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Wolf Brother: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book 1 Hardcover – 2 Sep 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens Books; FIRST EDITION edition (2 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842551701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842551707
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 580,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

From extensive research about how the people of Northern Europe may have lived more than six thousand years ago, Michelle Paver has fashioned a remarkable debut novel for children. Wolf Brother, the first instalment of her six-book Chronicles of Ancient Darkness sequence, takes its readers back in time to an atmospheric world of snow, hunter-gatherers, tribes, clans, mountains, forests, bears and unearthly superstitions. For humans then, life was hard and Paver’s narrative taps wonderfully into all the sensations they must have experienced living amidst such an unforgiving landscape.

The book begins dramatically with the death of Torak’s father, the mage, Fa, from mortal wounds inflicted by a giant, possessed bear. Fa’s dying words bind Torak to a quest to find the mythical Mountain of the World Spirit. Only there will Torak find the strength needed to defeat the demonic creature and killer of men.

Having lived apart from other Clans, and burdened by such an impossible task, Torak is bereft by the death of his only companion in life and struggles to survive in the harsh conditions he now finds himself in. Then, instead of killing an orphaned wolf cub for food, Torak spares the tiny animal and together they travel north.

Torak gains a further companion for his arduous journey in the form of Renn, a headstrong and feisty girl of his own age whose Clan Torak inadvertently has an altercation with. Renn believes Torak to be The Listener--a prophesised being who will save the world--and together they escape from danger… into a different sort of peril.

Paver’s novel is strong on detail and the authenticity of her settings is breathtaking. She cleverly weaves a fantastical, but believable, layer onto her narrative that enriches her story and makes it all the more readable. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay


Wolf Brother is the kind of story you dream of reading and all too rarely find...The descriptions of an ancient world... are wonderful. The vivid prose leaps off the page. (Amanda Craig The Times, 21 Aug 04)

Epic adventure (Publishing News, 14 May 04)

Deeply Atmospheric... breathtakingly expansive, classically formed adventure story. (The Bookseller Buyer's Guide Highlights, Autumn 04)

Michelle Paver...writes in a clear, engaging style...The relationships and setting are persuasively described. (Nicolette Jones, Children's Book of the Week The Sunday Times, 22 Aug 04)

a rattling read (Claire Armitstead The Guardian, 3 Sep 04)

The opening of the novel is gripping in every sense... There is plenty of page turning drama in the story... taut and ever compelling (Books for Keeps, Sep 04)

a terrific new book... a super fantasy story... beautifully produced (Haverhill Echo, 9 Sep)

Wolf Brother... provides the most impressive beginning of a series set thousands of years ago... touching but never sentimental... immensely rich and compelling (Lindsey Fraser The Sunday Herald, 5 Sep 04)

a fast-paced adventure that explores the themes of honour, loyalty, trust and survival... detailed and evocative... a thoroughly entertaining read. (Dreamwatch Magazine, Oct 04)

"A beautifully crafted story, it illuminates some of the big conundrums: the nature of evil; man's stewardship of nature; the force of jealousy and greed; the power of self-giving for the good of others... Michlle Paver has produced a thrilling narrative with authentic flavour founded on thorough research. The text well-honed and rhythmic, and moves with terrific pace; a haunting and heroic adventure with appeal for boys and girls of 10 and above". (Elaine Williams TES)

fantastically detailed descriptions of forest living... the description of Torak's desperate struggle is excellent, as is the handling of the touching relationship between him and his wolf-cub companion. (The Herald, 25 Sep 04)

"Michelle Paver is undoubtably a writer of rare passion, imagination and enthusiasm" (Liverpool Echo, 28 Sep 04)

"A rollicking, easy read" (Daily Telegraph, 4 Oct 04)

a thrilling, visceral read... Paver's passion and enthusiasm for the period... will keep readers hooked and waiting eagerly for the next in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series (Scotsman, 16 Oct 04)

