The Book of Atrix Wolfe | Review

Twenty years ago, the powerful mage Atrix Wolfe unleashed an uncontrollable force that killed his beloved king. Now, the Queen of the Wood has offered him one last chance for redemption. She asks him to find her daughter, who vanished into the human world during the massacre he caused. No one has seen the princess-but deep in the kitchens of the Castle of Pelucir, there is a scullery maid who appeared out of nowhere one night long ago. She cannot speak and her eyes are full of sadness. But there are those who call her beautiful.
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Essentially, this book is about the aftermath of a war. However, it's not a political story, it's a personal one. It tells us the journeys of Saro the kitchen maid, Talis the prince, and Atrix Wolfe, the mage whose spell was more powerful than he'd ever anticipated.

First off, I just have to say the prose in this book is beautiful. It's poetic, thoughtful, lyrical. It's my favorite thing about this book. It was delightful to read so many fresh and vivid descriptions. I also appreciated the effort McKillip put into inventing the food in the story. Since Saro works in the castle kitchen, there's lot of food mentioned. It was appropriate for a castle, but also had an otherworldly, archaic flair, which was interesting. (But the author doesn't spend that much time talking about food – don't worry.)

While the descriptions are lovely, and the characters are generally well developed, the plot was fairly simple. And it tended to drag a little. I enjoyed the rest of the book, and the ending was perfect, so I'm giving it four stars.

What do you think of books with slower pacing? Books with simple plots? Do you enjoy lyrical prose, or a more snappy kind of writing?


  1. Oooooh I can't wait to check this out!!

  2. I agree with Anne Marie! I adore McKillip, and I'm excited to see that you like this one. I'm definitely requesting it from the library. Great review!

    1. Thanks! It's a book definitely worth checking out!

  3. I might have to check this one out! This is a wonderful review that definitely piques my interest. Fantasy novels so often build up to war, but very few begin with the aftermath, unless I am mistaken.

    As for your questions: I don't mind slower pacing (much better than being too rushed!) or simple plots, and I do enjoy lyrical prose.

    1. Thanks! That's so true, I never thought about how most fantasy novels being about the start of a war, instead the end. I enjoy lyrical prose as well!


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