Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1: Wolf Brother

by Michelle Paver

Other authorsGeoff Taylor (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2005

Call number




KTegenBks (2005), 304 pages


6,000 years in the past, twelve-year-old Tarak and his guide, a wolf cub, set out on a dangerous journey to fulfill an oath the boy made to his dying father--to travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit seeking a way to destroy a demon-possessed bear that threatens all the clans.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Alfirin
My Mum is a primary school teacher who, every year, tries to get the children in her class to read good quality books. Books which are well written, which have storyline, and which contain key writing elements which are taught as part of the English lessons (how to use writers’ hooks, to describe
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all the senses etc.). Since I received this book for Christmas a few years ago she has read them the opening paragraph:

“Torak woke with a jolt from a sleep he’d never meant to have. The fire had burned low. He crouched in the fragile shell of light and peered into the looming blackness of the forest. He couldn’t see anything. Couldn’t hear anything. Had it come back? Was it out there now, watching him with its hot, murderous eyes?”

Every year, without fail, the class all press her to read the whole opening chapter. She does. When she asks the children if they want the book’s details so that they can get a copy and read the whole thing she is nearly killed in the rush, and over the next few weeks many of the class can be found devouring this book in their spare time.

The detail and historical accuracy throughout so much of the book is outstanding. I think the world she has created is wonderful, and several years’ worth of schoolchildren agree with me. Be careful when giving this book to very young children to read though – it’s rather violent and scary in places for tiny tots.
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LibraryThing member atia
I came across this book by accident and picked it up mainly because of the cover. I am glad I did, because this was a great read. It's set in the prehistoric age and it's about a young boy, Torak, who roams the Forest together with his father. One fateful day, his father is killed by a bear
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possessed by a demon and Torak sets out on a quest to destroy the demon. On his way, he is accompanied by a young wolf, who becomes his close companion.

It's a fun story, your run-of-the-mill quest, but what makes this book special is its setting. The author manages to create a world full of ancient magic, and I was completely pulled in. At times I really felt as if I was in the Forest. I also loved the way the connection between man and nature - like in the relationship between Torak and Wolf - was portrayed. And I have a real weakness for people who can talk to wolves.
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LibraryThing member Shmoren
This book gave an interesting read and caused me not to put it down until finished. A thrilling tale that you'll want to read on and on.
LibraryThing member lxydis
This whole series is fantastic! If you're an adult who enjoys "kids" or Y.A. books, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's an exciting story about a boy and his wolf friend, set 6000 years ago in primeval landscapes whch come to life in Paver's beautiful writing. Her atmospheric descriptions of the natural
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world and spirit forces in it are always convincing, never patronizing to the intelligence, and mysterious enough to not disappoint with pat conclusions and explanations.
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LibraryThing member quigui
They say to never judge a book by its cover. But I like pretty shiny things.
So it went on my wishlist because it came as an automated recommendation, and stayed there because it was pretty.

Then I bought it because it was pretty.

Then it stayed in my shelf for a year looking pretty.

Eventually I came
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to my senses and decided that I should actually READ it.

So I gave the book a try. I had a slight idea that it as young adult's literature. I thought it was fantasy.

It was not exactly fantasy, but it sure was magical. I was hooked on the story from the first pages. I only had to start to read to be transported to this whole new world, and share my adventures with Torak. And Wolf. How I loved Wolf.

This story is not exactly new, as few stories are. Is the same old boy saves the world. The boy and its dog, or in this case, wolf. The boy and his friends. But it is beautifully done, a gripping story. The fact that it is set in pre-historical times makes it all more believable, even if there are demons about.
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LibraryThing member Goldengrove
I enjoyed this book very much. Michelle Paver takes the reader into the world of Tovak ad his people with all the knowledge of the natural world, and the terror of living so close to it, that they eperience. But most of all I love this book because my 12 year old son has read it and its sequels
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this Summer, and can't wait for the last two. When you're an avid reader with two sons who are really lukewarm about it, that means a lot!
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LibraryThing member Gnork
love this series of books. but hate that they only comes out ones a year. you want to read all the books right away.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
An interesting story set in the time of ice in Europe. A boy's father is killed by a bear, a bear with supernatural strength and the father send the son to help kill it.

