(Under the Northern Sky #1)
by Leo Carew
The 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.
I was kindly given an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
You all know how much I love fantasy. When I read the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to get into the book and devour it. Since I didn’t know much about the author at the time other than the fact that he is an anthropologist. He proved his wealth of knowledge in creating peoples of various places and how their life worked. I think, in this case, that’s his highest selling point. The author has really thought it through when it comes to the cultures and its peoples. The way they have their religions and belief systems is so wonderfully shown, I am eager to know more about the Unhierea in the later books. (Or at least, I hope I get to know more about them.)
The characters are fairly good. I mean, I can understand their impulses and their decisions, I love Pryce and I absolutely loved the way Gray was written. I can’t say enough about Keturah and Roper, they are awesome and fun to read about. They are all well-formed characters with quirks of their own, personalities that are worth remembering even after you are done reading the book. There’s one more character that I would love to know more of, I hope in the next book we get to see him more. Bellamus, he’s an interesting character and somewhat hidden from us throughout the book, in that, we don’t really know much about him. I guess, that’s why I am more interested than normal. You know, it’s typical that a character with little information is all the more interesting because of it.
Politics, this book reminded me a lot of ASOIAF series, in that, it had a lot of politics in it. At times, it overpowered everything else. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me. I loved the fact that there were people with their own agenda who were working the scene but the thing is, with this book, it mostly didn’t work well. I do not want to compare ASOIAF with this book but the thing is, with ASOIAF, I can read about the politics, it’s bearable and even interesting at times but with this one, it just didn’t click with me. I think part of the problem is me doing the one thing I told myself I wouldn’t. Comparing it with other works with different setups.
Another problem was the fact that I skimmed through some portions of the book, yes, I am that terrible. It wasn’t that it was boring but it was more that sometimes, I just couldn’t care enough about it to continue with the same amount of attention. (It’s probably my problem and not the problem with the book.)
What else? Oh, yeah! I am not sure if it’s something the author intended or it’s something that just is but the way the world is described in this book, it all happens on the a small portion of the world. I would love to know more about the places outside of the contained area, also, I don’t really know how such vastly different races are living so near each other? It’s not something I understand. (My bad.)
Overall, I think this book is worth reading if you are into high fantasy and would love to read about politics and awesome characters. If you liked ASOIAF then you might like this.
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