35838138The Wolf is a thrilling, savagely visceral, politically nuanced, and unexpectedly wry exploration of power – and how far one will go to defend it.

Violence and death have come to the land under the Northern Sky.

The Anakim dwell in the desolate forests and mountains beyond the black river, the land under the Northern Sky.
Their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver and carved in the grey stone of their heartland, their lives measured out in the turning of centuries, not years.
By contrast, the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors.
Fragile is the peace that has existed between these very different races – and that peace is shattered when the Suthern armies flood the lands to the north.
These two races revive their age-old hatred and fear of each other. Within the maelstrom of war, two leaders will rise to lead their people to victory.
Only one will succeed.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
NetGalley ebook 480 Wildfire (Headline) Fantasy April 5th, 2018

The minute I saw the book cover on social media and read the blurb some while back, I was interested in it as a whole. Political intrigue and exploration of power are totally my cups of tea. I was taken by surprise when my review request on NetGalley was accepted – I did not expect it, but nonetheless, I was eager to sink my teeth into The Wolf.

The Wolf was in parts a challenging read for me and yet by the end I came to admire it.

The Anakim as a race, a culture, as characters are probably some of the most intriguing I have come across in a while. Entirely geared towards war, their bodies are quite literally built for battles, and war is something they take great pride in, and yet, with the exception of a few too ambitious characters, they keep a very level head about their way of life. The Anakim value their culture, their homes and their country on a very deep-rooted level.

The Sutherners, who share the border with the Anakim, are polar opposites. The Sutherner’s lifespan is shorter, they don’t have the same values or live quite in the same environment as the Anakim. Their country has been developed by the ways of a more ‘modern’ man whereas the Anakim life is more down to earth. I couldn’t help but think how this was kind of like a clash in between modern culture against the more nature-loving way of things.

That is why they are such a voracious race. They have no time, and so they must consume. They each want to see change in their own lifetime. We know that we just have to wait and change will come. 

The two peoples have clashed throughout history although I couldn’t quite figure out, or perhaps I missed it, why exactly would the Anakim want Surtherners’ lands or vice versa. Neither side had hardly enough of that burning desire to occupy the land that was so different to their own. The Anakim are a culture that settle, firmly and permanently, and the Sutherners would hardly manage in the harsh conditions that the Anakim thrive. Then again, all it takes sometimes is just being so starkly different to ‘warrant’ conflict.

When the fragile peace in between the two opposing sides is fractured yet again, many lose their lives, their respect and not the leaders or their army Captains can really be sure their own country doesn’t want to eliminate them in the process. But no matter how devastating the outcome of a war in between two countries is, adding a civil war into the mix ratchets things up another notch.

And so, The Wolf explores the alliances formed, loyalties tested, grudges eliminated…

The Black Lord does not cry. So Roper howled instead. 

The world building alone is rich, especially that of the Anakim, and Carew left no stone unturned to give readers the full experience. I do have to say, though, that at times there was perhaps too much information in certain parts. Yes, it was relevant to the particular scene but somehow it still disconnected me from the present timeline of ongoing events. But as I mentioned earlier- after reconsidering the overall reading experience- I can only admire this book as a whole. The everything that it gave me as a reader, the unfolding of events which at times were fast forward, at times slower to enable me to plant myself into the moment…

The Wolf is not at all dialogue heavy, it’s more of a descriptive read and I do believe a picture formed in my head exactly, or quite close to, as the author envisaged it- the bloody battles fought with swords and bows, the chaos of the battlefield. The Anakim and their larger than life war-hardened presence. The Sutherners with their many politically driven ambitions. This is war!!! And yet, there were also moments that reflected the very base human feelings, like fear of dying, proving one’s worth and heartbreaking sadness of losing a loved one.

And now that the scene is set, I quite look forward to the perilous journey the Black Lord will take me next…

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