This coming-of-age story starts rather brutally, but quickly moves into a page-turning adventure that tugs at all senses. Set 6000 years ago, the world of animal spirits is not often woven into nature-based series, and Paver has done well to help the reader remove all doubt that this could happen. The protagonist, Torak, 12, loses his father in an attack by a giant, evil-possessed bear, but not before he promises to find his way to the Mountain of the World Spirit.
His father's final instructions lead him to believe he must avoid other men and tells him that his guide will find him. The guide, Torak feels sure, is a wolf cub who seems able to communicate with the boy.
As the bear continues to terrorize the forest, Torak and his guide take steps to rid the forest of the bear as the prophecy dictates. Trouble is, he must complete the job by delivering three lost artifacts to the mountain. Can he do it?
Wolf Brother is the first in the series, "Chronicles of Ancient Darkness." The fourth book in the series, "Outcast", was published just this spring, May 20, 2008.
Review by L.