Wolf-Speaker

Wolf-Speaker

When humans start cutting down trees and digging holes in peaceful Dunlath Valley, the wolves know that something is wrong. They send a messenger to the only human who will listen -- Daine, a fourteen-year-old girl with the unpredictable power of wild magic. Daine and her closest companions heed the wolves' cry for help. But the challenge they are about to face in the vall...

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Title:Wolf-Speaker
Author:Tamora Pierce
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Edition Language:English

Wolf-Speaker Reviews

  • Kogiopsis

    *happy sigh*

    I always finish these books with a smile on my face. There's just something about them that leaves me feeling like this:

    It's hard to write a review for something you love this much. I'd much rather just tell you all to READ IT NAO and let it speak for itself.

    But you're not here for that. And this book deserves a proper review from me. I'll try.

    First of all, to let some parts of it speak for themselves, here are a few lines of sparkling dialogue from this book, iconified by awesome pe

    *happy sigh*

    I always finish these books with a smile on my face. There's just something about them that leaves me feeling like this:

    It's hard to write a review for something you love this much. I'd much rather just tell you all to READ IT NAO and let it speak for itself.

    But you're not here for that. And this book deserves a proper review from me. I'll try.

    First of all, to let some parts of it speak for themselves, here are a few lines of sparkling dialogue from this book, iconified by awesome people who are not me:

    Pretty much the whole book is like that. I mean, if you're familiar with Pierce, you know she writes amazingly well, so that's not the center of the show. It's important, though, because no matter how many times I read this book, it always makes me laugh.

    Anyhow, I actually don't like Wolf Speaker nearly as much as the other three books in the Immortals series. It might even be a four-star read, if it weren't for two characters: Maura and Rikash.

    Maura is ten, and I always forget that. She's also a lot more sheltered than the kids Daine met at Pirate's Swoop, and though she has maturity, spine, and spunk, she's not quite as open-minded. This is, naturally, a challenge for Daine. I guess the reason I don't like this book too much is that Daine's development is getting over prejudices, and prejudices are often frustrating for me (even though I know I'm prone to them). It was nice, though, that Maura represented a part of the nobility Daine hadn't really encountered much: the kind that doesn't go around kicking ass and taking names and generally being open-minded and awesome in all possible ways. She's not a bad kid - she's intelligent and brave - but she doesn't adapt to some things as easily as other people do. Having her around added another element to the story, because it wasn't just about freeing the valley from the evil nobles. It was also about restoring the valley to the kind of ruler that would treat it right, even if she's only ten. While Maura probably lives out a fairly quiet life in Dunlath and so a book of her adventures is unlikely, I wish we got to see more of her. I think she comes up briefly in one of the Protector of the Small books, but that's it.

    Rikash, on the other hand, we see more of. A lot more. But shh, spoilers! So what I'll content myself by saying is that if you disliked or hated Stormwings after Wild Magic, Rikash will probably change your mind. He might be a Stormwing, but he's also a genuinely good guy. His primary relationship is with Maura, of whom he says "Affection has led me to indulge Lady Maura more than is wise." He's not a monster, which is the point of his presence in the book. (He's also here to say "Get that squirrel!" in hilarious circumstances.)

    There are other good aspects about this book, of course - some great Numair moments, unique animal characters, a dastardly plot, a magical battle, etcetera. But that's what you can expect from pretty much any book in the quartet. Wolf-Speaker wouldn't really stand out to me without Maura and Rikash; they make it excellent instead of just great.

  • Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

    This second book in Tamora Pierce's THE IMMORTALS QUARTET centers around the further development of Daine's magical ability to communicate with animals.

    The story begins when the wolf pack that lives near her former home village sends an envoy to ask for her assistance communicating with the humans who are ruining the lands where these wolves hunt. Daine, who owes a debt of gratitude to these wolves for having cared for her once she escaped her vill

    Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

    This second book in Tamora Pierce's THE IMMORTALS QUARTET centers around the further development of Daine's magical ability to communicate with animals.

    The story begins when the wolf pack that lives near her former home village sends an envoy to ask for her assistance communicating with the humans who are ruining the lands where these wolves hunt. Daine, who owes a debt of gratitude to these wolves for having cared for her once she escaped her village, can't say no to their request, and along with her wizardly teacher, the powerful mage Numair Salmalín, she journeys to Fief Dunlath, the area known by the wolves as Long Lake.

