Sunday, July 6, 2008

Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst

In Promise of the Wolves, Kaala, a newborn wolf in the Swift River pack, was sired by an outsider. This is forbidden and she along with her littermates are to be killed. Kaala, is lucky, though and she is saved. She lives on to tell us the story of her pack, it’s members, the ravens who taunt and help them, the wolves of other packs and most importantly the humans they must avoid.

Written in the first person (or is that first wolf) from Kaala’s point of view, this is a superb first novel. Hearst’s writing isn’t overly complicated so the book quick and easy to read. Her storytelling is exceptional and while it reminds me a little of some First Nation’s/Native American tales I’ve heard, this story is unique, interesting and educational. I often forgot that most of the characters in this book were wolves. The first two chapters were so heartbreaking I barely made it through them. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish the book. I put down it several times because it was just too sad. Once I got past that point though, I didn’t want to put it down at all. I loved hearing about Kaala’s adventures and it gave me a new respect for wolves and ravens.

I was surprised that the ravens played such a big role in this story. I’m left wondering if it’s because ravens and wolves have a special relationship in the wild or if it’s just the author’s imagination at work. I’ll have to do a little investigation to find out more.

Even though this isn’t my usual genre, I enjoyed this book immensely. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. The author left a few loose ends in this story that will hopefully be addressed in the next instalment. I can’t wait.


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