With the help of a wolf cub and a girl from another tribe he fights tribe elders who want to kill him, the elements and
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overwhelming odds.

An interesting story that really paints a solid picture of what it must have been like without being too patronising or too modern.
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LibraryThing member karima29
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Mostly because of the archaeological research that went into it, but also because it’s absolutely thrilling and adventurous. The setting of the story is 6000 years ago when Western Europe was still covered by forest, and the people in it were
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hunter-gatherers. They didn’t have the wheel, writing, metals, or farming, yet. That’s the archaeological part. As for how they thought, their spirituality, how they interacted with their surroundings, this the author got from the more recent lives of the San of Southern Africa, the Native American tribes, Eskimos, and the Ainu of Japan. An example is the description of what is done to prey after it’s been killed. That no part of the animal is wasted, what’s not eaten is used to make pouches, and string and clothing, etc, etc.

Then there’s the story of a 12 year old boy, whose father raised him , taught him the ways of a hunter and the ways of the Forest, but kept him separate from people. The story opens with his father dying, having just been mauled by a bear. Before he dies however, he manages to croak out some cryptic pieces of information, like that the bear is possessed, the boy has powers that he doesn’t know about, he needs to make his way to a mountain that nobody has ever found, he’ll have a guide, and that he’s the only one who can defeat the bear (demon) before it destroys the entire forest and life as he knows it. That’s all in the first few pages.

From then on it’s your typical coming of age story, just with an added dose of adventure, intrigue and lots of heart.
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LibraryThing member FrogPrincessuk
This is definitely a children's book. Whereas the backdrop is different (set in Europe of 6000 years ago), the themes/plot aren't. It is a typical 'orphan on quest to fulfill prophesy and defeat evil' storyline.

However, it is still a wonderful book. It is fast paced, adrenalin-packed and keeps you
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hooked all the way through. This would make a great book for children just getting into proper reading.

I shall be seeking out the rest of this series.
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LibraryThing member furstdan
Wolf Brother is a very good bok it has every thing a good book needs.
LibraryThing member librarymeg
Wolf Brother is a tale of survival and good versus evil in a prehistoric setting. The main character, Torak, begins the story as a new orphan faced with an impossible quest: find the unfindable Mountain of the World Spirit and defeat the demon-possessed bear intent on destroying all Torak holds
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dear. Although he begins his quest alone, he is soon joined by a wolf cub who shares a special bond with Torak, and plays a special part in his quest. This story has it all. Well-developed characters, a rich setting, adventure, good versus evil, friendship, danger, and a special focus on our place in nature. Fans of survival stories should enjoy this book, as well as fans of epic fantasy concerned with saving the world. Very highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member bookmaven-msk
Awesome read, set thousands of years ago
Adventure with fantasy elements
LibraryThing member nm.fall08.j.gonzalez
it was interesting but it sucked that the dad died and i also liked the all the fighting i will try to read the other books
LibraryThing member moonmommy5
I really enjoyed this book. At the begginging of the book, the boys father dies, killed by this demon bear. Torak (the boy) is now running from this bear, and runs into another clan.

Of corse it was hard times, and they take him hostage. He finds out it's his destiny to go and defeat the bear. I
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won't spoil anymore, in case you read it.

