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Diplomacy of Wolves

by Holly Lisle

Series: Secret Texts (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
612530,982 (3.63)22
This first volume of The Secret Texts-- a fantastic epic of ancient curses, evil conspiracies, and the darkest of sorceries--revolves around a 400-year battle between two clans for control of Calimekka. A young diplomat must reluctantly use her deadly magical powers to keep Calimekka from being crushed in a reign of unholy terror.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Silvered by Tanya Huff (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both epic quest fantasy, with endangered wolves, rogue mages, culture clash across national boundaries, war, moustache twirling villains and elaborately builtup worlds. The wolf cultures are not the same - Lisle is mostly about dynastic infighting and Huff is interested in pack life and how that would make sentience different.… (more)
  2. 00
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (kaydern)
    kaydern: Awesome female lead character, cool magic system, philosophical leanings about the nature of gods.
  3. 00
    Vincalis the Agitator by Holly Lisle (kaydern)
    kaydern: Same author, same universe/setting, same style of writing.
  4. 01
    Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist (kaydern)
    kaydern: Awesome female lead character, similar genre.

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
That I picked up this novel has more to do with my book group than anything else as, back in the day, I probably wouldn't have given this work a try and, otherwise, such is the press of new works that I find it hard to make time for older "routine" adventures. However, I will say that I was initially intrigued by this work, with its depiction of a female character trying to rise above the routine treatment of women in her world. The problem is that this soon descended into a mostly by-the-numbers quest where I wished that I was reading something else. To be fair to Lisle, I suspect that, prior to George R.R. Martin hitting the sub-genre like a ton of bricks, this story would have felt much more impressive. ( )
  Shrike58 | Dec 15, 2021 |
This is the first book in, I assume, a trilogy. Although I enjoyed it, I've not found myself driven to dive into the second. The world created and it's history are quite complex, and I would like it to be just a bit clearer considering how far I am into the story. I think I know who the good guys and the bad guys are among the characters, although a few remain ambiguous. I'm less clear about the players in the larger historical good/evil conflict. I'm looking for a romance involving the central character, Kait, but there are three men currently who might figure in that. There's still plenty of story left, and it's perfectly okay for a writer to surprise me, but I think I would feel more committed to this story if I knew who I was rooting for as I put down book one.
The writing is strong, often quite evocative, and the characters well-differentiated. The amount of detail in the descriptions varies and sometimes I would prefer there to be either less or more of it - perhaps more consistency. The magic is pretty impressive and does seem to have a cost, if not a clear limit. The narration is "omniscient" in that Lisle takes the point of view of more than a single character. I've concluded that Kait is the central character because Lisle begins with her and takes her point of view most frequently. It took me a while to be as sure as I am about this and it's conceivable that I'm wrong. This ambiguity concerning where my loyalties ought to lie has detracted from my enjoyment somewhat and is another reason why I haven't rated this book more highly. ( )
  Carol_W | Apr 21, 2015 |
Randomly picked this book off the library shelf. Kait is a diplomat with a secret. But when things go to hell in a handbasket and attacks slaughter entire clans, she has to learn diplomacy to find an artifact to save the world.

Or something like that. So yeah, I couldn't even finish this book, I was too bored. I thought the world wasn't particularly interesting, the plot was way too cliche without a hook, and the characters just not powerful enough to keep me reading.

I read about 100 pages, flipped ahead a bit as a last ditch effort to keep reading, and just could not.

Not recommended.
One star. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Diplomacy of Wolves and Vengeance of Dragons by Holly Lisle

Diplomacy of Wolves is the first book in a trilogy about The Secret Texts. Vengeance of Dragons is book two. The main character is Kate, she is a member of a royal house and training to be a diplomat for her family. She is also a shape-shifter, or karnee, a fact she keeps secret from all but her immediate family members. The arch enemies of Kate’s royal house are planning an attack on them and she finds out about it. The story continues on from there where backlash and chaos ensue from the royal houses warring with one another, both houses use magic and wizardry to aid their cause. Fearing Kate has lost her family in the attacks she discovers information about an ancient artifact, The Mirror of Souls, that she believes will help bring her family back from the ravages of war and she sets off in search of it. The first book ends when she finally discovers the artifact and book two picks up where book one leaves off. Kate journeys back to her homeland with plans to use the mirror of souls and bring her family back, but she discovers some unpleasant facts about the artifact along the way. The mortal enemies of Kate’s family seek to steal the artifact, and neither side realizes there is a third party involved with the artifact that is ancient, powerful and dangerous to all.

The reader is introduced to a whole new world; the world building by the author is detailed and interesting, even a bit complicated at times. There is good action in the story and a cliff-hanger ending spurring the reader on to the next book in the series (surprise!). I have read other books by this author, enjoyed them, and I am also enjoying this series. One thing that is keeping me interested is the fact that I cannot predict what I think will happen next. There is good romantic tension between main characters built into the story, but some of the story events are a bit gruesome- like another shape-shifter characters abuse of others, an instance of infanticide, and the use of blood magic, which might be offensive to some. (4 out of 5 stars for both these books by Holly Lisle) ( )
  kaida46 | May 16, 2011 |
I have a copy myself somewhere and it was a great read. I'm looking forward to finding the others in the series and reading them.

Kait Galweigh (amusing name when I come from Galway) has to use her innate gifts to try to foil a plot by another ruling family. Those gifts could kill her and her family. There are other powers at play that are trying to get her and some others to follow their plans. They're lying, but by how much is unsure even up to the end. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 30, 2005 |
Showing 5 of 5
For a romantic fantasy with a mix of politics, magic, romance, and betrayal, Lisle’s Secret Texts trilogy is a must read.... Her work always features strong and sensible heroines. Romance is always a central plot to her books. Her worlds are always well constructed. And there’s always a lot of political scheming going on.
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This first volume of The Secret Texts-- a fantastic epic of ancient curses, evil conspiracies, and the darkest of sorceries--revolves around a 400-year battle between two clans for control of Calimekka. A young diplomat must reluctantly use her deadly magical powers to keep Calimekka from being crushed in a reign of unholy terror.

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Average: (3.63)
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2 11
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3 29
3.5 7
4 35
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