Hello humans! You know those times when you try to push yourself out of your reading comfort zone and it ends up changing your world and zapping you out of that reading slump you’ve been in for a while? Yeah, this was not one of those times. I have some things to say about The Wolf and I do have a caveat for them first, hopefully, you’ll get what I mean!
Violence and death have come to the land under the Northern Sky.
The Anakim dwell in the desolate forests and mountains beyond the black river, the land under the Northern Sky.
Their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver and carved in the grey stone of their heartland, their lives measured out in the turning of centuries, not years.
By contrast, the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors.
Fragile is the peace that has existed between these very different races – and that peace is shattered when the Suthern armies flood the lands to the north.
These two races revive their age-old hatred and fear of each other. Within the maelstrom of war, two leaders will rise to lead their people to victory.
Only one will succeed
Caveat time. I do not normally read this kind of military heavy fantasy. So, all of the below will be my personal preference and doesn’t necessarily reflect how someone who reads the genre more will find this book. Take your own personal preferences into account when you read this!
I think one of the reasons I couldn’t get into this book was the lack of relatable characters. I don’t just mean the fact that there were maybe three women who did anything of significance (in one case that significant thing was ‘get poisoned’ but that’s not the point here). I can relate to a male character as much as the next human being. In fact, there were times when I found myself strongly feeling for Roper (one of our male POVs) as he struggled to find his footing as a new leader. Those moments of vulnerability and insecurity were the strongest, followed closely by the plots and plans which subverted the need for battle, people taking the Odysseus route has always filled me with joy.
My problem was largely the length of this book, or perhaps the pacing (I got through Name of the Wind I’m not opposed to a lengthy tome). The chapters themselves are incredibly long and switch POV within chapter so it feels like it could have been divided a bit more to give the reader a sense of clarity and of progress. I found the latter 30% or so to be a real struggle to plough through.
Perhaps the most ‘personal preference’ thing that bothered me was the sheer number of battle scenes and the length of the description of them. This just isn’t something I am interested in, it’s not something that draws me in or captivates my attention. I would have appreciated a couple more instances of battles being dealt with or depicted in another manner. You know how in LOTR (the films) they sometimes have the thick of battle shown and later it’s a slow-motion shot with a song over it just to give your mind a break? I needed the book equivalent of that break.
I think this book tackles some interesting themes, including the idea of how two races would interact if one lived for a lot longer than the other. The idea of understanding one’s enemy and the differences between you was also well considered. Overall, however, there wasn’t too much to distinguish this book from other similar titles. The one aspect of the setting that I really enjoyed was the descriptions of the fortress in which the Anakim spend most of their time when not campaigning. Clearly, the author had a strong concept for this, which showed through in the detailed description.
Should you read this? If you enjoy fiction which focusses heavily on military exploits then you should pick this up. Personally, it wasn’t for me.
The Wolf releases April 5th, 2018
My rating: 2/5 (probably a 2.5 if I’m honest)
I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Is this something you would like? Let me know in the comments below!
Okay how weird is it that we both read the ARC of this book and posted our reviews the same day?? And it seems like we have incredibly similar opinions haha great review!
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Haha how weird!!? Must be the bookish stars aligning. Thank you (sneaks on over to your blog for a read).
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Yeah, something like that!! haha
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