It was very fast, and this would be recomended more for children, mabye young adult, as most of my books will be.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this Caudill nominated book. It takes place 6000 years ago when people are mostly nomadic and live in clans. Torak and his father live away from other people. After his father is killed by a bear, who turns out to be demon possessed, Torak is on a quest
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to try to stop the bear. He has to journey to the Spirit Mountain and find three items to give to the great spirit that answer the ancient riddle. Torak finds an orphaned wolf cub and it turns out he has the ability to speak the language of wolves. Renn for the Raven clan also is a helpful companion on the quest. This is the first in a series. Although I won't be running out to read the rest of the series, I think this book will definitely appeal to many of the students participating in the Caudill program.
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LibraryThing member coriblake
An absolutely action packed and fast paced adventure story! Wolf Brother is the first book in the series, 'Chronicles of Ancient Darkness'. I was kept one on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. Will Torak achieve what he promised his father he'd set out to do; find the mountain spirit and
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defeat the demon bear? Or... will the physical and laborious obstacles that face Torak, Ren and Wolf throughout their journey prevent them from doing so? The time period of six thousand years ago really draws one into the primitive nature in which our ancestors lived. The need for survival is a constant. I very much enjoyed reading 'Wolf Brother'. A treacherous and exciting tale of companionship, friendship, family and survival.
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LibraryThing member breconbeacons
a fantastic book about a kid how can talk to wolves his father was killed by a bear and now has to survive in the wild with a possessed bear chasing after him.This story was set in the olden days before guns were invented i recommend it to kids with a reading age of 10-11 or better
LibraryThing member edspicer
It is action packed, very interesting, and it's just flat out awesome. It looked good (cover art) and the name sounded cool. AHS/JC
LibraryThing member kkcrossley
In prehistoric times comes an adventure about Torak's who, when a giant bear kills his father, promises to seek out his father's people. Torak does this with the help of Wolf.
LibraryThing member dfullmer
This was an awesome book. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. A survival story similar to Hatchet, but set 6000 years ago. A 12 yr old boy must make his way in the wilderness alone after his father is killed by a demon bear. Along the way he meets up with an orphan wolf who becomes his
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guide. Turns out he has special powers that his father didn't tell him about. Action packed!
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LibraryThing member AaronKAwsome
This book is about a boy named Turok. His father is killed by a demon bear. Before his father died he made Toruk sware to find the mountain and the guide to bring him there. He is on is own and finds this lone wolf cub. The cub fallows him and becomes the guide. Later Turok finds the Raven Clan and
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Renn. He is taken to the camp. He finds out he is the listener that most destroy the bear, but to do this he most find the Nanuak. He escapes with Renn and Wolf. The Ravens and the bear are after him. He goes on a dangerous adventure to save the forest and the people of the forest.
People that like excitment will love this book. It is good for all ages 3rd grade and up. People will find this book full of strange twists and amazing battles. This is more for people that like the old cave men times and fantisy. It is simply an amazing book.
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LibraryThing member LittleKnife
Although written for children, I really enjoyed this book. The characterisation was interesting and thoughtful and I was particularly impressed with the portrayal of the tribal societies.
LibraryThing member ClareRhoden
I read it in one day. What more do you need?
I loved this story and will look out for the next books in the series.
Anything with a wolf is bound to get my attention, and Wolf in this story is fully realised - not just a furry human. I really liked that Wolf had a life apart from Torak's,
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a mind that differed from Torak's, and that he (Wolf) could make his own decisions and in fact leave Torak behind. Wolf in fact achieved the quest to the World Spirit, though Torak killed the bear. Great - and the promise of meeting up in the future - excellent.
I found the ending a bit rushed. I would have loved more detail about the final confrontation and the parting of the ways (so 4.5 stars not 5). Renn, Torak's friend, is a redoubtable girl, and I hope that in future episodes she is shown to be as important and fore-ordained as Toral himself. Don't get me wrong - Torak is a very likeable character - but he does rather fulfil the cliches of the traditional hero ie secret childhood, unexpected abilities, surprising courage and skills - think young King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone. I hope Renn is just as important to the Prophecy as she is to Torak's success.
More! More!
And I truly LOVE the illustrations by Geoff Taylor.
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LibraryThing member cmtanker
this book is about is about great darkennes.i think its easy.i like this book.


Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2007)
Sasquatch Book Award (Nominee — 2007)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Teen — 2009)
Manchester Book Award (Shortlist — 2006)
Branford Boase Award (Shortlist — 2005)
Southern Schools Book Award (Winner — 2006)




0060728256 / 9780060728250
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