Review: The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Details and Links

Author: Josie Jaffrey
Publisher: Indie Publication
Page Count: 249

Josie Jaffrey
Barnes & Noble


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.


Intrigue, mystery and a race against time. Count me in!

When our main character Kala finds her farther dead followed by her mother’s remarriage to what becomes Kala’s evil step father we are plunged into a ‘who did it’ mystery. Along the way Kala soon find out that all is not what it seems and we fall into a race against time. 

I want to be honest with you guys not that I’m not normally honest but in the interest of building a rapport with you and earning your trust as your ‘go-to’ reviewer I want to state that The Wolf and the Water was close to being a DNF for me… to begin with. The first 60-70 pages I found hard to get along with. It just wasn’t my ‘thing’ and it started to feel like a period drama where marriage arrangements are being made and not much else. Although, we do get a good helping of world building and we also get good insight into the social structure of Kepos which sets us up nicely for the rest of the book. 

I’m so glad I continued to read this book instead of casting it aside. Once I got passed the first 60 odd pages I was rewarded with a big plot reveal and from there the plot just kept unraveling till I found myself lost within the grasps of the book. The Wolf and the Water went from that bland period drama to the young adult fantasy set in the style of Ancient Greece that I was originally sold on.

Josie Jaffrey has crafted a fantastic lineup of characters headed by our main character, Kala, a crippled ‘princess’ of one of 10 major houses that rule of Kepos. Kala is a strong willed individual that doesn’t allow herself to be held back by her physical disability although throughout the book this is used as a weapon against her so please take this as a trigger warning along with the following that are listed in the back of the book.

  • Racism
  • Slavery
  • Misogyny 
  • Parental abuse
  • Miscarriage 
  • Attempted sexual assault

Now, if you are familiar with Grimdark as I’m sure most of my readers are then none of these subjects will be new to you and I will state that all the above are handled really well and should not cause any offence to readers. They are all used to further build the plot and immerse the reader into the world Josie has created. We really get a feel for what life would be like in Kepos.

 I would recommend The Wolf and The Water to the young fantasy readers the book is aimed towards. You will enjoy the book and you will be rewarded if you can get through the first section. However, you might enjoy the first part. We are all different after all and that is exactly what I take from The Wolf and the Water. We are reminded that we are all unique and that is a good thing. We are reminded that we are all in charge of our own destinies and we are reminded that being kind to others is paramount in society. 

Thank you Josie for helping keep society on the straight and narrow and helping progression where it is still needed.

Professional Reader

2 thoughts on “Review: The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey

Add yours

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked my review. It’s always great to get feedback.
      This is the first time I’ve included content warnings and I’m thinking of making it a thing I do from now on.

      Let me know what you think when you get to read a copy 😊


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