The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
I’ve been really into historical fiction this year, reading especially the novels of the middle ages in Europe. I especially love the tales from Wales, Ireland, and Scotland and how they intersect with British history. So the new series for middle school and older readers set in medieval Scotland caught my attention. It will be a terrific fit for readers who have loved The Song of the Lioness series. Drest, the main character (and The Mad Wolf’s daughter of the title) reminds me a bit of Alanna: she is brave, kind, courageous, and loyal. We follow her on her quest to free her father and brothers from a castle prison after invading knights capture them, but leave Drest behind. Drest is feisty enough to decide she can make it to the castle and set them free, though she isn’t sure how she’ll accomplish it. On the way she picks up some very complex and interesting characters, whose different life experiences give her a chance to understand the many sides of truth. The writing is superb; I was completely wrapped up in this thrilling and surprising adventure, and look forward to the next book in the series.