"An action packed, atmospheric story full of thrills with many touching and breath taking moments. Good news, it's the first of a series." (Primary Times, Oct/Nov 04) imaginative which magic is the only explanation of the unknown, excitingly told, the setting lingers in the memory (Independent, 15 Oct 04)

"Wolf Brother is a thrilling story of friendship and betrayal that takes you back to the great forests of Europe 6,000 years ago." (Evening Press (York), 13 Oct 04)

"Wolf Brother is prehistoric, and its folkloric, mystical motifs are of a pleasingly earthy hue, not in the least bit fey." (Hepzibah Anderson Observer, 24 Oct 04)

"WOLF BROTHER gripped me from the very first page. It has the three qualities of a classic children's book. Attractive characters. Relentless pace. And superb writing. Added to which, it explores a world that was virtually unknown to us with real insight and authority. This really is a book that stands out from the crowd." (Anthony Horowitz, author)

"the isolations from the modern world is a breath of fresh air, making Wolf Brother a very innocent and engagaing read" (Independent on Sunday, 28 Nov 04)

"I would recommend this book to anyone of all ages - it is a truly great read and an all-round fabulous book!" (Lincolnshire Echo, 30 Nov 04)

a marvellous epic quest... wild adventure interlaced by myth and mysticism (Northern Echo, 30 Nov 04)

"a well-earthed and transcendent fable, a page-turner for children and adults alike." (Northern Earth, Winter 04)

an utterly gripping Bronze Age quest... written with compelling economy and detail. (New Statesman, 29 Nov 04)

A beautifully crafted story... Michelle Paver has produced a thrilling narrative with authentic flavour founded on thorough research... The text is well-honed and rhythmic, and moves with terrific pace; a haunting and heroic adventure (TES, 10 Dec 04)

"Wolf Brother is an enchanting book. Michelle has created a world that we have not seen before in any previous film". (Ridley Scott The Times, 22 Jan 05)

' of 2004's most notable debuts...' (Giles Elliott CHILDREN'S BOOKSELLER (AUG 05))

'...the best children's novel to be published in 2004...' (Amanda Craig SATURDAY TIMES 10.09.05)

'packed with mythology, magic and more... Well researched and beautifully written.' (Wendy Cooling CHILD EDUCATION)

'Paver's persuasive writing, exciting story and detailed research all come together in WOLF BROTHER to create an exciting, atmospheric page-turner that works well... A terrific read.' (John Millen SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

'This is a tale you can really claw into.. You'll be howling for a sequel!' (Joanthan Weir (Age 15) THE GUARDIAN - EDUCATION (Young Critics))

'Wolf Brother, with its pin-prick sharp detail of survival in the forests of long ago, is a story which takes you right into the world it describes; it was much enjoyed for its mythical qualities and the strength of its characters.' (Julia Eccleshare LOOK AT A BOOK (The Guardian))

'I'd definitely get my friends to read this book!' (Sophie Clemie TEEN TITLES)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a 12 year old boy who absolutely hated reading. One day my mum asked me to just try reading this book (wolf Brother)like all mums tend to do with books. I read 224 pages in around 4 days! Just to make it clear, I would normally read that amount in any other book in about 2 months!

I highly rate this book for anyone from 10 and upwards.
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By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Firstly, I would like to commend Michelle Paver for writing an original book for children. I think it is quite evident from reading this, the first book in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, that Paver has done lots of research in order to bring this ancient world to life.

The story begins with Torak, a young boy whose father is killed by a demon in the form of a bear. Before his father dies, he makes Torak promise that he will travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit, or die trying. Confused and alone, Torak makes his promise. As he and his father lived as outcasts, he has no one to turn to - the reality of his promise to his dying father seems too great to bear.

However, not long after he has been left on his own, Torak comes across an orphaned wolf cub. Despite his hunger, Torak does not kill the cub for food; instead he befriends the cub. This decision perhaps helps to keep him alive. Together, they set off on their journey . . .

