Top critical review
I’m always on the hunt for a good fantasy, however
on 10 August 2014
I’m finding this book very difficult to review due to a few near-fatal flaws that, in my mind, have prevented it from fully achieving its potential. It’s an oddly unique premise; a fantasy novel about anthropomorphic wolves that have psychic powers. I’m always on the hunt for a good fantasy, however; and being a big fan of animal stories, I was at once intrigued.
Clements-Davies writes with authority. He seems to have researched the behavior of wolves quite a bit. There are definite overtones of “The Jungle Book” throughout. Much of the story is about the relationship between man and beast; and there is, in fact, a “man-cub”. Clement-Davies has created a rich background of “wolf lore” for his characters to believe in; complete with Gods, creation stories, and prophecies. At times, one could almost imagine they were reading a fictional account of a primitive human tribe; and it very well might appeal to fans of Jean Auel. Along with the invention of wolf-centered myths, Clement-Davies also introduces many new vocabulary words that heavily season the story. One of my main critiques is that these words were not compiled into a handy glossary for readers to reference at will. There were many new terms and concepts to keep straight and relocating the exact page that defined these unfamiliar words proved distracting.
I wasn’t really sure what I thought of the book for more than half of its length. I did grow to enjoy it a bit more in the summating chapters; when some surprises were tossed like tasty tidbits to the audience to keep them going. I do feel that the novel suffered greatly from poor editing; not just the spelling and grammatical errors, which I found plenty of, but in terms of content. Whole passages of the last chapter were unnecessary and redundant. The message was clear enough without it having to be spelled out at such length.
I see that there are at least two other books in this series but I am unsure whether I will ever be inclined to read them. This book, though, will remain in my thoughts. There was something very earthy and spiritual about it, which isn’t something you come by so often these days.