Cover art: Jackie Morris
Cover design: HarperCollinsPublishers
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Originally published: 1988
This edition published: 28 April 2011
On the cover:
On the cover:
Kerlew stared at the immense stone that jutted up from the tundra. Power radiated from it like heat from a fire. It attracted the boy and filled him with fear. There was a brush of sound, of dark moving shadows and then the sudden flash of a glistening eye. He pressed his palms back against the stone’s rough surface and faced the night creatures that surrounded him.
Every day, Kerlew's magic grows, reaching out to his guide, the Wolf. But the magic also calls to Carp, the evil old shaman, who is pursuing Kerlew and his mother, Tillu, across the frozen waste. Meanwhile, someone - or something - is committing terrible atrocities in the village that Tillu now calls home. With fear and suspicion at fever pitch, a strange old man appears, with an offer of help...
NOTE: This is the second half of a split book, the first half, The Reindeer People, is reviewed here.
As with The Reindeer People this is not very action packed, but there is actually a lot more happening in this book. In fact it is almost jarring when there comes a relatively fast paced sequence after getting used to the slow pace of the story.
But this second half of the story is in many ways about wrapping up what started in The Reindeer people, and this means that everything is given more urgency. It also means that things feel a little bit rushed at times.
The characters development is done very nicely, they seem to find their roles and accept them here. This goes especially for Kerlew, who has a special journey of his own. And it is his journey that is perhaps the most interesting, and also the most Fantasy-like. However I don't think it is fair to call what is actually part of shamanistic religion Fantasy as such.
There is also a bit of a romantic plot going one, one that has been building since The Reindeer people. And I think many who read this will be satisfied with the conclusion to that part of the plot.
All in all this was one of those stories where the journey as a whole was much more interesting to me than its parts. Lindholm has written a story, in two parts, that is both interesting and in many ways exotic. If you like a story that takes its time, and is very centered on the characters inner journey this is two books I urge you to pick up.
I would also like to say that it is interesting to see both the differences and likenesses of Lindholm's and Hobb's writing styles. This isn't a bad place for Hobb fans to get a taste of the former.