LORD OF THE WOLVES by James Matlack  Raney

LORD OF THE WOLVES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this middle-grade novel, a distinctive wolf pup and his siblings struggle to survive.

Wolf pup Watcher was born with a bad leg and excellent sight—not just vision, but also an ability to see things differently. Although some packs would have eliminated Three Legs, as Watcher is disparagingly called, his parents, Lord Anorak and Lady Summer, recognize his value and save his life. His littermates are a diverse group—powerful, large Orion seems destined to lead; Windy possesses an otherworldly sense of smell; Glimmer, with a dull snout, inherits enough beauty to carry her along; and Kicker, also a runt like Watcher, copes with his crippling jealousy of his two brothers. When tragedy strikes and the Lone Rock Pack, led by the evil Bone, annihilates their parents and the rest of their Gray Woods Pack, the siblings must go on the run. Still pups and supposedly hampered by Watcher’s weakness, the remainder of the Gray Woods Pack seems destined for failure. As the band encounters hazard after hazard and more misfortune in its desperate attempts to flee the malevolent Bone, Watcher realizes that the only way to save his siblings and the other wolves who have joined them is to set Orion free. And that means challenging Orion for pack leadership. Some adults may scoff at wolves as main characters, but most children love anthropomorphic books. Although Raney (Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves, 2016, etc.) delivers plenty of suspense, his tale centers on sibling love and devotion. Watcher and Kicker heal their relationship through a near tragedy, strengthening both the pack and their litter. The siblings extend their strong sense of familial loyalty to the weaker remnants of the pack, risking their own lives to prevent the loss of any cohorts. While intended for a middle-grade audience, sensitive younger readers may find much of the storyline upsetting. But those who can handle some violence and sorrow should be enriched by this heartwarming saga and hope for a sequel.

An action-packed and stirring tale of a heroic young wolf and his comrades facing a murderous pack.


Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5391-6068-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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