Paver's voice is refreshing and intelligent. Although I would not say that this is the best book I have read, there is no doubt that she has created a very original new world.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Torak is a little boy alone. He is terribly wounded by a demon in the form of a great bear. The bear kills Torak`s father so with only a girl and a wolf cub to guide him he sets off on a dangerous and breathtaking journey to find the "Mountain of the World Spirit" to slaughter the bear. "Wolf Brother" is soooo good and very exciting. I owe Paver one! I keep on begging my sisters and my mum and dad to read it ! If you can`t read it yourself get your mum and dad to read it to you! Written by an 8 year old BOOK DEVOURING KID...
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Format: Hardcover
I was unsure of what I would make of Wolf Brother when I heard about it earlier this week. The headlines hit that author Michelle Paver was given perhaps the largest advance for a book ever, that it was a story researched at great lengths, and a story that had been written many years ago and then filed away until recently.
Perhaps now was the perfect time to bring it out. A heightened interest in books, from both the public and the media, has led to many high profile children's books being released within the past decade. This could be one reason why another series of books about a small orphaned child growing up will have the media immediately announcing Michelle Paver as the new J.K Rowling.
Do we really need another J.K Rowling? I think not.
It's good, then, that this book delivers something much more than an angst ridden teenager struggling with his childhood in an magical world. Instead we are treated to a story lavished with wonderful terrain, friendship and enemies and, more importantly, a feeling of history that's not too distant from life today.
'Wolf Brother' follows the story of Torak, a boy who is orphaned and on the run from an evil he cannot fathom and whose only ally comes in the form of a wolf cub - coincidentally recently orphaned. Paver manages to capture a perfect level of understanding and friendship between these two unlikely friends that's heart-warming and obviously something more than the love of a man for his dog. Together they embark on an adventure which is fast paced and full of excitement, danger and betrayal at every turn.
Although the story can be somewhat predictable in places, there are instances of genuine concern for the characters and situations they get into, and real feelings of fear at others.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
In my local book shop early october 2004 michelle paver was giving a book signing of wolf brother. No-one was buying anything from her. She was alone in the middle of the book shop. She was staring at me keenly and then glacing to the large pile of books next to her.
I came along and bought a signed book from her and she was delighted. The book devoured me and no-one saw me for a day. I read the whole thing that day. I never knew she would be my best author!
Buy it, read it, re-read it a year later, and then keep it then re-read it as many times as you like! And don't forget to get the next books, Spirit Walker, soul eaters and outcast.
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Format: Paperback
I scarcely come across a good book as I am very fussy about what book I read but about 2 weeks ago my mum told me about a book that my cousin was reading. She had been telling me for ages to read the book by the name of Wolf Brother and after weeks of my mum telling me about this book I decided to read it. When I first saw it I thought it would not be worth reading and was a waste of time but I was so wrong. This book took me about 3 hours to complete and within a week I had got the sequal out of the libary and read them both at the weekend. Anyway Wolf Brother is great any age and at the moment I am reading it to my nine year old sister who loves it!

Wolf Brother is about a boy named torak who lives around 6,000 years ago in North-Western Europe which in that time was completely covered in forest. The book itself is well researched fast-paced and thrilling and I am so glad i started reading t as i have read all the books over and over countless times.

Wolf Brother is about a boy who is twelve years old and is about how he is left alone orphaned in the forest when his farther dies as the result of a possessed bear and how he finds his companion wolf who at times is just a normal wolf cub with a love of ligonberrys but at other times the mysterious guide who must help torak complete the quest untill it is too late.

I conclude that this book is a must for anyone aged eight plus as my nine year old sister loves it and I can't wait to show it too the rest of my family. This book is a thrilling page turner and I would reccomend this book to anyone.

((Written by a KS3 girl))
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