    There, things are much worse than they initially seemed. Not only are the rulers of Fief Dunlath completely disregarding the impact of their actions upon the local wildlife, but Numair recognizes one of their guests as a Combat Mage from the Carthaki Empire, a country currently engaged in small skirmishes with Tortall. It soon becomes apparent that the Lady of the fief is engaged in double dealings with the Carthakis.

    While Numair speeds back to warn King Jonathan of what is happening, Daine stays behind with her wolf-friends, gathering information and making plans for putting an end to the mining and garrisoning of soldiers that are destroying the natural habitats of more animals than just the wolves.

    In a continuation of her skills from the previous book, Daine learns how to share her mind with animals, seeing through their eyes and sensing with their senses. She also discovers, much to her surprise, that any lengthy mental cohabitation could give her unexpected animal characteristics, like the ears of a mouse or the eyes of a hawk, that fade away only after she has detached herself from the animal's consciousness. With the help of a whole network of animal friends, Daine sketches out a plan of attack that will show the nobles of Fief Dunlath what happens when you mess with the wildlife.

    Overall, I found this book quite enjoyable; the continued development of Daine's character was accomplished smoothly, and the characters newly introduced in this volume were fleshed out in their own rights. Particularly notable characters included, not just Numair, but also the baby dragon Stormsong, known as Kitten, and all of the wolves of the Long Lake pack.

    If you liked the first book, you'll love the next one!

  • Kathryn

    Oh my god. I don't have words to explain how I feel right now.

    It dosen't take long for the story to shift in shape.

    There is no lingering and much rememberence on the first book to get annoyed with.

    And it dosen't take long chapters for you to be intrigued.

    There was so much going on yet, so organized that I was so pleased when it ended. It made me feel warm and longing after, and mind you not many books makes me feel this way.

    This book reminded me of this particular animation which I LOVE. It

    Oh my god. I don't have words to explain how I feel right now.

    It dosen't take long for the story to shift in shape.

    There is no lingering and much rememberence on the first book to get annoyed with.

    And it dosen't take long chapters for you to be intrigued.

    There was so much going on yet, so organized that I was so pleased when it ended. It made me feel warm and longing after, and mind you not many books makes me feel this way.

    This book reminded me of this particular animation which I LOVE. It is called "Princess Mononoke". It's one of the "Studio Ghibli Collection".

    They make ths most wonderful animation for all generation. It's thoughtful and warning in a way.

    I can't wait to read the next book, but at the same time so happy that I still have two more books left to read =)

    Oh, the pleasure.

  • Dannii Elle

    It is hard not to fall head over heels in love with a book that involves animals such as a dragon called Kitten, a wolf pup called Silly, and a hound called Prettyfoot. What is hard to do is combine these beloved creatures inside of a plot that delivers as much intrigue as it does adorable creatures, and as much authenticity as it does no-hold-bars belief in its creations. However, Pierce does all that with ease.

    The first book in the Immortals series introduced the reader to central character, D

    It is hard not to fall head over heels in love with a book that involves animals such as a dragon called Kitten, a wolf pup called Silly, and a hound called Prettyfoot. What is hard to do is combine these beloved creatures inside of a plot that delivers as much intrigue as it does adorable creatures, and as much authenticity as it does no-hold-bars belief in its creations. However, Pierce does all that with ease.

    The first book in the Immortals series introduced the reader to central character, Daine, and her wild magic abilities. The story was a fun, straight-forward adventure story and I adored it for that. In this second instalment however, the political stakes have been heightened and the story-line become more convoluted. With it, the reader is allowed to traverse through previously unseen segments of this vast world, explore more aspects of the unique magic system, and also see Daine begin to grow into the fierce, strong, and proud individual we already saw inklings of her becoming, in the first book.

    I only grew more enraptured as the story progressed and only more attached to these characters as their continued survival seemed more precarious. I may be new to discovering the wonder that is Tamora Pierce but I am now a life-long fan, after discovering this series.

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Tamora Pierce, and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for this opportunity.

  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this one.

