Night Calls

Night Calls

4.8 19
by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

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When you have the Gift, your life is not your own.

I was born to a family that harnessed the winds and could read futures in fire and water. Yet my mother kept her secrets.

Then the werewolf came, sharing his madness.

Now it's my turn to keep secrets....

Descended from powerful magic-users, but ignorant of her heritage,


When you have the Gift, your life is not your own.

I was born to a family that harnessed the winds and could read futures in fire and water. Yet my mother kept her secrets.

Then the werewolf came, sharing his madness.

Now it's my turn to keep secrets....

Descended from powerful magic-users, but ignorant of her heritage, young Alfreda Sorensson learns magic and wisdom from her extended family in an alternate early 1800s Michigan Territory.


"If you can imagine Little House on the Prairie with werewolves, vampires, and magic, you've got an idea what this dark fantasy novel is like. ...the strong characters, the matter-of-fact tone, and the strong sense of place make this something special."
-Locus Magazine

"There are very few books I reread on a regular basis. Night Calls is one. When I read Night Calls I thought, first, that Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword had at last found a proper shelf-mate...."
-Laura Anne Gilman, Nebula Award Nominee for Flesh and Fire: The Vineart War series

"Kimbriel deftly weaves elements of horror and historical fiction to fabricate a compelling tale of another time and place. Excellent descriptive passages and strong, sympathetic characters pull the reader into the story. The underlying horror in Night Calls builds slowly and inexorably to an exciting climax. Nordic superstitions and spirits combined with unusual ways to combat the supernatural make this a unique read for horror fans."
-Rochelle M. Bilz, Voya, October 1996

"I am so glad that Katharine Eliska Kimbriel's Night Calls is getting out into the world again. If anything, I believe this story's time has come-it's the dark fantasy with an underlying glint of the numinous that I think so many readers are looking for and not finding." -Sherwood Smith, author of Crown Duel

"With a clear, distinctive voice, Katharine Kimbriel invents and re-invents magic on America's frontier, a place hardly explored by writers and long overdue for a visit. (Or should I say a visitation?) Love the book (Kindred Rites)."
-Jane Yolen, award-winning author of Briar Rose

"I have not been so enthralled with a novel since Wrede's Thirteenth Child.... It takes talent to build a world so rich and lush that the reader cannot imagine it ever being differently, but that is exactly what Ms. Kimbriel has done." -April M. Steenburgh, So Many books, So Little Time

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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

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Meet the Author

Katharine Eliska Kimbriel reinvents herself every decade or so. It's not on purpose, mind you-it seems her path involves overturning the apple cart, collecting new information & varieties of apple seed, and moving on. The one constant she has reached for in life is telling stories.

"I'm interested in how people respond to unusual circumstances. Choice interests me. What is the metaphor for power, for choice? In SF it tends to be technology (good, bad and balanced) while in Fantasy the metaphor is magic-who has it, who wants or does not want it, what is done with it, and who/what the person or culture is after the dust has settled. A second metaphor, both grace note and foundation, is the need for and art of healing.

"A trope in fantasy is great power after passing through death. Well, at my crisis point, I didn't die. That means that I'm a wizard now. Who knows what I may yet accomplish?"

Kimbriel is the author of the Night Calls series (Night Calls, Kindred Rites, and Spiral Path) The Chronicles of Nuala series, and many short stories.

A John W. Campbell Award nominee.

NIGHT CALLS is appropriate for ages 12-120. After 120, you're probably a vampire and may not spend much time reading.

