Wolf Speaker, Tamora Pierce – Book Review

Hello Humans! If you come to the blog daily then you may be catching on to a little theme that’s happening for the latter part of the week. Yes, I am reviewing all of Tamora Pierce’s Immortals quartet as I read them. It’s no small task but, having read and loved Wild Magic I was ready to get stuck into Wolf Speaker.

Wolf Speaker Tamora Pierce

Goodreads Summary:

Wildness is a kind of magic

Discover a land of enchantment, legend, and adventure in this second book of The Immortals series, featuring an updated cover – perfect for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Diane has wild magic: the ability to talk to and sway the actions of animals. When Daine is summoned to help a pack of wolves – friends from her old village – she and her mentor, the legendary mage Numair, travel to Dunlath Valley to answer the call. But when they arrive, Daine learns that it’s not only animals whose lives are threatened; people are in danger, too.

Dunlath’s rulers have discovered black opals in their valley. They’re dead set on mining the opals and using the magic contained in the stones to overthrow King Jonathan. Even if it means irreversibly damaging the land – and killing their workers. Daine must master her wild magic if she is to save the ones she loves – both human and animal . . .

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I won’t lie, I think the reason I like these books more than the Song of the Lioness series (which I also loved, I’m just talking comparatively) is that it has quite a few more talking animals/creatures. Never has that been truer than in Wolf Speaker, in which Daine (whose praises I sang in my previous review, but who has gone from strength to strength) is cut off from most human contact. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the majority of the characters in this particular book are non-human (and I like them more than most of the human characters).

From squirrels to basilisks Daine encounters them all. I loved the way that Tamora Pierce captured the distinct voices and characteristics of each animal, you get a sense of the work she put into the details of each animal (the afterword is well worth a read if you want a bit more insight into that).

I think I may have enjoyed Wild Magic just a little bit more, most likely because the plot felt a little stronger, there was a more clear motivation at hand. That’s not to say that there isn’t a strong plot in this book, but Daine’s own character felt like it took a bit of a back seat, there wasn’t quite as much intrigue and excitement, it was more about proving things and discovering things that were most likely going on. That might be my personal preference for court intrigue coming through, and I did still enjoy the plot of this book, I just felt that Wild Magic was marginally stronger.

It was an interesting way to go for a sequel, and definitely does the job of positioning Daine on her own within the wider world, rather than her just being a way through which Alanna and the other characters from Song of the Lioness’ stories could be continued. I liked a lot of the new characters that were introduced (human and animal) and I’m hoping for even more of them in the books to come (two to go), I’m also excited for there to be more dragon – but I always want more dragon.

What is perhaps most significant is that you can really feel this book revving up for something even more interesting. The seeds are being sown for bigger things and Daine is being positioned on that game board (ah mixed metaphors, my old friend). Given that these books are each quite short, their stories closing off quite tidily, it’s nice to have that expectation, that sense of something waiting in the wings. It definitely gets you in the mood to keep reading.

Utterly enchanting and exactly the kind of thing you need to transport yourself into the world of talking animals we all secretly wish we inhabited. I would recommend it to any fantasy lover.

My rating: 4/5 stars

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Have you read any Tamora Pierce? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

J

 

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