    This is the second of the Immortals series (my review of book 1 is here:

    ) by Tamora Pierce. The one opens with the wolves that Daine once hunted with trying to reach her and thinking over the news they’ve received of her from other creatures of the forest. Daine, now fourteen, meanwhile is heading with her mentor/teacher, the mage Numair Salmalin, their horses including Cloud, and K

    My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this one.

    This is the second of the Immortals series (my review of book 1 is here:

    ) by Tamora Pierce. The one opens with the wolves that Daine once hunted with trying to reach her and thinking over the news they’ve received of her from other creatures of the forest. Daine, now fourteen, meanwhile is heading with her mentor/teacher, the mage Numair Salmalin, their horses including Cloud, and Kitten the dragon baby, towards the pack for they have sent for her help as their new home, Dunlath is in trouble. The two-feet there are cutting down all the trees, mining incessantly, chasing away prey making the place unliveable for them, and ultimately for themselves. When they get there however, they find that it isn’t only the animals who are in trouble. A family of local nobles, the lords of Dunlath, are plotting treason against King Jonathan, and switching loyalties. Here they are aided by a whole group of rogue mages, who have some very powerful magic at their command, and don’t seem to care who or what they destroy. Circumstances become such that Daine is left all alone with only her animal friends and some immortal ones in Dunlath. The only other human helping her at first is ten-year-old Lady Maura, younger sister of the Lady Yolane. Daine begins to learn and practice more of what her wild magic makes her capable of, and these new found powers and her friends are what help her face and defeat the “villains” of the piece.

    If anything, I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first book. The first book obviously had to set out the background, and introduce us to the world that Daine lived in, and the friends she found in Tortall, but this one to me felt more rounded as a story. I enjoyed watching Daine, who spends much of the novel away from human company, explore her new powers or rather the new uses she discovers of her magic. This helps her not only to do things she couldn’t earlier but view the world through the perspectives of her different animal friends. This was an element I really enjoyed. Pierce does a great job of highlighting the various things—sounds, smells, sights—that different animals would notice, and making one (even the reader) feel that they were looking through the eyes and mind of the animal in question. The adventure elements for me were fairly exciting as well. But besides these, the book also had some important messages to give. It may be set in a fantasy world, but even there “humans” continue to behave as they do in real life, destroying their environment, surroundings, disrespecting other living creatures for what they think is their own gain. The other was about needing to understand creatures/life that is different, human or animal, as life, as creatures/people who have thoughts, feelings, concerns, and who shouldn’t be judged as monsters or evil in an off-handed way. Here Maura, who is scared of some of Daine’s “friends” manages to shows Daine how she herself might be prejudiced unfairly against some others. Pierce manages to show us that even people who are “good” aren’t always flawless and may have their own prejudices and discriminatory attitudes that they need to address—another message extremely relevant for our world. Once again a wonderful read, in which I especially enjoyed all the animals and Daine’s interactions with them!

    This review appears on my blog here:

  • Andrea

    Daine is still a bit childish for me at times which is why this is 4 instead of 5 stars. Besides that small issue I loved everything about this!! I loved all the new animals and immortals that were involved in this story and how much Daine learned about her own powers. I also totally ship Numaire and Daine together. I don't care what you say, you can't convince me otherwise. I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP THEY ARE MEANT TO BE!

  • Catie

    If I weren’t writing a review for every single book this year, this would definitely be one that I would skip. This is a clear transition book and I really don’t have much to say about it. I liked it; I didn’t love it. I never felt annoyed, bored, moved, or enthusiastic about this book. I listened to it while running errands and doing some cleaning and it was the perfect background.

    Daine’s wolf pack family, who gave her a home when she was lost, has called for help. Their valley is being torn a

    If I weren’t writing a review for every single book this year, this would definitely be one that I would skip. This is a clear transition book and I really don’t have much to say about it. I liked it; I didn’t love it. I never felt annoyed, bored, moved, or enthusiastic about this book. I listened to it while running errands and doing some cleaning and it was the perfect background.

    Daine’s wolf pack family, who gave her a home when she was lost, has called for help. Their valley is being torn apart by loggers and hunters and will soon be destroyed. Daine vows to try, even though as a child, there is little that she can do. But there may be more at work in the valley than simple human greed. A group of the King’s Riders has also gone missing, and Daine soon finds the source of the treachery. Along the way, Daine discovers new powers with

    side-effects. Despite her young age, she may be the only person who can set things right.

