Daily Archives: September 20, 2013

Review of Wolf’s Brother – Book 2 of The Saga of the Reindeer People by Megan Lindholm

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This is the second half of the story Lindholm started with The Reindeer People and picks up exactly where the first book finished, back sometime during the Bronze Age, in the wilds of Northern America/Europe/Russia.

wolf's brotherEvery day, Kerlew’s magic grows, reaching out to his guide, the Wolf. But the magic also calls to Carp, the evil old shaman, who is pursuing Kerlew and his mother, Tillu, across the frozen waste. Meanwhile, someone – or something – is committing terrible atrocities in the village that Tillu now calls home. With fear and suspicion at fever pitch, a strange old man appears, with an offer of help…

Lindholm manages to perfectly capture the sense of fear and claustrophobia that overtakes her protagonists after an unsolved murder. And two very ambitious, ruthless individuals appear to be able to operate without any opposition within the small community, as misfortunes continue to pile up. This is essentially a murder/mystery and the fantastic elements are confined to the shamanistic magic practised by Carp and Kerlew. It works really well and I was so caught up in the characters and their problems, I didn’t miss the supernatural factor. The world is so distant from our own, where Life is precarious and the difference between survival and death often simply down to misfortune, there was a constant sense of tension.

Tillu’s efforts to try and protect Kerlew from Carp’s malign influence held me – as did Heckram’s attempt to keep his place within the small community after having made some powerful enemies… This isn’t a long read, which is just as well because once I picked up the book I found it very difficult to put down. Lindholm’s pacing, evocation of the journey when the tribe have to follow the wild reindeer herds to their summer camp and her depiction of the handful of vividly drawn characters is a joy.

She brings this tale to a triumphant and climactic end – and this little gem presages the author’s successful career as one of the foremost Fantasy writers of her generation as Robin Hobb. Both The Reindeer People and Wolf’s Brother are available in print and as an ebook. If you are already a Robin Hobb fan and want an enjoyable, compelling read then give yourself a treat. You won’t be sorry…
9/10