This is a fantasy with monasteries where an orphan boy might be sent to live, cloisters of nuns where a girl might go for "finishing", the world of elves, dark riders, white lady, and more.
Wolf ran away from the monastery where he felt he did not belong, while running he sees a possibly naked girl dash into a cave. She looked like she needed rescuing. Then the lord of a nearby estate and his hunting party ride by. Wolf breathlessly tells of the girl and Lord Godfrey agrees to go to the rescue. Wolf goes into the cave sees illusions and rescues the girl. Certain she is elf and possibly able to connect Lord Godfrey with his recently dead beloved wife, the lord takes Wolf and the girl back to his estate. The wild girl is housed in the barn with the horses and one beloved pig. Wolf is set to guard and teach her. Lord Godfrey's daughter , Nest, has met Wolf and the girl and is enchanted by them both. This is much more interesting and less scary than sewing for her up coming wedding to a man she doesn't know. Nest names the girl elfgift. Much of the story is the day to day activities of Wolf, Nest and their problems keeping track of elfgift and their failure to teach her to talk by Lord Godfrey's deadline. There is a hob who lives in the hearth at the estate and is a wise prankster. There is a festival. There is a trickster demon. The story climaxes when Lord Godfrey grabs elfgift and takes her off to the cave he hopes will be the entrance to the land of elves, the unleashing of the wild hunt and a tragic death. The story wraps up nicely, though it feels finished, it does leave just enough open so that a sequel might be possible. For those of us who enjoy the world of elves, fairies and the like this is an enjoyable story. I personally hope there is a sequel! jdw 10/10/10