WOLF STAR by Tanith Lee


The Claidi Journals II
Age Range: 11 & up
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In this fascinating but frustrating sequel to Wolf Tower (2000), Lee continues her heroine’s imaginary journal. Claidi is blissfully preparing for her wedding to the tribal chieftain Argul when she is kidnapped by agents of the Towers, whose Law she destroyed in the previous story. She is taken to the Rise, a clifflike palace powered by a stupendous waterfall, where creatures evolve oddly, and rooms wander about inexplicably under the baneful Wolf Star. Despite her fury at her abduction and her longing for Argul, Claidi is intrigued by the Rise’s eccentric wonders, and drawn to its peculiar inhabitants—the surly prince Venn and his strange servants—only to discover that Venn’s peculiarities are linked to both Argul and her own shrouded past. Lee pieces together an intricate, disturbingly different, world, and Claidi remains an engaging character, delightfully down-to-earth among marvels. But Venn, despite his deep wounds, seems remarkably unsympathetic, and the remaining characters are little more than ciphers. While the narrative deepens and extends the themes of iconoclasm and self-reliance from Wolf Tower, it suffers the typical flaws of a series novel: too much action without anything really happening, and minor questions resolved while, through a preposterous deus ex machina, major mysteries are left hanging. Although helpful artifacts keep popping up at convenient plot points, the underlying nature of science/magic remains muddled. As part of the series, this is essential; but as a standalone, it’s likely to leave readers as much puzzled as enchanted. (Fiction. 11+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46673-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2001


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