    Daine is fourteen years old in this second installment, and like every teenager on the planet, she thinks that she knows everything. She’s opinionated and quick to judge. But this passion of conviction also gives her the strength to stand up and make a plea for the valley, in the face of ridicule (which is the most satisfying part of this book). Every time Daine lets her preconceived notions blind her, there is someone there to force her to reconsider. And for all of Daine’s stubbornness, she

    Daine spends the vast majority of this book cut off from all of the human characters that I grew to love in

    , with a cast of animal friends. Although I really love the conflict that arises from Daine’s involvement with the animals (exposure to her magic makes them more and more intelligent and human-like), I just don’t find them as interesting as the human characters. I really missed Numair, Alanna, Onua, and the others. I also really hope that Daine finally learns the identity of her father in the next book. She has received many clues, and I feel that it would be unrealistic for her to take very much longer to figure it out.

    I really like the direction that this story seems to be taking, with assumed enemies becoming allies and the world proving to be more grey and complicated than Daine realized. I think that realizing that you don’t know a damn thing is an essential part of becoming an adult, and I can’t wait for Daine to get there.

    The Cranberries –

    Daine is a mediator, a bridge between the races. But as a young and inexperienced girl with a magical gift that few believe even exists, she faces a lot of obstacles. This song makes me think of Daine fulfilling her destiny and leading the world to a better place.

  • Flannery

    This didn't excite me as much as its predecessor,

    , primarily for the following reason:

    Daine and Numair are in the forest then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine and Numair and some wolves are in the forest then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine and Numair go to a castle then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine hangs out with wolves and then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine meets some immortals, good and bad, and then

    Daine enters into the mind

    This didn't excite me as much as its predecessor,

    , primarily for the following reason:

    Daine and Numair are in the forest then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine and Numair and some wolves are in the forest then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine and Numair go to a castle then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine hangs out with wolves and then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine meets some immortals, good and bad, and then

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal to talk to Numair through a barrier.

    Daine is always tired because it takes a lot of energy when

    Daine enters into the mind of an animal.

    Daine enters into the mind of an animals to go everywhere, all the time, forever and ever amen.

    Okay, that's it, you get the point. I still love Tamora Pierce and I'll still keep going with the series because I like the world.

  • Madeline

    It's been over a year since I read the first book in Tamora Pierce's

    quartet,

    . I remember enjoying it almost more than Pierce's Alanna books (which will always be first in my heart, of course) but other than that, I started this book with only vague memories of the plot and characters of the previous installment.

    Luckily, there's not much to catch up on - Pierce's novels are characterized by fast-paced action, a relatively small and memorable cast of characters, and fairly s

    It's been over a year since I read the first book in Tamora Pierce's

    quartet,

    . I remember enjoying it almost more than Pierce's Alanna books (which will always be first in my heart, of course) but other than that, I started this book with only vague memories of the plot and characters of the previous installment.

    Luckily, there's not much to catch up on - Pierce's novels are characterized by fast-paced action, a relatively small and memorable cast of characters, and fairly simple conflicts and plots. And Pierce does a good job of giving the reader enough backstory and reminders from the first book, so even if you're like me and are resuming this series after a long absence, you should be fine.

    As is also the case with Pierce's books, there is almost no setup -

    starts practically in the middle of the action, with a wolf pack (the same pack who Daine briefly ran with after her mother's death, when she nearly lost her own sense of humanity) contacting our heroine and asking for help. The pack's habitat is being threatened by human development, and they want her to intercede for them. Meanwhile, the rulers who control the land where the wolves live are also plotting against the king of Tortall, and let's not forget that the Immortals (powerful ancient monsters/gods who recently got released into the world) are quietly and not-so-quietly moving around the country.

    Reading this book gave me strong flashbacks to

    , the third book in the Alanna series. I still consider it the weakest of the series, because after the absolutely breakneck pace of the previous books, this one seemed to move at a snail's pace while we watch Alanna hanging around in the desert and helping a local tribe.

    suffers from the same problem - despite the fact that there's plenty of conflict, everything feels

    . There's also a lot of repetition, because this book has Daine experimenting with her powers and learning to enter animals' minds, and it means that we have to read essentially the same scene over and over as she practices this skill on various animals. This repetition works for younger readers, but I was pretty bored for most of the book.

