The Wolf's Curse -- New Middle Grades Fantasy Novel -- Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and HarperCollins Children's Books and will receive a small stipend for my review. All opinions are my own.

What do you believe about death? Is there an afterlife? Does death come to steal your soul? These questions are ones that may pop into your head as you read the book I'm sharing today. The book is a new fantasy novel recommended for ages 8 to 12. It is The Wolf's Curse by Jessica Vitalis.

From the Publisher:

The Wolf’s Curse

Written by Jessica Vitalis

Ages 8+ | 336 Pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books | ISBN-13: 9780063067417

Publisher’s Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he witnessed an invisible Great White Wolf steal his grandpap√°’s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity. When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf—and death. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of fantasy such as The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.


Jessica Vitalis is a full-time writer with a previous career in business and an MBA from Columbia Business School. An American ex-pat, she now lives in Canada with her husband and two daughters.

For more information, visit

From Me:

The publisher's synapsis does not share how wonderful this story is. The villagers are a hardworking bunch. They struggle for their life and help one another. Their leader taxes them too much and helps his friends take advantage of them. The people are strong and so are the characters. The magical white wolf is death and she can only be seen by voyants which are rate. Gauge is a voyant and the villagers fear him as a result. The wolf is the narrator of the story and her character shines through. She is old and tired and is ready to give up her job and is looking to give it to Gauge. She is tired of taking the souls of the dead and bringing them to Mother Wolf. She is tired of having the people hate and fear her. She desires to see her daughter again. She was once human and picked for this job. 

Gauge is devastated when his grandfather dies. He has been living in the shadows for many years because he told people he saw the white wolf when he was younger and did not understand. His grandfather is the only person who loves him and cares for him. When he dies, Gauge has no one and the villagers see again that he is a voyant and fear him and want to "send him out to sea" which is basically put him in a boat with paddles or way to navigate. He will either starve to death, die of thirst or be eaten by sharks. He does not know where to turn until he meets Roux. 

Roux and her father, the blacksmith, take Gauge in. However the blacksmith is dying. Roux helps Gauge properly bury his grandfather since the person who was supposed to feared him. When the blacksmith dies, Roux begs Gauge to stay with her but his being there puts her in danger. He sees the differences in how they treat Roux and her late father versus how he and his late grandfather were treated. Together they question the entire story the village believes about death and the after life. They also work to teach the village the truth and free Gauge from suspicion. 

There is so much in this story. It is about life and death; working hard and relationships, beliefs, and survival. It is a powerful story and it is hard to put down. Each character pulls you into their part of the story as well as the mystery of it all. This book could be used for many discussions about beliefs, life and death and more. I love that Jessica creates the village with currency and their own beliefs of the lanterns in the Sea in the Sky. It is a wonderful book that many middle grade readers will love. 


Enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of The Wolf's Curse! Good luck!

Five (5) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of The Wolf’s Curse

The giveaway begins September 21, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 21, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.