Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A Whisper of Wolves - Book Review

A Whisper of Wolves - Book Review
Kris Humphrey
MG Fantasy
Guardians of the wild book #1
UK Publisher - Stripes Publishing


When a raven drops a white feather at the doorstep on the day of your birth, it is a symbol of your destiny. You are a whisperer - a guardian of the wild. After many years of peace in the kingdom of Meridina, rumours are spreading of a planned invasion - could the demonic Narlaw be returning from the darklands? It is up to the whisperers and their animal companions to defend Meridina, protect Princess Ona and stop the Narlaw from destroying the world.

When hunters from her village disappear without a trace, Alice suspects that something sinister is at work. With the help of Storm, her wolf companion, Alice fights to save her village. The Narlaw are on the attack and it’s up to the whisperers to stop them…


I liked the premise of the book and found it to be a sweet and simple story that I think will be enjoyed more by younger MG readers. I say this as I didn't find the ‘bad guys’ at all frightening, and I felt the suspense is always underlined by the safety net that you just know everything will be ok in the end. Still, A whisper of wolves made for a quick, light read and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

Alice is an apprentice whisperer. Never knowing her parents, she was chosen at birth by the white raven, and gifted with the magical ability to connect with the earth and communicate with her animal companion, a wolf named storm. But around her small village a sickness is spreading through the forrest, signs that an ancient evil is returning to the world.

Meanwhile on the other side of the kingdom, Dawn has just finished her apprenticeship, and with the passing of her teacher, has graduated into a full fledged whisperer who is now in charge of protecting the palace, and its royal residents. But because of her young age, she is met with opposition from the kings officials. No one will believe her that evil has returned to the kingdom and so she and her raven companion, Ebony, must strike out on their own to save the palace before its too late.

As both girls battle to save their homes, they fight to be believed by their elders, all whilst training to attain the highest ability of a whisperer, the power to banish demons…

I quite enjoyed this story. Both heroines have strong personalities and aren't afraid to break the rules over what they know to be right vs what people believe is right. Their animal companions seem to act older, and often offer wisdom to their human friends, but I must admit I thought having a wolf and a raven was a little cliche.

Also while I thought the writing itself, along with the descriptions were pretty good, the plot - while action based - seemed to lack a little something. As I mentioned earlier, I felt tasks were achieved a little too easily so higher-level readers may find themselves a little restless with this story.

However the book was sweet in its simplicity. The bad guys, the whisperers powers and the location of the girls were all explained in an easy to follow manner. This would be a good MG book for younger readers wanting something a little more challenging, but keeping with the ‘nothing bad will happen’ plot lines of younger books. Not once did I ever feel the characters were in real peril!

So overall a nice, short read that I think will really capture the imagination of a younger reader. Sweet stuff! 3 stars!

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