The magic is strong in Kerlew. Every day it grows, reaching out to the Wolf spirit that will be his guide. But the magic in Kerlew that calls to the beasts and to the spirit world also calls to Carp, the evil old shaman, who follows Kerlew and his mother, Tillu, across the frozen wastes. When he finds them, he will bind them to him, and shape Kerlew’s powers for his own uses.
Reviewed on 18th March 2017
The second half of this duology continues the story of Tillu, a healer who has recently joined with a tribe of reindeer-herders in their migration across the plains. It's a deep world with only a light touch of fantasy and mysticism, that tells a fascinating story of romance, parenthood, recovery and redemption.
While not my normal cup of tea, I enjoyed the story and the strong close focus on the characters. Although only a few short chapters come from the points of view of secondary characters, they add a seam of depth and another perspective to the world that helps to make the story more gripping.
The plot feels quite passive though. It seems like the events are happening to and around our character. As much as she is portrayed as a competent healer, a lot of the time she's not actively influencing events in this book, just reacting to them and being led by the other characters. I think that's what I found frustrating about the story.
Overall, the two books make for a reasonably enjoyable read, but not near as good as the author's Farseer novels.