Wolfbane by Michelle Paver

Published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus, 2022.

Wolfbane brings Michelle Paver’s incredible Wolf Brother series to a thrilling finale. It was only last year that I discovered this richly depicted Stone Age world and fell in love with Torak, Renn and Wolf. I was excited and nervous to see how the series would end.

There’s incredible tension from the outset. Michelle Paver immediately creates a strong sense of foreboding and by the second chapter Wolf has been separated from his human pack brother and sister, Torak and Renn. Naiginn, the ice demon, is back – more vicious and evil than ever – and he’s intent on killing Wolf so that he can devour his souls. And so begins a desperate race across ice, sea and distant lands to save Wolf.

The world-building is unbelievably impressive! We are convincingly transported back in time to the Stone Age. The vivid, immaculately researched descriptions bring the landscapes and the people to life. We are immersed in tradition, clan life and the wisdom of ancestors, and shown lives lived in harmony with the natural world, where nature is revered.

The bonds of loyalty and family which unite Torak, Renn and Wolf are beautifully portrayed and so tangible. Touchingly, their shared histories are evoked, and we see them drawn together and pushed apart by their latest actions and choices. This is not an easy final journey.

It’s not just the central characters who are fully realised; I also really enjoyed the roles played by Dark, Fin-Kedinn and the Walker. It was good to see conclusions to their stories too and I particularly loved watching the relationship develop between Dark and Kujai.

Wolfbane is action-packed and fast-paced, and the drama does not let up until the end. It’s a powerful conclusion to a remarkable series.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 8+

Thank you to Zephyr for sending me this book to review.

Although part of a nine-book series, each book can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone story. I’ve previously shared my reviews of two other books in the series: Viper’s Daughter and Skin Taker.

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