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WOLF BROTHER by Michelle Paver


Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1

by Michelle Paver & illustrated by Geoff Taylor

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-072825-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Grandiose series title aside, this first of a projected six episodes makes a muddled but strong start, pitting its young stone-age protagonist against a ravening, ensorcelled bear. Having learned of an oblique prophecy that describes him as the only one who can take on the unnatural bear who orphaned him—and is wantonly killing the great forest’s denizens—Torak sets out to find three pieces of the Nanuak, or World Soul, that will allow him to enlist the help of the World Spirit. Accompanied by Wolf, an orphaned cub with eldritch knowledge, and Renn, spirited niece of a local clan leader, Torak survives a host of vividly envisioned dangers while displaying outstanding survival skills. Ultimately, he discovers that the bear (probably dispatched in a climactic encounter) had been created by one of a band of evil mages—each of whom will doubtless appear in a subsequent adventure. By the end, readers will have a real feeling for what life in the wild must have been like, and will be looking forward to Torak’s further exploits. (Fiction. 11-13)