Wolf Brother : Michelle Paver

Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, #1)Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Torak woke with a jolt from a sleep he’d never meant to have”

This, the opener to Paver’s stone age saga, sets the scene instantly and does so with a great and vivid grace. This sentence. This book. This story, this richness of story, this richness of tone, of voice, this book, oh my god, this book.

It’s rare, I think, to find a story which is written so sparsely, so subtly, and yet have every word tinged with such a great and terrible grace that you can feel it. All of it. The words spill from this book until it is not book-bound and simply is.

It is a great and terrible thing, Paver’s writing, for she writes so quietly and perfectly. So simply. So tightly: “An ember spat. The dark trees leaned closer to listen”.

This is such story.

It is the story of Torak’s quest; his father has been slaughtered by a giant demon who came to them as an immense bear, and now Torak has to survive against a world that is full of terror and foretold horrors. The only thing he has on his side is Wolf; his ally, his brother, a young wolf cub.

Paver shifts viewpoints between the two characters occasionally, writing both young boy and young wolf with such grace. There’s a great orality to her text as well, a spell in her words.

When I reached the end of this, I started to get a bit nervous. Have you ever had that? That sort of book sadness; that feel that nothing can ever be as quite as good as this moment that you have, right now, this connection between you and a story, and you are so deeply aware that you may never experience that again? I had that. I have that now. I don’t want to let this book go and yet, I have the feverish urge to want to do so. I need this story to go on. I need more of Paver’s beautiful writing. I need it.

One final thing to note is that I was lucky enough to read the 10th anniversary edition of Wolf Brother, courtesy of Orion (ISBN: 9781444015416). It is a ridiculously beautiful book as so many of theirs are and a genuine joy to read. The cover is embossed and the edge of the papers are inked with signs and symbols from the book. It is so beautiful. So, so beautiful.

View all my reviews

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3 thoughts on “Wolf Brother : Michelle Paver

  1. Pingback: A Garden for Torak (Wolf Brother : Michelle Paver) | Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

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