Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals Quartet #2, Tortall #13
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do I tell you how to deal with the pack females?” she demanded.
Daine calls the wolves of Long Lake her family. So when they send out a cry for help, she answers. Humans are destroying their home, poisoning their valley. Daine and Numair soon realise there is a more sinister side to the destruction. For the poison runs deep and tastes like treason…
This is such a beautiful, sweet and inspiring story. Daine’s strength and moxie shine through as she fights to help rescue her friends and extended family. The vividness of the world in which she places herself and her strength of character just shine from the pages as the depth of danger in which Daine and Numair find themselves deepens.
Like Wild Magic, the overarching idea behind Wolf-Speaker is that of conservation and ecology – take care of the world around you, and it will take care of you. Daine’s inherent connection to the animals around her, and their reliance on the earth combine to provide a poignant reminder that whatever we do to Mother Earth will come back to us tenfold. The incorrect assumption that nature is simply here to serve us is dramatized in the underhanded and horrifying way in which Yolane and her cohort choose to treat their lands. Their dismissal of every warning and inability to acknowledge that wolves also have a claim to the lands on which they live slowly build upon each other to create a terrifyingly insidious plan to destroy everything around them… literally.
Although the care of our environment is the main theme throughout the story, it is also a reminder that our prejudices and biases should constantly be questioned. At the beginning, Daine’s hatred for Stormwings and her refusal to admit that there can be an iota of good within them is a great, and gentle reminder of the inherent racism that is present in many people. Even when we think that we are truly good and above such an abhorrent ideal, there is often an inkling of pre-determined judgement in our interactions when we first meet someone. The gradual lessening of Daine’s bias through a number of different characters and creatures helps to drive this lesson home in a way that isn’t forceful or accusatory, but rather a simple reminder to constantly question your own prejudices and biases.
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