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Publisher's Summary

Six thousand years ago. Evil stalks the land. Only 12-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.

In this original and spectacularly told adventure story, the first book in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Torak and Wolf are joined by an incredible cast of characters as they battle to save their world.

©2004 Michelle Paver (P)2004 Orion Publishing Group & HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Paver's depth of research...makes this impressive British import...intriguing and believable." ( School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • It
  • 02-04-10

Where are book 2 and 3?

this book is fantastic.. but where are the second and third book??

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Reader

Ian McKellen brought this book to life. He is the best reader I've ever heard, bringing wonder and mystery and excitement to the narrative as well as to the dialog.

If this book is the first of a series, I hope he reads them all.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Young at heart

Fun book even for adults. I'm 45, loved it. My dad who's 79 enjoyed it too.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hooked For The Duration

After listening to this first book of a six-book series I know that I am hooked for the duration. Paver takes some basic story elements and brings them excitingly alive ; a boy's kinship with an animal; a battle against pure evil; a quest of myth-like proportions.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved Tall Tailless and Wolf

I listened to Ian McKellen (Gandalf) bring this piece to stunning life. It's a fantasy, set in ancient Bronze-Age Europe, uncounted aeons ago. The first of 6 or 7 books. Beautifully written, the story is fast-paced and action-packed. It's told in 3rd person, with the POV shifting from the boy Torak to his brother — a wolf cub. The setting is vivid and the story sometimes felt almost real, like it could almost have happened, back when people lived in tribal clans, ate reindeer, and worshipped the spirits in rocks and rivers and ravens. There are some life-lessons embedded in the story. For example, the ritual of respect young Torak showed to any animals he killed, thanking it and promising to use every part to sustain life (the hide, bones, and meat).

PLOT (no major spoilers): A suddenly-orphaned youth and his wolf cub are destined to save the world from a malevolent demon-possessed bear. As his father (Fa) is dying, having been mawled by the bear, 12-year-old Torak makes him a promise: To journey into the frozen North, to the tallest mountain, home of the World Spirit, and plead for help, for only this Spirit is powerful enough to defeat such a demon. Torak must also offer sacrifices (find three pieces of the Nanuak: the river eye, stone bite, etc) to the World Spirit. He must also offer up his own heart's blood. (He wonders, "All of it??") No one has ever climbed the World Mountain or seen the World Spirit — the stuff of legend. Torak is frightened and frequently tempted to break his promise, but he keeps his word (another moral of the story). Help comes from a surprising source.

They make a great team, Wolf, Tarok, and the surprise helper.

It's a coming-of-age story, wrapped up in a quest. A "fellowship of the ring" but with only 3 in the group.

Secondary characters are Hord, Oslak, Fin-Kedin, an old Mage woman of the Raven Clan, a disgusting Walker, etc.

I enjoyed it well enough, but it's really written for kids. I'd have loved it more in about 5th grade.

However, I LOVED getting into the mind of the wolf cub. The words he invented (he calls Torak "Tall Tail-less" and the campfire is "the bright beast that bites hot" (so clever!). Torak can never talk to wolf about what will happen tomorrow, because a wolf has no concept of future, only of now.

The author has a degree in biochemistry and lots of experience with animals, including wolves and bears. But hopefully not bears possessed by an evil spirit.

Narrated superbly by Ian McKellen. It's — oddly enough —not available in kindle format at Amazon USA. And only books 1 and 4-6 are available in Audible USA. A bummer!

The Audible version did not come with the pictures and maps from the book. I wanted to see the map at least, and we cannot buy the kindle book in America. I wish Audible would add that companion piece (the map).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Stellar Performance

This book was such a pleasant surprise. Having listened through the Harry Potter series more times than I care to admit, I was hoping to find some new adventure story to hear, but kept coming up short because none of the narrators held a candle to Jim Dale’s fantastic reading. Then I found this book. Ian McKellen’s abilities on stage and in film should have been proof enough that this was going to be well done, but I was still surprised to find myself so spellbound. Beyond this masterful narrator, the story itself was fascinating. Set in the Neolithic period, an era that is usually bypassed by fiction writers, this compelling plot shows a vast world full of things unknown and unexplained, but through the observant and alert eyes of hunter-gatherers; the five senses are sharp and powerfully conveyed, but very little is known of the world beyond the characters’ immediate experience. In a way, the scope reminded me of The Hobbit; a vast complex world with endless stories to be told, but we only get to see the world within the confines of this specific company of travelers. The result is a wonderful, mysterious story rich with tangible detail and memorable characters. It may be in the Young Adult genre but it’s truly enjoyable for even the not-so-young adults. Very much worth the purchase and your time!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My Favorite Book

This is my favorite book series but you can't get the audio books for the 2nd and 3rd books of the series on here, but people are selling abridge copies for $60+ on amazon and much higher on other sites. I've sent a complaint in about it and waiting for years but they're still not available for U.S. and so I can't share my love of this series with my dyslexic friends or family members. So if you, like me, think paying $120+ for 2 audio books is rediculous get ready for an incomplete collection and thus an incomplete story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Book

This book has been my favorite book since I could understand words, it's what got me into reading. As a high school senior reading this again has brought back many memories of my dad and I reading it together. I wish greatly that y'all had all of this book series. So I can listen to it in order over and over again. But until then I guess I will settle with what yall have! I will MOST DEFINITELY pay the money to listen to the series. I hope y'all get the rest on here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful.

I first read this book as a young teen, and hearing it performed by Ian McKellen was an experience I'll never forget. His rendition of this beloved tale of a boy and his wolf brother was moving and beautiful and wonderful in the best ways possible. If you're thinking of listening to this story, then do it. It is a powerful work of fiction that is both original and touching, and it will leave you hungry for the next installment in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVE THIS BOOK

Where does Wolf Brother rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I listened to Wolf Brother when I was younger and I was so happy when I found it again!

What did you like best about this story?

I love the character development! Torak Grows from being a boy, watching his father try to protect him, to becoming his own man and finding his place in the world! This story will keep you asking for more and it will keep your imagination growing!

What about Ian McKellen’s performance did you like?

Ian McKellen, one of my favorite actor's in the world. He really brings the characters voices and stories to life. When I listen to Ian McKellen, I really feel like I'm right there next to the characters and experiencing what they are because of his voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I will always try to finish a book in one sitting. That's the type of person that I am. I'm still kind of new to audio books, but yes I did want to finish it all in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

This book is my childhood!