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The Wolf Princess Paperback – 1 Jan 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House Ltd (1 Jan. 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1910002097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910002094
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Doha VINE VOICE on 14 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wolf Princess is a charming story of English schoolgirl, Sophie Smith. Orphan Sophie is unremarkable, and her life is drab. She dreams of wolves and snow, and longs for something wonderful to happen. Just when it seems that Sophie and her friends will be spending the school trip in the most boring place imaginable, everything changes and she's assigned to the St Petersburg group.

Put on the wrong train, the girls end up at the palace of the compelling Princess Anna Feodorovna Volkonskaya - the Wolf Princess. Sophie, feeling more at home than she's ever felt, learns about the Volkonsky family, killed during the 1917 revolution, and is drawn into the mystery of the lost Volkonsky diamonds.

I think 8-12 year-old readers will find this most satisfying - it's a sweet, uncomplicated story of an orphan finding her place in the world, and of friendships between seemingly mismatched people: Sophie and her two roommates Marianne and Delphine in London, as well as the mysterious Dmitri and Masha in the Volkonsky palace in Russia.

**Mild Spoilers Ahead**

Most readers will be able to guess the 'mystery' out straight away, and in view of that, I feel like the author shouldn't have dragged the reveal out to the very end, because it only made me frustrated with Sophie for being so obtuse. Even though logic makes that seem like a sensible line, storytelling demands Sophie work it out close to the same pace as the reader. I also felt the characterisation was a bit two-dimensional: Constable played with contrasts that usually work well, but didn't add enough nuance or sympathy to really make the story come together and work for me at an emotional or story-level. There were hints and flashes of better, particularly in the telling of the Volkonsky history, and if she can bring the same level of workmanship to the rest of her writing, then I hope her future books will really be magical.
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Format: Paperback
If you have a daughter who thinks that she is not beautiful enough, or not bright enough, or that her family is just too difficult, or that nothing exciting ever happens in her life, in short, if you have a daughter give her this book and let her make friends with Sophie, who will take her on the most magical journey to Russia.
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By Tim Roast VINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read this to my 7-year-old daughter over several bedtimes. I thought it was pretty average to be honest. And for age group it is probably for 10-year-olds-up with long chapters, a girl obsessed by fashion in there, plus some blood and guns towards the end.

The story sees orphan Sophie Smith at a boarding school with her two mates, the clever Marianne, and the fashion-conscious Delphine. Sophie dreams of Russia, "a land of palaces and poetry", of winter forests and of her late dad.

Lo-and-behold she, and her two friends, get picked to go on a school trip to Russia where they are dispatched onto a train, thrown off at a deserted train station, before they are taken to the dilapidated Volkonsky Winter Palace, "a diamond in the snow, a palace of dreams, so remote it has been forgotten with the noble Volkonskys erased from the history books.". Here she meets the Princess, who is not all she seems with her "sudden flames of anger, the cold grey eyes that had looked so calculating."

Things in the novel don't really take off though until about two thirds in when General Grigor arrives seeking his investment back from the Princess who was meant to find the Volkonsky diamonds.

To get the Russian atmosphere in the book a few Russian words are thrown in (e.g. nyet, babushka), although all the characters, including the Russian children servants, speak English. There are also some wolves and lots of snow, talk of the Russian Revolution and the Tsars.

There is a little bit of magic in there too with vozoks, a "midnight picnic on a frozen lake" and "skating by twilight" but the book was quite predictable and average for me.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sophie Smith is an orphan. Left with her stern guardian, she attends a boarding school where she dreams of better times. Making friends with Delphine, an elegant French girl and Marianne, the clever one in the class, she thinks nothing exciting will ever happen. But when a stranger turns up to their school and demands Sophie's presence at her school in Russia, mysterious events start to happen and the girls find themselves at the Winter Palace, miles away from their intended school - and things start to get strange with Princess Anna Volkonskaya

The Wolf Princess is a very nice children's story. The characters are lovable and the settings evocative. It moves along at a very good pace and whilst the plot is a bit predictable, it unfolds in a way which is very well done. Well worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover
Wolf Princess is a magical story for young girls. Beautifully written, with lots of sly humour, Cathryn Constable perfectly captures the voice of Sophie as she is slowly drawn into the mystery of her own identity. I could feel the icy coldness not just of the frozen Russian winter but of the villains as they start to circle their prey. A brilliant story all round.
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Format: Hardcover
Cathryn Constable has a rare and extraordinary imagination which will enchant young girls (and much older ones) all over the world. They won't be able to help falling in love with Sophie Smith and the magical, snowy, icy, sparkling, strange and beautiful Russia she finds herself in. The book opens with Sophie's haunting dream memory of her father which sings its way through the story, and the courage Sophie has to muster to conquer the difficulties she faces is convincing and skilfully written.

There are scenes that make you think and scenes that make you wonder; scenes that make you fear for Sophie and scenes that make you cheer her on. And the magical story is, from time to time, brought back to reality by the humour, real friendship and occasional rivalry between the three utterly believable ordinary schoolgirls who find themselves in an extraordinary world.

I am far older than the readers this book has been written for, but it is testament to Constable's imagination that her story caught my imagination and held my attention. I only wish I were ten because when I was it took me days to return to the ordinary world from the world of a book as good as this one.
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