BOOK REVIEW - THE WOLF: UNDER THE NORTHERN SKY Series, Book 1.
Written by Leo Carew. Published in Hardback by Wildfire on 5th of April. 480 pages, £16.99. Ebook version also available.
‘Violence and death have come to the land under the northern sky’
The brilliant tag line on the back of the book and a very sparse synopsis, left me with no idea of what to expect from The Wolf. I occupy a minority, having not read any of the GEORGE R R MARTIN stories, which this book has been compared too), nor watched Game of Thrones; I was therefore pleasantly unaware of what type of journey this book would take me on, or the mental pictures it would create.
I was slightly concerned I would not get on with this book, reading the prologue did little to reassure me and I could tell that this was a different book to my usual reading. Despite my initial anxiety I with persevered with ‘The Wolf’ and I am so glad that I did.
Carew’s language skilfully sets the scene, describing desolate, albeit beautiful, mountainous landscapes, creating a large and colourful fantasy world in my mind.
Leo Carew effortlessly draws you in, his characters are rich and compelling, so much so that you end up empathising with both sides.
The book is about the Anakim- who dwell in the mountains of the north and the Southerners - who live in warmer climates. These races, whilst poles apart both geographically and in lifestyle live in a fragile peace. When this peace is shattered, both sides head to war.
The Wolf explores the politics involved when a nation goes to war and the extremes that usually noble people will go to in order to gain or to hold on to power.
We meet Roper- an Anakim and Bellamus- a Southerner, both have their own moral code by which they live by. We learn of houses that are joined by marriage, prestigious guards and their training, houses that assassinate to keep the kingdom stable and we discover what laws govern their lands and how brutal the punishments can be.
As I turned each page I wanted to learn more of the races’ history, more about the characters’ pasts. Carew left me pondering on how the political dalliances would either flourish or falter. Each page kept me vividly in the world of ‘The Wolf’.
The book explores power, identity, and relationships. It depicts extreme devotion, unfailing hatred and great wisdom in equal measure. There is plenty of action for those that are battle thirsty, exploration of politics, massive fantasy elements and even a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.
After having had my doubts about this book, I would whole-heartedly recommend this, fan of Game of Thrones or otherwise. I really enjoyed it and immersed myself in the world Leo Carew has created. I eagerly await the next book in this series.
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