Book Review: The Wolf’s Howl by A. L. Tait

“. . . I feel myself exhale. For the next few hours, I will be Maven. Just Maven. I will not have to hide what I know or think. I will have the opportunity to speak when I want to and listen when I don’t.”

(The Wolf’s Howl by A. L. Tait)

Lady’s maid Maven and squire Reeve forged an unlikely friendship when they had to find a stolen jewel and discover who murdered an innocent man. Having solved those intertwined mysteries, they are together again, on the road with the newly married  Lady Cassandra and Sir Garrick, Knight Protector of Rennart Castle. This time they’re searching for a missing cook while unraveling secret codes, political alliances, and loyalties. With help from the mysterious Beech Circle, the duo may be able to save the cook and themselves.

I loved The Wolf’s Howl as much as I did The Fire Star (book one). I enjoy a good duology because it gives me more time to spend with characters I like and it offers a chance to see the characters continue to grow. Add in a mystery, a secret society, political intrigue, kidnappings, and you have a book that kept me turning pages. 

As a YA mystery from one of my favorite authors, The Wolf’s Howl goes on my shelf as one of my favorite reads of the summer. 

Here’s a quick break-down: 

  • Book two in the Maven and Reeve Mysteries
  • YA with two main characters, ages 15 and 16
  • Told in dual POV (which I loved!)
  • Medieval fantasy world setting 
  • Mystery that includes a missing cook, treason, a mysterious society, and kidnappings
  • Intricate plot with political intrigue and mortal danger
  • Themes relevant to today including the status of women 

I will always recommend reading a duology (or series) in order. It makes it easier to see (and enjoy) the characters’ development. I felt like I connected with Maven and Reeve in book one and that connection grew stronger in The Wolf’s Howl. Author A. L. Tait has a talent for creating complex, yet likable characters who are smart, brave, and loyal. However, they’re never perfect and that’s what I like best. 

In The Wolf’s Howl, Maven and Reeve have traveled with Lady Cassandra and Sir Garrick to the isolated Glawn Castle. The castle sits in a region where an ever-present howling, gusting wind sweeps through the landscape that’s dotted with windmills. When they arrive at Glawn Castle, they’re immediately thrown into a mystery. The cook has gone missing and a search party must be dispatched to find her. 

“There is more to Glawn that meets the eye.” (The Wolf’s Howl, page 81)

There also is more to Maven than meets the eye as well. She’s clever, capable, and a member of the Beech Circle. Being a young woman of intellect and drive, she’s in constant danger. Women like her are not acceptable. Reeve is an ambitious young squire with his own set of special skills. He respects Maven and is indebted to the Beech Circle. He’d never give away their secrets. Together, they are a formidable pair and have forged a deep bond of friendship. As I mentioned in my review for book one, I love that Maven and Reeve are friends instead of love interests. 

A quick recap of the Beech Circle because they play a prominent role in this story:

A group of girls and women who are connected. They help each other and those who need help. They are educated, self-reliant, and they’d be eliminated if their existence was discovered by the men who desire to keep all women complacent and silent. (from my review of book one)

If you love books with strong female characters, friendships built on trust and respect, and political intrigue amid a medieval setting, then grab a copy of The Wolf’s Howl by A.L. Tait.

Allison Tait (A.L. Tait) drew me in more than a decade ago when I found her website. I connected with her writing style, humor, and kindness and have been a fan of her books ever since. She is an internationally-published, bestselling author of two middle-grade adventure series and the YA Maven & Reeve mysteries. She’s a writer, teacher, speaker, and co-host of the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast. Allison lives in Australia and can be found on social media via links from her site.

You can find more information about author A.L. Tait at her website

I’d like to thank Kane Miller books and Allison Tait for sending me copies of The Fire Star and The Wolf’s Howl. My reviews and opinions are my own.

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