When Jane Lindskold got Julie Bell to do the covers for the Firekeeper saga she made the best choice possible. Julie Bell’s wolves and people are incredible (see link above). If you have the chance, you should check out her artwork.
Once again my son and I read about Firekeeper together and once again we were richer for it. I believe this is the only advantage to having a child with a serious case of dyslexia. In spite of his age we get to sit side by side enjoying a story that takes us a to place out of time and away from our world. Both of us have Firekeeper and Blind Seer as our favorite characters. Part of that is due to the kind of fatalism on their part that comes from having to fight for survival since childhood. I believe it also comes from the love that Firekeeper and Blind Seer have for each other.
Another thing that makes the pair my favorite is that they follow their hearts no matter where that might take them. If they feel something is the right thing to do, then they will do it. As they become acquainted with the Meddler they find themselves struggling to discern between what is the influence of the Meddler and what they truly feel is right.
I guess I kind of understand the Meddler’s motives. He is a self-righteous git who takes no responsibility for the consequences of his actions but is convinced that his intentions were all that mattered. The Meddler himself considers Firekeeper a natural born meddler, but the main difference between him and Firekeeper is Firekeeper’s willingness to bear the responsibility for the consequences of whatever actions she might have taken (without putting on a self-righteous mien).
Poor Derian. He is back in Liglim as an ambassador’s assistant and still heart-sore from his short but intense relationship with Rahniseeta in Wolf Captured. My heart warms at the strength of his character. He has had Firekeeper’s back many times during the past five years and will need to rise to the occasion once again. Derian, Firekeeper and Blind Seer are naturals for the quest that is inspired by the Meddler. Along come Truth, the jaguar, and Harjeedian.
Harjeedian is the guy that kidnapped Derian, Firekeeper and Blind Seer in Wolf Captured. He is the human diplomat for the Liglim on the journey. Truth is a divining jaguar who has gone in an out of insanity. In spite of having a shaky hold on reality Truth needs to come along. So does Plik, Bitter, Lovable and Eshinarvash (the wise horse). A strange troupe for sure, but one that represents most of the groups that the gang know of.
In the above portrait by FortunesFavor Bitter and Lovable are heartwarmingly portrayed. Lovable is as her name states Lovable and in love with shiny things. At first she might come across as your regular ditzy “blonde”, and she is that too. But she is most of all bright and loving. We get to see just how close she and Bitter are in Wolf Hunting when the couple meets up with an incredibly dangerous hunter. Firekeeper and Blindseer love the couple’s wit and courage and deviousness. The two end up being essential to saving Truth and also essential to the well-being of the group that ends up chasing after one of Meddler’s meddlings.
This portrayal of Plik, the maimalodalum that ends up going with the gang to find the twins, shows a version that I agree with. He looks so innocent, but like all innocent-looking raccoons, Plik has another more violent side. As he is maimalodalum that means that there is quite a bit of human in him and we get to see this fairly well. Derian’s first reaction upon seeing Plik is – well I’m sure you can guess. But as time passes Derian sees Plik more and more as the individual that he is rather than the oddity that maimalodali are.
Eshinarvash, the wise horse, first appeared in Wolf Captured. He has chosen to come along as a horse herder and also as a companion to the others. Derian and he develop a close relationship that will come in handy as the story follows the path of Lindskold’s imagination.
These are the main characters of Wolf Hunting. As you see some of them are more unusual than others. But that is the nature of Wise Beasts/Royal Beasts and nutty spirits. I hope you find as much enjoyment with this tale as my son and I did.
- Mass Market Paperback: 613 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765351439
- ISBN-13: 978-0765351432
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