Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Wolf Brother

Title: Wolf Brother

Author: Michelle Paver

Number of pages: 256

Started: 21 January 2010

Finished: 26 January 2010

Opening words:

Torak woke with a jolt from a sleep he’d never meant to have.

The fire had burned low. He crouched in the fragile shell of light and peered into the looming blackness of the Forest. He couldn’t see anything. Couldn’t hear anything. Had it come back? Was it out there now, watching him with its hot, murderous eyes?

Read the first chapter here

Plot summary:

Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world.

Only one boy can stop it - 12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak's father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit's help to overcome it.

Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human.

Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.

What I thought:

Technically, this is a children’s book (despite some very long words in places!). However, it is a perfectly good read for adults – and I note it appears to be on Waterstone’s books of the decade list.

It was a good read, and very quick. It probably isn’t the kind of book that I would normally choose to read, but it came highly recommended, and I am glad I gave it a go. There were parts of it that reminded me of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, although I am not sure I can quite explain why. I did think it rather suddenly came to its conclusion, but that didn’t detract from the book particularly, which was a decent adventure story.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds really good. I haven't read it yet, but, was planning to in due course of time. I like books with child protagonists for some reason - if it's well done, and not hyperbolic/trite.

Good review - looking forward to it now.

Sarah said...

Oh, I'm glad you liked it. I love these books, and am gutted that I only have the first and fourth ones now, having lent them unwisely...

But I think your reading experience would have been quite different to mine; I read it very much in conjunction with my daughter, who was seven at the time, so we talked it all through from a child eye's point of view.