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Night Calls 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Alatner More than 1 year ago
Katharine Eliska Kimbriel's Allie books do Harry Potter one, or two, maybe even three better. The young female wizard in Night Calls doesn't have to be alienated from all of the adults and authority figures in her life for there to be breathtaking suspense. Alfreda Sorensson has a loving family and good neighbors in American frontier village of Sun-Return. She also has a magical gift that promises to be as eruptive as a volcano and just as hard to hide from supernaturally evil beings. And her magic flows not from words and wands, but from nature. Her magic is ultimately meant for healing. The role of Allie's cousin and mentor Marta -- healer, midwife, and something of a priestess -- runs like a golden cord through the story. The climax combines terror and a terribly fragile hope for the healing of broken human relationships. This is superb dark fantasy and the kind of good book that helps a reader get through a bad night.
Eneelia More than 1 year ago
This was cleverly written book that has a strong cast of characters as well as a vividly imagined world that is makes the phenomenal seem common place. The female protagonist is strong and interesting with out being a cliché.
Bran_Langley More than 1 year ago
In an alternate early 1800s Michigan Territory, Alfreda Sorensson is growing up on her family’s farm. Her life was simple and busy, until the dreams came . . . followed by evil unsuspected. The dreams are signs of Alfreda’s “Gift,” a legacy of magical ability that runs in her family. The Gift is a burden that her mother would spare her, but which cannot be denied. Alfreda must train to use her gifts, first under her parents, then under her aunt as evil returns again in different guises to threaten her family and community. The story of Alfreda and her society is in the best tradition of American frontier storytelling. It would be absorbing enough without the fantasy element. Together, the tale kept me riveted to the last sentence, and sent me on-line to find the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First read this book and the other (Kindred Rights) as a young teenager (many many years ago). I still to this day read these books and have not found anything that even slightly compares. Katharine's writing style is one that you can see every detail, smell the wonderful smells and taste the foods. After reading you don't feel like you've read a book, it seems as though you watched a movie, or were there experiencing everything. Her stories take you with them. Never have I been so moved by a book. A must read for anyone of any age group.
BexBoox More than 1 year ago
When a werewolf is killed outside the quiet village of Sun-Return, Allie Sorensson discovers two truths: there are beings beyond her ken and that she has inherited Gifts to fight them. This is a heavy burden for a girl on the verge of turning twelve, but Allie’s family paid the ultimate cost for not having a practitioner nearby—the life of her oldest brother, Dolph. As her lessons begin, Allie’s most important insight is discovering how little she knows. Missing a simple detail in identifying an herb used for medicine can cost a life. Lives are at stake – because there’s more dark creatures coming. Funny how when you read a book that you haven't read in a long time, it feels like meeting an old friend again. You pick up where you left off and then you're lost in that world of wonder. In the case of a very well-written book like Night Calls, re-readings always show you something new. The first time I read Night Calls, I was fascinated by the supernatural element – werewolves in a pioneer setting. Now, I’m realizing the deeper lessons we can learn from the pioneers of Sun-Reach: communities must remain strong, land must be carefully stewarded, and no Gift should ever be wasted. Night Calls will keep you up all night and leave you anticipating the sequel. Rebecca McFarland Kyle, September 2013
patricePR More than 1 year ago
I know Katharine but I've never read her work until now. I'm in awe at the power of her voice and her ability to get inside the head of a young, very pragmatic child who never understood she was a witch until it was almost too late. The alternate frontier world she lives in becomes very real. If we can accept a King George Washington, we can accept that some people change shapes and forms under the spell of the night. This book works for both adult and YA, just as Harry Potter did.
Paynesgrey More than 1 year ago
This remains one of my favorites.  The narrator is an engaging and delightful character, and the author can describe foods I loathe in a way that makes my mouth water.  The mix of woodscraft, folklore and mythology are a delight.  It's both "Alternate History" and "Frontier Fantasy."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ive ever read. The main character is awesome, but even the supporting cast is well writen and fleshed out. A book for the young and old alike. Every couple of years i like to reread this book its great every time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This 1st book has a slow tutorial feeling; Then the story takes off! I couldn't put it down. A good read.
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AJae More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story of a young girl who becomes aware and learns to use her gifts. Loved every word of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced absorbing read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great, engaging read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book
alabamldy More than 1 year ago
This is a remarkable book, I have read all of her books and I have NEVER been disapointed by one of them. All of her books are keepers, I read them and then go back later and read them again and again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago