Book Review: Wildwood by Colin Meloy with Carson Ellis


“This is an injustice! How can anyone stand for this?” “Fear,” the sparrow responded quietly.  “Fear rules the day.  The powerful, for fear of losing that power, have become blinded.  Everyone is an enemy.  Someone has to bear the brunt.”

This story follows the journey of Prue and Curtis through Wildwood as they hunt for Prue’s brother, Mac, who has been kidnapped by a murder of crows.  This book is targeted for kids 9-12, and because of that I certainly went in with the expectation that this would just be a silly fun read.  Wrong; so very very very wrong.

There is a lot going on in this book, and it offers way more than I think most books for this demographic normally do.  There is war, sacrifice, deceit, everything you could want in an adventure book, and would expect, if the book was for people over the age of 16.  It actually took me way longer to read than I had originally estimated.  I probably read for a couple of hours each day and it took me 3 days to read it.

It definitely has it’s share of whimsy though: bandits, the Avian Principality, a coyote army, and a prince owl.  It’s a clever story told in a way that allows children to enjoy.  Prue and Curtis’ adventure begins in Portland and quickly moves into the untamed Impassable Wilderness, as it is known to Outsiders.  However, it is quickly apparent that Prue and Curtis may have a stronger connection to Wildwood than is normal.

The parents of Prue and Curtis, while very minor characters in the book, end up playing a very critical role to the development of these two as the protagonists of the book.  You get the story behind Prue’s parents, but very little of Curtis’, I don’t think that makes them any less relevant to where these two end up at the end of the first book.

This is the first book in the trilogy, and while I don’t know what the final two books are about, they have certainly made it onto my to-be-read list for the near future.

If you have a child who enjoys reading, and is up for a bit more of a challenging read, I would recommend this.  My only stipulation on this would be that there is violence (battles happen), it isn’t grotesque or gory, but it’s there and it’s prevalent.  I would also just recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading and is looking for a unique twist on an adventure story.

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