A Companion To Wolves

by Sarah Monette

Tor Books | September 18, 2009 | Hardcover

A Companion To Wolves is rated 4.3333 out of 5 by 3.
A Companion to Wolves is the story of a young nobleman, Isolfr, who is chosen to become a wolfcarl -- a warrior who is bonded to a fighting wolf. Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves, and though as his father''s heir he can refuse the call, he chooses to go. 

The people of this wintry land depend on the wolfcarls to protect them from the threat of trolls and wyverns, though the supernatural creatures have not come in force for many years. Men are growing too confident. The wolfhealls are small, and the lords give them less respect than in former years.  But the winter of Isolfr''s bonding, the trolls come down from the north in far greater numbers than before, and the holding''s complaisance gives way to terror in the dark. 

 Isolfr, now bonded to a queen wolf, Viradechtis, must learn where his honor lies, and discover the lengths to which he will to go when it, and love for his wolf, drive him.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 3.74 × 2.52 × 0.43 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: Tor Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0765318164

ISBN - 13: 9780765318169

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

save 93%

  • Out of stock online

$2.00  ea

Online Price

$27.95 List Price

Cart

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rich and Intriguing A Companion to Wolves, a coming-of-age saga by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, delivers a rich and intriguing fantasy world, but not one for the faint of heart. The defining characteristic of the book is its unflinching honesty and willingness to incorporate all aspects of being human into the story. Family, loyalty, death, war, sexuality, birth and religion are all woven into a coherent culture. It's messy, dirty and graphic which makes the moments of triumph and companionship all the more important. As the story unfolds, the settlements of men in the world of the Iskryne are beset by trolls, who come down from the northern mountains to raid and destroy. The villages and keeps are defended by the wolfhealls, a brotherhood of warriors bonded to the great fighting wolves. Njall Gunnarsson, son and heir of the ruler of the keep at Nithogsfjoll, is sixteen and, over his father's strong protests, is given in tithe to the nearby Wolfheall to become a wolfcarl, a warrior. Njall goes to the wolfheall where, in due time, he is bonded -- not only to a fighting wolf, but to a konigenwolf, a female who will in time form her own pack and, with Njall, whose name is now Isolfr, form a new heall. As the attacks of the trolls become more frequent and more serious, Isolfr must discovers what is driving the trolls south and put an end to the trolls for good. The universe created here is a fascinating one, drawing heavily on Germanic folklore and set in a grim, cold, unyielding world that reflects the dark cast of Norse mythology. The society envisioned is coherent, if somewhat undeveloped, except in the case of the wolfhealls and their politics. The narrative is fluent and absorbing, the characters engaging, the storyline moves along briskly, almost too briskly. It is over before you know it, leaving you wanting more. The part of the story where some readers may become uncomfortable surrounds sexuality. The wolfcarls, matching the warrior cultures on which they're modelled, are exclusively male. The wolves, of course, are not. However, the emotional bond to wolves is very strong and intensely described. When one of the females comes into heat, there's an orgy of both sex and violence as the male wolves fight for precedence and then take their turns at mating. The human brothers, so strongly linked to their wolves and the pack mentality, do the same. The feelings of the 'wolfless', towards homosexuality are strongly negative, and that's the culture Isolfr was raised in. He's nearly as horrified as his father by the idea of having sex with a man and considers it particularly dishonorable and womanly to be the one on the bottom. When he bonds with a female wolf, that's exactly what Lord Gunnarr most feared. But the alpha females, the konigenwolves, are the leaders of the wolf pack, and their brothers are therefore the ones who can keep peace and settle problems between the men as well. The brother of the pack konigenwolf therefore holds an odd position of power within a wolfheall, not the leader in war but the leader in many other respects. This puts Isolfr into a female role of peacekeeper and pushes him towards a role almost like a wife, but at the same time, Viradechtis, his sister-wolf, is dominant and will eventually lead her own pack. It's a role with some fascinating crossover sexual dynamics that plays with and questions the division between male and female roles in a society. Isolfr struggles with this role for the entire book. It's the source of many of the most honest and uncomfortable challenges in the book but it is also one of the best parts. Although graphic in detail (Isolfr prepares himself to survive what feels uncomfortably close to an imminent gang rape), it is not exploitative. Every shock feels necessary to the story. It's a far stronger and more believable test of Isolfr's bond with Viradechtis than simple warfare. It's difficult, it stays difficult, it's not what Isolfr wants, but he learns how to handle it anyway. It is hard for me to say whether you will love this book as much as I did. Parts of it, particularly around sexuality, I expect will be difficult for many readers, and I must also admit that it doesn't go far afield from the standard coming-of-age plot. But it struck a deep chord with me, using the pure fantasy magic of psychic bonding with an animal in a way that feels thoroughly real and not just escapist.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting An Interesting concept. The ending seem abrupt, but still good.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing There are some books that I just randomly pick up off of shelves and buy because they seem interesting. 3 out of 5 times I don't necessarily like them, but I can honestly say that I do not regret picking up this book. There are parts the are devestatingly beautiful and it's heartwrenching in others. Monette and Bear delve into a universe and a culture they have created that is as brutal as it is loyal. I loved this book and wish that they would write another book in this verse as it has very quickly become one of my favorites of all time.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

