Promise of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles Series #1)

Promise of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles Series #1)

4.3 212
by Dorothy Hearst
     
 

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WHAT IS
THE PROMISE OF THE WOLF?

NEVER CONSORT WITH HUMANS.

NEVER KILL A
HUMAN UNPROVOKED.

NEVER ALLOW A MIXED-BLOOD WOLF TO LIVE.

At least that's what the wolves of the Wide Valley believe. Until a young wolf dares to break the rules -- and forever alters the relationship between wolves and theSee more details below

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Overview


WHAT IS
THE PROMISE OF THE WOLF?

NEVER CONSORT WITH HUMANS.

NEVER KILL A
HUMAN UNPROVOKED.

NEVER ALLOW A MIXED-BLOOD WOLF TO LIVE.

At least that's what the wolves of the Wide Valley believe. Until a young wolf dares to break the rules -- and forever alters the relationship between wolves and the humans who share their world.

This is the story of such a wolf. Born of a forbidden mixed-blood litter and an outcast after her mother is banished, Kaala is determined to earn a place in the Swift River pack. But her world is turned upside down when she saves a human girl from drowning. Risking expulsion from their pack and exile from the Wide Valley, Kaala and her young packmates begin to hunt with the humans and thus discover the long-hidden bond between the two clans. But when war between wolves and humans threatens, Kaala learns the lies behind the wolf 's promise. Lies that force her to choose between safety for herself and her friends and the survival of her pack -- and perhaps of all wolf- and humankind.

Set 14,000 years ago, Promise of the Wolves takes us to a land where time is counted in phases of the moon, distance is measured in wolflengths, and direction by the scent of the nearest trail. Years of research into the world of wolves combines with mythical tale-telling to present a fantastical adventure set in a world filled with lore.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The debut of former Jossey-Bass senior editor Hayes is a crackling foray into a dangerous past, the first of a projected trilogy. On Wide Valley plain 14,000 years ago, wolf Kaala is born into the Swift River pack-a half-breed outcast with Outsider blood. As she grows into adulthood, the spirited pup continues to come into conflict with pack leader Ruuqo. She also sneaks off to be with humans, who are encroaching on wolf territory and who often drive the wolves from their kills. Fraternization is strictly forbidden, but as Kaala's mother has foreseen in dreams, it may also be the key to saving every wolf and human in the valley. Hayes's remarkable fluency when writing in Kaala's voice is immediately absorbing. The mythologies of the societies she invents are underdeveloped, but the relationships between the human characters and the wolf characters are keenly felt, and the conflicts sharply imagined. Hayes's keen interpretations of wolf behavior, senses and sensibilities will enchant paranormal fans and animal lovers alike. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

For anyone who ever wanted to run with the wolves, this debut novel (and the first in the author's "The Wolf Chronicle" trilogy) opens a window into life in the pack. Kaala, a wolf pup whose mother was banished for having a mixed-blood litter, must fight to make a place for herself in the Swift River pack. She finds herself drawn to the nearby humans, even though any contact is forbidden by the ancient Greatwolves, who rule all wolfkind in the Valley. Humans and wolves can't seem to live together even though they need each other's skills to survive, but Kaala and her friends may be able to find a way. Though the story is fairly simplistic, animal lovers will enjoy the close-up view of wolf-family dynamics, and a favorable blurb from animal behavior expert Temple Grandin indicates that the portrayal is an accurate one. Dog owners may even learn a thing or two about their pet's inner life. Recommended for public libraries and also appropriate as a YA crossover. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/15/08.]
—Jenne Bergstrom

School Library Journal

Adult/High School- The first in a proposed trilogy, this story set in a wilderness 14,000 years ago is told from the wolves' viewpoint. Kaala is a young female whose relationship with her pack is strained by the portentous crescent moon mark on her chest and her affinity for humans. Her bond with them is formed when she rescues a young girl from drowning. Through repeated conversations with Greatwolves, spiritwolves, and Ancients, the young wolf comes to realize that she is the latest in a line of mixed bloods who have the opportunity and challenge of forming an alliance with humans in order to remind them of the interconnectivity of life and to prevent them from destroying their world. The road Kaala travels to ultimate understanding is a tortured one that, at times, borders on the tiresome, but this is a minor drawback in a book whose strength is in the depiction of life in and among wolf packs. Clearly, Hearst has done prodigious research, and her story is infused with a great depth of understanding. Her depiction of the animals' lives, from raising pups to hunting strategies to the protocol of both inter- and intra-pack associations, makes her lupine cast both captivating and believable. A favorite character, however, may be the raven Tlitoo, who plays the part of a Sancho Panza sidekick and provides some comic relief. With its engaging blend of animal science and mythology, and a strong environmental message, Promise will appeal to a variety of teens.-Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

From the Publisher
"The story of Kaala and her pack takes readers on a journey into a rich and fascinating world. A remarkable look into the mind of another kind of being." — Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

"A vivid, enchanting tale of friendship, trust and adventure, good Tolkien-esque ingredients." — Kirkus Reviews

"A crackling foray into a dangerous past...remarkable fluency...immediately absorbing...the relationships between the human characters and the wolf characters are keenly felt, and the conflicts sharply imagined." — Publishers Weekly

"If you liked WATERSHIP DOWN, you should not miss Promise of the Wolves." — JEAN AUEL, author of THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416570219
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/03/2008
Series:
Wolf Chronicles Series , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
58,162
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt


1

14,000 years ago

The legends say that when the blood of the Wide Valley wolves mingles with the blood of the wolves outside the valley, the wolf who bears that blood will stand forever between two worlds. It is said that such a wolf holds the power to destroy not only her pack, but all of wolfkind. That's the real reason Ruuqo came to kill my brother, my sisters, and me in the faint light of the early morning four weeks after we were born.

Wolves hate killing pups. It's considered unnatural and repulsive, and most wolves would rather chew off their own paws than hurt a pup. But my mother never should have whelped us. She was not a senior wolf, and therefore had no right to have pups. But that could have been forgiven. Much worse than that, she had broken one of the most important rules of the Wide Valley, the rules that protect our bloodlines. Ruuqo was only doing his duty.

He had already given Rissa a bellyful of pups, as was proper for the senior male and female of the pack. Unless given permission by the leaderwolves, no other wolf may mate, for extra pups can be difficult to feed unless it is a very good year. The year I was born was a time of conflict in our valley, and prey was growing scarce. We shared the Wide Valley with four other packs of wolves and with several tribes of humans. While most of the other wolves respected the boundaries of our territories, the humans did not -- they drove us from our own kills whenever they got the chance. So the Swift River pack did not have food to spare the season I was born. Even so, I don't think my mother truly believed that Ruuqo would hurt us. She must have hoped he wouldn't notice our Outsider blood, that he wouldn't smell it on us.

Just before dawn two days before Ruuqo came to end our lives, my brother, Triell, and I climbed eagerly up the incline of soft, cool dirt that led from our den to the world outside. Dim light filtered into the deep hollow of the den, and yips and growls from the wolves outside echoed off the walls of our home. The scents and sounds of the world above intrigued us, and anytime we weren't eating or sleeping, we were trying to sneak outside.

"Wait," our mother had told us, blocking our way, "there are things you must know first."

"We just want to see what's out there," Triell wheedled. I caught the mischievous glint in his eye, and we tried to dash past her.

"Listen." Our mother placed a large paw over us, pressing us to the ground. "Every pup must pass inspection to be allowed into the pack. If you do not pass, you do not live. You must listen to what I teach you." Her voice, usually soft and comforting, held a worried tone I'd never heard before. "When you meet Ruuqo and Rissa, the leaderwolves, you must show them you are healthy and strong. You must prove that you are worthy to be part of the Swift River pack. And you must show them respect and honor." She released us, gave us one more worried look, and bent to wash my sisters, who had followed us up to the mouth of the den. Triell and I retreated to a corner of the warm den to plan what we would do to become part of the pack. I don't think it occurred to me that we could fail.

Copyright © 2008 by Dorothy Hearst

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