WOLF BROTHER by Michelle Paver

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Torak can remember the exact moment that his life changed.  He and Fa had been setting up camp, happy and laughing, when the bear exploded from the forest—the great demon bear that no hunter could destroy—and attacked Fa.  Numb with shock and grief, Torak swears to Fa’s dying request.  He will find the mountain of the World Spirit that no man has ever seen.  He will trust the guide that the spirits send him, whoever or whatever it may be.  And he will stay away from the clans, avoiding people at all costs, so that they do not hinder him.  He will fulfill his quest or die trying.

The guide is certainly not what Torak expected.  Almost as soon as Torak finds the orphaned wolf cub, he feels a connection between them.  Though he does not know how, Torak can communicate with the wolf, understanding his wolf speech and speaking back with grunts, whines, and growls.  Realizing that the wolf must be his guide, Torak follows the cub through the forest, hoping that the young wolf will lead him to the mountain of the World Spirit.  But Torak forgets his father’s hunting advice—“Look behind you, Torak”—and before his quest is fully underway, he is captured by hunters from the Raven clan.   Yet if he had not been captured, he never would have met Renn, learned about the prophecy, or discovered the secrets of his father’s past and the demon bear.  Now, Torak is more determined than ever to find the mountain of the World Spirit—but first he must escape the clutches of the Ravens. . . .

I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough!  Sir Ian McKellen’s narration is phenomenal.  The story itself is dark, suspenseful, and very exciting.  It has all of the story elements you could ask for: action, mystery, complex and evolving characters, friendships and rivalries, puzzles to solve, and evil to defeat.  I especially recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction and/or high fantasy and to dog lovers. Wolf Brother is the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.

If you liked Wolf Brother, you might like The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner, Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, or Dreamwood by Heather Mackey.

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