Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Viper's Daughter by Michelle Paver - Guest Review



Having totally devoured each of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness novels as they were published, I was ridiculously excited when I heard that Michelle Paver was publishing another in it’s canon. This does mean two things though… 
1 - I have high expectations for this book 
2 - wolf had better survive unscathed.
From the very opening of this brilliant book, I was back in the ancient world with Torak and Wolf. It was like meeting up with much loved and long since seen friends. I slipped straight back into step with them as they set out to follow Renn, who had seemingly run away from them, heading into the dangers of the far north. As always, Paver’s skill of weaving detail into the actions of her characters as well as the settings for each scene never over powers the story itself which weaves and whirls like the ravens, Rip and Rek, flit in the sky. Her knowledge, research and understanding of the world these characters live in is what makes her readers investment in the story so total. I’ve always found it hard to remove myself from her books and come back to the real world (let’s be honest, who wants to be in the real world right now anyway!) and this book is no exception.
I loved the journey onto the far north, the perils of the landscape and the encounters with the wildlife there. The polar bears had been a formidable threat in previous books, but the walruses and the journey into the ancient mammut lands hold (literally) larger threats than they have come across before.
I must be honest, I saw a big part of the plot twist coming, but I’m certain I was meant to. I could never have foreseen the resolution and horrors that Torak, Renn and Wolf would have to endure to make it through…
I will not spoil the story, but I know that Wolf fans are going to be asking the most important question… does wolf make it. You need to read it to find out, I will say that Wolf’s family are a fantastic legacy that Paver has given us and I would love to see stories with them in the future perhaps.
I am so pleased that Michelle Paver still had these fantastic characters at the back of her mind and had been asking (as had we all) “what are Torak and Wolf up to now?” This is just how a follow up novel should be born, out of the authors want and curiosity to explore their story more. I know this is a luxury that she has earned by her success, but it is so well deserved and we as readers are truly lucky to benefit from it!
If you’ve enjoyed any of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness before, you must read this. The series is essential reading for all wolf and dog fans. The beautiful descriptions of Wolf and Torak’s interactions will resound with anyone who knows canine behaviour well and, as always, the writing from Wolf’s perspective are so perfectly simply worded but yet crammed full of detail of a wolf’s incredible senses that you really feel as though you have spirit walked in his fur with him yourself.
I am so grateful to have had a chance to read this, I can only hope that there might be more at some point in the future. If so, I’ll be first in line to read more!

I had great plans to review this myself, but my lovely work colleague was so desperate to find out what happened next that me made a deal. I'd let her read it for a review. And wow, what an amazing review she has written! She has asked to remain anonymous, but I really hope I can get her to agree to review future books for me again.