Travel back in time to Ancient Greece in this new novel by Josie Jaffrey entitled The Wolf and the Water. Meet Kala, a girl with a malformed leg who grew up believing that no man would want her as a wife because of her disfigurement. When her father is killed and her mother remarries, she realizes that the only way she can survive is to escape to her father’s homeland, but the road to get away is filled with peril. Will Kala make it? And what kind of life awaits her?
What I Liked
I liked the mystery of who killed Kala’s father and discovering if it is the same person that was to blame for several other murders in the village. I never guessed correctly who the killer(s) was and why which I love from a mystery plot-line and this one delivered. It is a mystery that I felt suited to the period, as people in ancient Rome and Greece were no strangers to brutality and untimely deaths.
I loved the setting of an Atlantis-inspired village on the verge of natural destruction in Ancient Greece. I’ve read several works (mostly plays) from the period and found the tone and topic reminiscent of those works. The only element I missed was mentions of gods, goddesses, and heroes found in mythology from the area.
I also found the back story of one of the support characters – Theodora – very compelling. I could have read an entire book based on hers and her brother’s life, I think. In just a few pages, Theodora’s story thoroughly captivated my imagination and left me wanting more. A beloved infant princess stolen by pirates and taken away to lands unknown – doesn’t that sound like an intriguing story?
I wish there had been more world-building. I found this ancient civilization challenging to immerse myself in because I did not understand the basics. Some different titles and positions are essential to the story, but I never felt like I fully understood what they are and what they mean within the society. Ancient Greece has a compelling element already existing because of its well-known mythological stories and characters. I would have loved more descriptions of everyday life and surroundings to help me lose myself in the story.
I also would have loved the characters to be developed a tad more. I felt like I was just shy of empathizing with them and understanding them on that deeper level I crave as a reader. There is a great deal of potential in the characters, so I would love to see them taken to the next level if they appear in any subsequent stories.
To Read or Not to Read
Lovers of classic literature from ancient Greece will find it easy to connect to in this story, and mystery lovers will appreciate the mystery with the shocking conclusion.
About the Book
Some secrets are worth killing for
The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.
Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city’s high priest. She’s determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.
Kala’s new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind.
With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.
If she doesn’t move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.