White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash (review)

I’m a caged bird with one song. Books. If I truly want to find out who I am and find out what the world is like beyond the ink, I’m going to have to venture outside and not just to the garden and stables, but past the stone walls to the unknown. My stomach flutters at the thought. I wish an anxious spirit could be extinguished as easily as a candle’s flame.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess, page 53

Fascinating and wondrous, there is a fairy tale feel as the story of White Wolf and the Ash Princess first begins to unfold, and also a sense that something monstrous happened in the past – in the memories that Jonathan is keeping for Izzy. And as Izzy’s memories begin to return and secrets are discovered, the sheltered and somewhat idyllic life she has been leading in Jonathan’s English cottage gives way to danger and adventure as they travel back to the New World.

Nature’s warnings are everywhere. I can’t help but feel everything is fleeing from the direction we’re going.

Lash, page 70

I had a nebulous idea of genre going in, and while there are elements that could have seen this story taken in different directions, this is plainly – and wonderfully – historical fiction. Beautifully written by author Tammy Lash, there is so much to this story that straddles the two worlds of seventeenth-century America and England. It is part coming of age, part survival story, mixing Christian faith with Ojibwe legends, and weaving a slow burn friendship to more romance into a tale of cruelty and forgiveness.

It’s snowing again, and flakes are landing on my exposed nose and cheeks. They melt and run down my face like cold tears and I wipe them away along with the warm ones.

Lash, page 284

In White Wolf and the Ash Princess, Tammy Lash has created characters and a story world that is difficult to describe without giving in to the desire to share everything. First in the White Wolf series, this is easily among the best books that I have read this year. Highly recommended for Young Adult and Adult readers who enjoy rich Historical Fiction with a hint of fantasy.

This review refers to a finished paperback copy I voluntarily received from the author. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

The princess was the guardian of the light of the black wolf and the grey. White boar greatly desired her light, though the boars had possession of their own. When the princess refused to give up the light, both were given to the fire to do with them as it wished.

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she suffered a terrible trauma that left her with physical scars. Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall into a world that promises possible answers but also great danger.

Gifted with claws of copper and teeth of iron, the black wolf and the grey call him “White Wolf”; for he is the greatest of them with the power of flame and ash.

While running to escape his past, Jonathan Gudwyne rescued Izzy and took her in, but who did she belong to before he became her guardian?

With the touch of the wolf’s great paw, the girl rose out of the ashes a woman—a mighty warrior armed with a copper axe.

A mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World where the Wendigo wanders and Water Panther swims. In the wilds of seventeenth-century America, Izzy and Jonathan discover the legends of the New World aren’t the fairytales of their library home in England.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash (White Wolf, #1) | White Wolf Publishing, November 2020 (first published November 10th 2016) | paperback, 337 pages