanor, daughter to the Lord of Wolfhaven and Quinn, a witch in training. Sent on an impossible quest to find four mythical creatures who will help them to save Wolfhaven Castle from the evil Lord Mortlake. After finding the first ‘impossible’ creature, they’re now on their way to find the next… a griffin that no one believes exists… and not get caught in the meantime.
This was a wonderful, fast paced story where the children are faced with many new challenges, from fleeing enemies to knowing who to trust. Including Wilda the old blind witch in the wilds who seems friendly and helpful, yet can she be trusted? There truly is danger around every corner. Yet they are not alone… there’s also friends in the woods that the children can call upon if they know how. What I particularly liked was the interaction between the children.
Coming from four different walks of life the children are unlikely companions, especially the boys who are often at odds. They argue and disagree, debating who and what is right, challenging where each fits within their circle. Yet they are starting to learn just how much they need to trust and rely on each other and their instincts if they are to succeed. Whether its Toms cooking skills or Quinns magic, they start to value each others talents, and therefore each other as people, realising deep down they are not as different as first thought, paving the way for bonds of friendship.
A story or bravery, courage, friendship, and a fight for survival. Has all the elements that will keep young readers interested and excited. And like all good stories, the ending will leave you wanting more! Thankfully the third book The Beast of Blackmoor Bog is already out and available so we won’t have to wait long to read what awaits next in the impossible quest of these four hero’s.
Side note: I strongly suggest reading Escape from Witchwood Castle, book 1 in The Impossible Quest series first as it does a wonderful job of setting the scene and introducing the characters.