    The conflict itself - rebellion against the king, aided by Immortals - isn't very interesting either, mainly because we're meeting the antagonists for the first time in this book, and the fact that Daine spends most of her time with the wolf pack means that the bad guys never get to do much. Failing to properly develop the villains, and removing Daine from the action for the majority of the book, means that the stakes never feel as high as they should.

    Not that I disliked the book, overall. The fact that most of the characters are animals, each with their own personalities and conflicts, would have delighted me if I'd read this book as a child. Pierce is particularly good at coming up with animal names, and if you manage to get through this entire story without falling head-over-heels in love with Quickmunch the marmot, then I don't know what to do with you. I liked the wolf pack, and child readers will have more fun reading about them than I did - it's hard to get too invested in these characters when you know they're just a detour on the way to the main action.

    Although the Alanna and the Daine stories have a lot in common, the series are trying to accomplish very different things, which becomes clear in

    . Alanna's adventures were all about teaching girls that their gender doesn't stop them from being whatever they want to be, and that they can accomplish anything through determination and hard work. Daine's books teach children that the world isn't black and white, and that you can't make judgements about people (or in this case, creatures) based on what they are or where they come from.

    In the Alanna books, the villains are not complex, and everyone pretty much adheres to their assigned roles - if someone is a bad guy in Book One, they're going to be a bad guy in Book Four - and the lines are pretty clearly drawn. Daine's journey, it seems, is shaping up to be a little more complex than that. In the first book, we established that many of the Immortals, like the Stormwings, are evil and scary. In the second book, Daine and the reader are forced to reconsider that idea, and realize that all Immortals are not alike. Just because they're a Stormwing, Daine learns, you can't assume they're evil. Here's a scene where Iakoju, an ogre, lays it out clearly for the readers:

    "Maura frowned. 'I don't understand. If you're peaceful - if you really only like to farm - how come you're called "ogres"? Ogres are monsters, aren't they? And how come your people are always fighting with ours?'

    'We are big,' replied Iajoku quietly. 'Ugly. Our color different from men color. No all ogres are same, either. Some take what they want. Some fight with men. My people, kin clans, we only like farming, not fighting. Some ogres only like fighting. Are all men the same?'"

    This is a suprisingly complex concept for a kids' series, especially since fantasy audiences are trained to think of all evil-inclined creatures as one singular hive-mind (Tolkien, bless him, assured us that orcs are pure evil and that's that, and I think it set an unfortunate precedent in fantasy), and it's really the only thing that saved this book for me - I'm looking forward to continuing this series, just to see how Pierce continues to develop this idea.

  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    I think I set my bar so high for this series from the first book that this book was inevitably a letdown. I loved the first book. I loved being introduced to all the characters, I loved learning about Daine's "wild magic" and her journey into self-discovery. Even the lengthy and confusing battle at the end didn't ruin it for me. This book, however, just dragged on. Daine is traveling with her mentor, looking for a missing group of Riders and re-encountering the pack of wolves with whom she bonde

    I think I set my bar so high for this series from the first book that this book was inevitably a letdown. I loved the first book. I loved being introduced to all the characters, I loved learning about Daine's "wild magic" and her journey into self-discovery. Even the lengthy and confusing battle at the end didn't ruin it for me. This book, however, just dragged on. Daine is traveling with her mentor, looking for a missing group of Riders and re-encountering the pack of wolves with whom she bonded and which came to her assistance when she needed it before we were introduced to her in the first book. They were a crucial part in her development, and it was disappointing to me that they were so lacking in character.

    I found the plot boring and uninspired. Even if I didn't read the first few books in the series, I grew to like the characters from my introduction to them in the first book of the Immortals, and it was to my disappointment that they didn't make an appearance in this one. The mystery was boring, I didn't like the antagonists...before you say, well, no shit, Sherlock. They're supposed to be unlikeable. I mean that they were so...villainous, traditionally so. They were one-dimensional and boring. I also did not like the fact that Daine spends so much of her time interacting with animals. I like human interactions, I like it when Daine is out of her comfort zone. Animals are nice and good, but I'm not a furry. I'm really not into animals as characters. I prefer human interactions, and this book was lacking in that. I'm hoping book 3 will be better.

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