Tag Archives: Derian Carter

Lindskold, Jane: Wolf’s Blood (Firekeeper Sage VI) (2007)

wolf's blood
Cover art by Julie Bell

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

Derian_and_Eshinarvash_by_Fortunes_Favor (1)
Derian and Eshinarvash by Fortunes Favor

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).

Perspective

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.

Enemies

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.


Reviews:


  • Series: Wolf (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765353741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765353740

My review of:

Lindskold, Jane: Wolf Captured (Firekeeper Saga) (2004)

WolfCaptured
Wolf Captured
Cover art by Julie Bell

My 18-year-old son and I are still enjoying reading about Firekeeper together. There is something magic in being able to share in the joy of a well-written novel that cannot be had in reading by myself.

Jane Lindskold was at it again with the difficult-to-pronounce words. The worst one was the name of the temple at u-Seeheera: Heeranenahalm and the other two were Fayonejunjal (name of vessel) and jujundisdu (type of leader). We (or rather I) had to pause before pronouncing the words one syllable at a time.

This time my favorites have, if not all the parts, most of the attention of the author. Wolf Captured is for the main part about Firekeeper, Blind Seer and Derian and their adventures in Liglim.

That sounds so benign, doesn’t it? But getting to Liglim meant the capture of the three and their unwilling transport across the ocean. And why were they taken? Well that was thanks to their “beloved” Waln Endbrook – you know the guy that cut off Citrine’s finger. Yes, that guy. There is something fascinating about the mentality of the bully. I’m trying to figure out if Waln is actually a sociopath. According to this page on bullying he probably isn’t but he definitely shares some of the traits.

Harjedian mis-calculates in kidnapping our trio. I doubt he realised just how skewed Waln’s description of them was until he actually had them in his irons. Trying to hold captive something as wild as Firekeeper and Blind Seer takes a crazier person than I am, and Harjedian quickly realises his mistake. Which is part of the reason why Rhaniseeta is sent to care for the captives.

Rhaniseeta is Harjedian’s younger sister – the one he has taken care of ever since their mother died. When Harjedian showed himself to be a potentially talented diviner his status rose and the two of them were able to share an apartment in the snake temple. The Liglimosh tradition of animal-reverence (Wise beasts – yarimaimalom) makes him realise that his steps when capturing Derian were about as detrimental to getting Derian’s cooperation as anything could have been.

The reason Derian was captured was the thought that he was somehow Firekeeper’s keeper or possibly ambassador with the human world. Derian and Firekeeper do nothing to dissuade the Liglimosh from this thinking, but the Liglimosh soon discover that their relationship is way more than that. In Wolf Captured Derian ends up playing a much more visible role than we have seen thus far and I like the way Lindskold portrays him. He is well worth a main part.

Firekeeper and Blind Seer are wolves (although Firekeeper’s form continues to be human). She wishes desperately that things were not so, and is willing to explore any avenue that might make her truly wolf. Her ability to speak with the yarimaimalom have the Liglimosh suspecting that she is either a maimalodalum (would be serious spoiler to tell) or a yarimaimalom. The Liglimosh captured her for this ability in the hopes that she might teach them, but factions within their culture wonder how wise this would be.

In Wolf Captured we get to learn about the politics in a new system and their beliefs. We once again see how insane human cultures really are and the steps some of us are willing to take. Intrigue and secrets are a part of the story along with adventure, action and (this time) a touch of romance. Like I said, my son and I had a great time with Wolf Captured, fantasy creatures that we are.


Reviews:


  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (November 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076530936X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765309365

My reviews of Through Wolf’s Eyes, Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart and The Dragon of Despair