I really am an airhead. I managed to press publish before anything had been written. Sorry if that confused you all. Here is the “real” version of my review.
I hadn’t bought this last installment of the Firekeeper Saga until my son asked me to. We had read the previous five novels together and he really wanted to know how it was all going to end. Reading together is an experience more people should be able to enjoy. As I have said before, this is one of the major advantages to having a child with dyslexia.
Jane Lindskold made Wolf’s Blood as much fun to read out loud as she had made the other five. Her language is intelligent and her vocabulary varied. Again I found myself forgetting to follow the plot as I got so caught up in the intense experience of tasting Lindskold’s prose. That didn’t really matter because I had cheated and read through the novel on my own before reading it to my son.
One thing I have wondered is how the Firekeeper Saga can appeal to both an eighteen-year old and a 48-year-old at the same time. What is it about these characters that the two of us find so fascinating?
Firekeeper and Blindseer
Part of it most definitely has to do with Firekeeper and Blind Seer. The whole idea of our wolf-girl trying to find her place in human society and making sense of us all works for us. That Firekeeper often finds herself flummoxed by human society is understandable. All of our various religions and political views are confusing and usually you have to be an insider to understand all of the unwritten codes that rule us. She is an alien and will remain an alien for the rest of her life. But Firekeeper is an alien with a foot in human society and with people who love her and Blind Seer to bits.
I’ve been trying to figure out how Firekeeper was changed by querinalo. In Wolf Hunting we see that something did happen to her. My personal belief is that she became even more firmly a wolf in her heart and head because of her chant during her fever. Blind Seer probably did not change much as he beat the crap out of the source of the illness, but his view of himself changed drastically. Having come from a people who hated magic fiercely would make his adjustment to the “new” him a challenge.
Derian’s change was a bit more visible. This portrait of Derian with Eshinarvash by FortunesFavor shows how he has become a bit more horselike. His ears and forelock are especially telling. Derian struggles terribly to accept his new looks. His greatest fear is how his family will perceive him now that he “looks like a horse”. I would freak out myself if I woke up after an illness and discovered my face and outer extremities had metamorphosed into a blend of human and animal.
Derian also, quite understandably, worries about what women will think of him. Looking past our exteriors seems to be a challenge for a lot of us (myself included). It’s so easy to get hung up in insignificant details all the while forgetting about the significant ones (like personality and temperament). As the saying goes, where there is life there is hope. For Derian this is true (as you will see for yourself when you read Wolf’s Blood).
Lindskold presents things from various points of view. Being on the spectrum makes this doubly important to me. I have learned much reading authors like Lindskold. She, too, has been part of a teaching staff who have all helped me understand people. Perspective changes good guys to bad and vice versa. If there is one thing I have learned in this life of mine, it is that perspective matters.
War is a strange thing. King Bryessidan and his compatriots’ desire to take over the gates makes perfect sense. They had convinced themselves that they were being slighted and hindered in their “noble” purpose. Therefore they were justified in planning and executing an attack against the Nexus Islands. Seen from the Nexans’ side that is an erroneous argument, but to the winner goes the writing of history.
I also found myself understanding Virim. What he did was a terrible thing, but he never intended for querinalo to be so bad. But when it was he took advantage of it and found it difficult to let go of the apparent advantages to its system.
The ending was good. I knew this would be the result, but it needed saying and happening.
Jane Lindskold has been a pleasure to read with my son. The Firekeeper Saga kept him asking for more. Being the fantasy nut that I am, it is a pleasure whenever my sons enjoy the same literature I have enjoyed.
- Series: Wolf (Book 6)
- Mass Market Paperback: 736 pages
- Publisher: Tor Fantasy (January 2, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765353741
- ISBN-13: 978-0765353740
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