A Companion To Wolves

by Sarah Monette

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 3.74 × 2.52 × 0.43 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: Tor Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0765318164

ISBN - 13: 9780765318169

About the Book

"A Companion to Wolves" is the story of a young nobleman, Isolfr, who is chosen to become a wolfcarl--a warrior who is bonded to a fighting wolf. Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves, and though as his fathers heir he can refuse the call, he chooses to accept it.

Read from the Book

A Companion To Wolves ONE     N jall could not stop looking at the wolf. She lay on the flags before the fire in his father''s hall at Nithogsfjoll and panted, despite the chill. Njall was sixteen, almost a man, even if he was hoping for just one more spurt of growth, but her head was as broad as the span of his palm between her eyes. His arms couldn''t have circled her barrel, and if she rose on her long racer''s legs, she would--almost--be able to look him in the eye, were her attention not reserved entirely for her master. She was big even for a trellwolf, and more, she looked tired. Her winter coat was shedding in hanks and clumps, like handfuls of dirty rags gray with scrub-water, and he could see her ribs under the skin like sprung staves. Her midsection bulged with the promise of pups, and her heavy black nipples leaked watery fluid on the stones where she lay, infinitely patient, waiting for her master to finish his business with Njall''s father. Njall didn''t know what the business was, exactly, but he did know his father wasn''t pleased to be doing it. Njall had been exiled--not to the boys'' dormitory but to his mother''sempty solar--and fed his noon meal in isolation and bid stay like a puppy. Which he was not, and it rankled. Perhaps it was the insult that sent him, once the ale and bread and cheese and wizened last-winter apple were gone, edging down the long ragged curve of the stair to peer around the corner into the hall, stone rough under his palms
read more read less

From the Publisher

A Companion to Wolves is the story of a young nobleman, Isolfr, who is chosen to become a wolfcarl -- a warrior who is bonded to a fighting wolf. Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves, and though as his father''s heir he can refuse the call, he chooses to go. 

The people of this wintry land depend on the wolfcarls to protect them from the threat of trolls and wyverns, though the supernatural creatures have not come in force for many years. Men are growing too confident. The wolfhealls are small, and the lords give them less respect than in former years.  But the winter of Isolfr''s bonding, the trolls come down from the north in far greater numbers than before, and the holding''s complaisance gives way to terror in the dark. 

 Isolfr, now bonded to a queen wolf, Viradechtis, must learn where his honor lies, and discover the lengths to which he will to go when it, and love for his wolf, drive him.

About the Author

Sarah Monette is the author of  Melusine and The Virtu.  She was nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2006.
 
Elizabeth Bear is the author of the Hammered trilogy, and Blood and Iron   She won the Campbell Award in 2005.

Editorial Reviews

"Ancient grudges and ruthless schemes are simply business as usual to the Faerie court in Bear''s complex and involving contemporary fantasy. Campbell-winner Bear (Worldwired) overturns the usual vision of Faerie, revealing the compelling beauty and darkness only glimpsed in old ballads and stories like ''Tam Lin''."--Publishers Weekly on Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
 
"Set in the wondrous city of Melusine, Monette''s extraordinary first fantasy novel focuses on two captivating characters from two very different worlds. Monette is a highly original writer with her own unique voice."--Publisher''s Weekly starred review of Melusine by Sarah Monette
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart