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A Reader of Fictions: Human Behaviour - The Decemberists

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, June 6, 2011

Human Behaviour - The Decemberists

Through Wolf's Eyes
Firekeeper Saga, Book 1

Author: Jane Lindskold
Pages: 579
Publisher: Tor

Brief Summary:
Firekeeper had no idea she was human until a group of them venture into the forest where she lives with her wolf brothers and sisters. She knew she was different, of course, but still thought herself wolf. With the arrival of her biological kind, Firekeeper becomes intrigued and knows that she must learn about them. The group has arrived to look for survivors of an settlement created by a disowned crown prince. Firekeeper is the only one found, and they presume her to be the prince's daughter, as she is about the right age. Firekeeper, at first unable to speak any English, is caught up in the political maneuverings of Hawk Haven, one of many possible heirs vying to be named old King Tedric's successor.

Review:
In typical epic fantasy style, Through Wolf's Eyes is both long and filled to the brim with characters to remember. There are lots of battles and backstabbings, too. Additionally, there is a hint of magic, not the spell kind, but a subtler magic, talents certain people have for gardening or healing or working with animals. The world building here is excellent and I liked the idea of the girl raised by wolves and of the Greater animals. (There are Great wolves, the kind who raised Firekeeper, who are smarter and larger than regular wolves; the same is true of other animals, like falcons.)

The cast of characters, too, is quite likable, although I did not get too especially attached to most of them. Firekeeper is interesting, but not yet really a fitting heroine. She is too much wolf yet to have any romantic entanglements with her own kind or to involve herself too deeply. Derian, who becomes responsible for her training, is a good guy, who I think could become quite a good fellow later on. My favorite character by far is Doc, Jared; he's just such an intelligent sweetie pie. I actually quite liked King Tedric, as well. Lady Elise started out as a bit of an airhead, but grows into a much better character. Lady Sapphire is a bit tetchy and whiny, but kicks serious ass.

For those who do not read epic fantasy, I should warn that with this novel especially, but also the genre generally, the plot often moves kind of slowly. There will be exciting battles here and there, but there is a lot of necessary back story and plot development to get through, so there will almost always be some parts that drag and some completely irritating characters you have to follow along with. Through Wolf's Eyes definitely has slow parts and has less action than most, focusing primarily on the search for an heir to Hawk Haven, although I promise there are battles and such later on.

So far this is a good read, if a bit slow, and I look forward to reading the next, which is good, because I'm planning to read through the whole series.

"If you ever get close to a human
And human behavior
Be ready to, ready to get confused
And me and my hair

There's definitely, definitely, definitely no logic
To human behavior
And yet so, yet so irresistible"

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2 Comments:

Blogger rachchan2006 said...

I bought the first and second book of this series, as I'm quite a big fan of epic fantasy, the books were on special and I loved the concept that Firekeeper could communicate with the Greater animals. I agree, it's a little slow-moving and you don't get particularly attached to the characters, but as I had quite a lot of free-time on my hands when I read them and nothing much better to do, I quite like this series. I would've bought the third book in this series, but they didn't have it in stock at the store.

April 9, 2012 at 1:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I stopped after book three. I had the first five, and I just couldn't deal anymore. They have less romance than just about any books I've ever read. And they have very little action, which is weird for an epic fantasy.

April 9, 2012 at 7:35 AM  

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