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A Companion to Wolves Mass Market Paperback – 4 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (4 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076535778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765357786
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“Ancient grudges and ruthless schemes are simply business as usual to the Faerie court in Bear's complex and involving contemporary fantasy. Campbell-winner Bear ("Worldwired") overturns the usual vision of Faerie, revealing the compelling beauty and darkness only glimpsed in old ballads and stories like 'Tam Lin'."--"Publishers Weekly "on "Blood and Iron" by Elizabeth Bear "Set in the wondrous city of Melusine, Monette's extraordinary first fantasy novel focuses on two captivating characters from two very different worlds. Monette is a highly original writer with her own unique voice.”--"Publishers Weekly" starred review of "Melusine" by Sarah Monette

About the Author

Sarah Monette is the author of "Melusine" and "The Virtu. "She was nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2006. Elizabeth Bear is the author of the "Hammered" trilogy, and "Blood and Iron" She won the Campbell Award in 2005.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shackelford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In an alternate Nordic World, the humans are menaced by bands of Trolls who spend their time destroying villages and slaughtering the men women and children (and eating them...).

To counter the Trolls, the humans have set up separate halls staffed with fierce male warriors, each of whom bonds with an equally fierce Wolf.

The story is on one level a Norse Saga (with added Trolls) as our hero (a young nobleman who is taken off to the Wolf Halls as a tithe against his father's wishes) struggles to fight off the Trolls, and ends up raising an army. It is well written and the action sequences are exciting and vivid. The coldness of the landscape echoes through the paragraphs - one shivers to read it!

On another level the book is an exploration of the collaboration between Man and Beast. The Wolves are to a certain extent the dominant partner in the relationship - each one bonding with a young man soon after birth. The wolves and men communicate telepathically, and this [if you have ever been owned by a dog!] is entirely believeable - the emotions of the animals are expressed through their faces, their tails, their scents and, in some way, through limited words expressed mentally.

There are also some fairly graphic descriptions of the Wolves' mating sessions which are consummated simultaneously by the men bonded with the wolves. This is a bit shocking to start with, but is an essential part of the story.

This is quite a different book to Elizabeth Bear's other novels - the Hammered sequence (an elderly female cyborg in 2062), or the
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Franklin on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an excellent book and one that's getting a re-read as soon as my backlog of books it slightly more cleared and I have time (what's that you say? Given university that'll be years? No!). To give a quick synopsis, CtW combines aspects of Pern (such as bonding - in this case to animals called trellwolves, basically huge wild wolves long ago bonded to men) with aspects of Norse mythology (trolls, wyverns, icy wastes, and svartalfs) and it takes on some interesting concepts such as sexuality and gender.

The story is a good one; Njoll goes to the wolfheall despite his father's wishes and, bonding with Viradechtis the bitch-wolf, becomes Isolfr. Fighting of trolls ensues and full-blown war breaks out... with all that entails. It's told from Isolfr's point of view in third person, but of course the bond with Vriadechtis and the wolfheall pack gives us a whole extra set of perspectives... and an interesting set of senses; or perhaps an extension of senses that we don't exercise and use that much. The bond with Viradechtis is well-used and well-developed, with an interesting note in there. Viradechtis is not intelligent, per se; oh, she's not your average wolf, and is smart, but she's actually not intelligent. Very personlike, and actually very personable - try reading the book and not, so some extent, falling in love with Isolfr and Viradechtis both - but the latter remains a trellwolf throughout.

The book's very vivid; you feel as though you are Isolfr whilst reading, and that means you're sucked in.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An ancient, Scandinavian world where a new kind of tribe has evolved. One that offers protection - in a wintry, snow-covered landscape - from the rampaging bands of trolls and other ungodly beasts that stalk the outskirts of the village communities. A patrolling tribe with a difference though, made of the interdependent species of man and wolf. The wolves are the superior beast of the two, more powerful and with a heightened sense of duty and honour. Loyal to their own, guided by the codes of the wolf packs. The men who chose to live with them, who are chosen through an instinct as youths, bond in a kind of 'mind-merging', enabling man and wolf to understand and communicate with one another. A deep bond of mutual respect is created. It's a wild idea, but one that is formed so well as to be perfectly believable.

The story takes you into the brutal yet wonderfully sensory world of these wolves and men packs. With wolf-like senses you can smell their environment, learn their visual language and follow the communal heartbeat of the pack, alert and ever sensitive to threat. Equally the wolves' nature is to love and care deeply for their own. For this they would fight to the death.

The book explores the typical aspects of day to day life of tribesmen and warriors, as well as the less expected aspects of their sexual lives. All treated with absolute realism and an almost uncomfortable intimacy of emotion. You find yourself loving many of the characters, not least the protagonist, Isolfr, despite knowing that he is flawed, and should be a better person than he is.

I found myself lost in this strange but fantastic world; was thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. And, predictably, I was in pain when it ended...I almost howled!
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