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Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
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Wolf Brother (original 2004; edition 2012)

by Michelle Paver, Geoff Taylor (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,424575,301 (3.98)48
Member:MyopicBookworm
Title:Wolf Brother
Authors:Michelle Paver
Other authors:Geoff Taylor (Illustrator)
Info:London : Orion Children's Books, 2012.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fantasy, chidren's, historical fiction, prehistoric settings, Bronze Age

Work details

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (2004)

  1. 00
    Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen (range6)
    range6: Tribal life and the importance of the Spirit Bear appear in both stories.
  2. 00
    My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (Anonymous user)
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» See also 48 mentions

English (54)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Torak and his father have been living alone, away from their clan, for as long as Torak can remember. When a demon-possessed bear attacks them one night, Torak’s father is mortally wounded. Before he dies, he makes Torak promise to seek the Mountain of the World Spirit. On his journey to the mountain, Torak meets a recently orphaned wolf cub who becomes his guide, and then the boy and his wolf are captured by a tribe who wonder if Torak will fulfill their prophecy and save them from the demon-bear. There he meets Renn, a brave and spirited girl who only wants what’s best for her tribe. Meanwhile, the bear still hunts them.

Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother, the first in a series of children’s novels called The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, is a serious and gripping story. The writing is lovely and full of beautiful imagery, especially in the sections written from the wolf cub’s perspective. The story is original, suspenseful, and a little bit frightening. It promotes love, loyalty, and courage.

Wolf Brother is a perfect read for children in the targeted age range of 9-12. Torak, Wolf, and Renn are easy to love and the ancient wilderness setting is fascinating and offers lots of opportunities for learning about forest survival techniques.

Teens and adults will probably wish that Torak, Renn, and Wolf had to work a bit harder to fulfill their goals. Until the end, Torak mostly manages to accidentally stumble upon what he needs rather than apply his skills, courage, or wits. This aspect of the story was disappointing, but it was so well written otherwise that I still enjoyed it.

I read Wolf Brother on audio. The narrator is enthusiastic and pleasant to listen to. However, he has a deep, gruff, slightly muddy voice with an English accent that my 9-year-old daughter found difficult to follow. If you’re thinking about the audio version for a child, you might want to have them listen to a sample first. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
A friend from college recommended this series for my eight-year-old daughter. I'd intended to preview it before introducing it to my daughter---I don't censor for content, but I do try to keep her away from bad writing---but as often happens, she got to it before I did. She read Wolf Brother over the course of about a day and a half over vacation, and raved about the book. Once we got home, I had to play catch-up.

I finished the book last night, and it was pretty good. It follows a fairly standard pattern for children's literature. The protagonist is ostracaized because he's special, but it turns out that he's the only one who can save the world, so he embarks upon a quest. There's been a prophecy---and it's a kids book---so we're pretty sure he'll succeed, but will this success mean he's finally accepted by his fellow humans? With the male protagonist with the new-found female friend and the quest and the spirit guide, it reminded me a bit of Isabel Allende's City of Beasts.

Even though it follows the pattern, Paver's managed to make it fresh and interesting with her attention to detail and her dynamic and (mostly) nuanced characters. It also helps that her setting---prehistoric Europe---is fairly unique and interesting in itself. The thing that drew me through the book, though, was Torak's relationship with Wolf. I could almost hear the wolf-language they used to communicate, and Paver did a great job of conveying their connection.

I felt a little irritated by how obvious it was within the plot of this story that it would be part of a series. It lacked an explicit "TO BE CONTINUED..." at the end, but it didn't need one to get the message across. Even so, the writing was decent, and I don't mind my daughter reading more of this series. It's probably good for her to become familiar with the conventions of serial fiction anyway, I figure. We've got the second book of the series on hold at the library, so it looks like we'll be following Torak for a while. With any luck, the rest of the series will be as enjoyable to read as this one was. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Sep 27, 2013 |
This whole series is fantastic! If you're an adult who enjoys "kids" or Y.A. books, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's an exciting story about a boy and his wolf friend, set 6000 years ago in primeval landscapes whch come to life in Paver's beautiful writing. Her atmospheric descriptions of the natural world and spirit forces in it are always convincing, never patronizing to the intelligence, and mysterious enough to not disappoint with pat conclusions and explanations. ( )
1 vote lxydis | May 11, 2013 |
Engrossing and richly imagined. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Wolf Brother reminded me of Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series. However, where Earth’s Children is written for adults, the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is written for children (9+).

It’s a story of a 12 year-old boy trying to save the world. Everyone seems to know more about him than he does himself, because he’s led a secluded life. His father was trying to protect him, but after his father is fatally wounded Torak must find out, fast, what his destiny is.

The book grabbed me from the first chapter. I was actually reading another book at the time and only opened this book for a quick look—and before I knew it I’d read three chapters. It’s the first time I’ve officially read two books at the same time.

The story is set 6,000 years ago when people had a close awareness of the Earth and of nature. A time when the characters believe everything—including rocks, trees, plants—are alive and must be respected. This, mixed with magic, makes a very interesting world indeed.

Torak’s closest companion is a wolf; hence the title of the book—Wolf Brother. The bond between them is shaky to begin with and I believe Torak’s change of attitude towards the wolf pup wasn’t altogether convincing. But that is my only negative towards the book really so that in itself shows the book is good.

Torak’s other companion is Renn, a girl of about the same age. Renn is confident and knowledgeable. Torak learns a lot from her. They make a good contrast and must learn to trust each other, no matter how reluctantly.

The story itself is well written and full enough to allow imagery to form in the reader’s mind, without being too descriptive that it becomes cumbersome and boring. And although the storylines didn’t feel complex because of the way they were written (remember, this is a book for children), they were still full and complete, and very easy to read.

Wolf Brother is a book where time passes quickly as the reader is absorbed into a colourful world. And before you know it the book has ended and you find you just have to grab the next book in the series and continue reading. And that’s exactly what I did. ( )
  KarenLeeField | Dec 26, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michelle Paverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrier, BertrandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fordham, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garthon, BirgittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKellen, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omland, StianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orcese, AlessandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Post Uiterweer, EllisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060728272, Paperback)

The epic journey of boy and wolf begins

Six thousand years ago. Evil stalks the land. According to legend, only twelve-year-old Torak and his wolf-cub companion can defeat it. Their journey together takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined. Torak and Wolf are terrified of their mission. But if they do not battle to save their world, who will?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:35 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

6,000 years ago, twelve-year-old Torak and his guide, a wolf cub, set out on a dangerous journey to fulfill an oath the boy made to his dying father--to travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit to destroy a demon-possessed bear that threatens all the clans.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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