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33.33% of people buy Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series #1) and The Graveyard Book ~ Paperback / softback ~ Neil Gaiman.
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?
Young Torak is of an ancient world where people live in clans and life is mystically entwined with the natural world and its spirits. Trees and animals have souls, and frightening specters lurk in shadows. After his father is killed by a demon-possessed bear, Torak begins a predestined trek in pursuit of the animal, which threatens all existence in the forest. His guide is a wolf—with whom he is able to speak—and his other companion a strong-willed, able girl named Renn. The constant dangers they face keep the story moving, though the action sometimes feels rushed, making many of the intricate situations hard to fully grasp. The images of clan culture and hunter-gatherer life, though, are fascinating and well-presented. Kids will like the uniqueness and resourcefulness of the primeval clans, and the interesting descriptions of survival skills. The narratives told from the perspective of the wolf are especially well-done. When, in the end, Torak handily accomplishes his difficult mission, many mysteries are resolved. Other threads, though, are left dangling, presumably to be picked up in future volumes—there are five more books planned in "The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness" series. The ten-and-up target audience suggested by the publisher seems a stretch, since the writing lacks the cleverness and sophistication to keep the interest of teens and adults. It is the middle-grade reader—especially one who favors wildlife and adventure stories—who will find this an excellent journey. 2005 (orig. 2004), Ages 8 to 12. Children's Literature
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