The Sight

The Sight

4.6 341
by David Clement-Davies, David-Clement Davies
     
 

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In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. The she-wolf is about to give birth, and her pups could not survive exposure to the bitter Transylvanian winter. But something more threatening than snow and wind stalks the pack -- a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the Sight. And with her travels a raven, a… See more details below

Overview

In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. The she-wolf is about to give birth, and her pups could not survive exposure to the bitter Transylvanian winter. But something more threatening than snow and wind stalks the pack -- a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the Sight. And with her travels a raven, a bird that feeds on the dead. Morgra's arts show her that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own -- power that could give her control of this world and the next. Her soul, eaten up by the memory of an old crime, longs for this ultimate dominion. But the pack she hunts is brave and loving. They will do anything to protect their own, even if it means setting in motion a battle that will involve all of nature, including the creature wolves fear the most -- Man. David Clement-Davies' debut novel, Fire Bringer, was hailed as "a masterpiece of animal fantasy" (Booklist) and "a hurtling ride" (Kirkus Reviews). In The Sight, he explores the landscape of our fairy tales and nightmares in the company of animals whose capacities for loyalty and savagery mirror our own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As in his Fire Bringer, Clement-Davies's new fantasy novel features talking animals (Vargs, or wolves, instead of deer), a militant pack with a power-hungry leader, a prophecy involving a newborn that proves gifted (a white wolf who has the Sight, which can be used to see the future, heal and even control others) and the author creates imaginative mythologies (here drawing on everything from Christianity to Little Red Riding Hood). Also, both prophecies speak of a marked one (this time it turns out to be a stolen human child) and the revelation of a secret. But readers may find the creative plotting here even more compelling than in the author's first novel and the cryptic prophecy's meaning will keep them guessing. Larka, a white wolf, and her family are hunted, initially by Morgra, who strives to become the powerful Man Varg (also foretold in the prophecy); a rebel pack also hunts them (Slavka, its leader, seeks to destroy all that claim to have the Sight). After Larka loses members of her pack, she embarks on a solo journey and finds teachers who help her master the Sight, using it to heal the "human cub" and to prepare to face Morgra. Despite sophisticated language and some complex concepts, such as the origins of evil, the author's clever plot twists (such as which wolf eventually claims to be Wolfbane) make the thick novel well worth the commitment. Strong female characters also provide a refreshing change to the often male-dominated science-fiction/fantasy field. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Animal fantasy fans have all they can wish for and then some in this hefty novel of heroic proportions. Wolves are the animal of choice in this epic saga, set in the long ago woodlands of Transylvania. Pitted against one another are the evil Morgra, whose bitter life inspires her to fulfill the darkest of prophecies, and Larka, her niece, who is equally driven to see good triumph. Both Morgra and Larka are gifted with the Sight, which enables them to see through the eyes of birds, as well as glimpse into the past, present, and future. Morgra heralds the return of Wolfbane, the Evil One, who has promised to summon the dead. Legend has it that only a family can battle the Evil One. But is Larka's family the one of which the legend speaks? As Larka journeys to meet her destiny, another rebel faction kidnaps a human child in an attempt to gain understanding into the greatest of all creatures: Man. This sprawling, ambitious novel has it all: action, adventure, and apocalyptic battles. Also blended in are morality tales with their roots in history, religion, mythology, and ecology. Ideal for teens who are looking for a challenging read. 2002, Dutton Books,
— Christopher Moning
VOYA
Clement-Davies turns his attention to wolves in this allegorical novel set in Transylvania, creating a culture and social structure for them as he did for the red deer in Fire Bringer (Dutton, 2000/VOYA October 2000). A wolf pack takes shelter in a den near a huge stone castle so that Palla, the drappa, or female leader, can deliver her cubs. The journey has been hard on them all, and only two pups survive, a black male wolf called Fell and Larka, a white female. Soon after, however, the entire pack becomes ensnarled in a prophecy concerning the Sight—an ability to see from the perspective of other creatures—and a curse that proves deadly to some and nearly tears the wolf family apart. Larka, Fell, and their parents become the focus of Morgra, who wishes to enact part of the prophecy for her own gain, and Slavka, another wolf whose followers reject all notions of the Sight and even will destroy any creature who claims knowledge of it. The writing is gorgeous here but much denser than in Clement-Davies's previous novel, and the tale is much more introspective. Although the pace is steady, it is slower, and the philosophical contemplations make the tale somewhat less accessible. The narrative is rich, complex, and most importantly, credible, but it requires a thoughtful and perceptive reader. Fortunately, there are always enough of those in most high schools or hanging out in public libraries to make this title a worthwhile purchase. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Dutton, 432p,
— Donna Scanlon
KLIATT
In the biting cold of a Transylvanian winter, cubs are born into a wolf pack—cubs destined to play a vital role in the fulfillment of an ancient legend. Larka, born with a distinctive white coat, is gifted with the Sight, the ability to see through the eyes of others and to look into the past and into the future. She is stalked by the bitter, sly she-wolf Morgra, who seeks power and will do anything to achieve it. A human baby is stolen, and tragedies strike the wolf pack and threaten to tear it apart. But as the legend foretells, "only a family both loving and true" can triumph over the evil Morgra seeks to bring into being, and Larka's family at last manages to prevail. And in the end Larka offers "a vision of hope" for wolves and for humans, even though she loses her own life in a final struggle with Morgra. This long, dark fantasy draws on tales and folklore of Romania and the Balkans, as Clement-Davies (author of the acclaimed Fire Bringer) explains in an author's note at the end. Readers who like Watership Down and fantasy sagas will appreciate this epic tale about wolves and its examination of issues of destiny, evil, bloodlust, and loyalty. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Penguin Putnam, Dutton, 432p., $21.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-In Transylvania, some time in the past, a she-wolf named Palla gives birth to two cubs, an all-white female named Larka and a male named Fell. These are strange times for the Varg, as the wolves call themselves-Palla's outcast sister Morgra has gained power over a large group of fighting wolves and is determined to gain ultimate power by creating a "Man Varg," mingling the consciousness of a Sighted wolf with that of a human child in order to achieve a Vision of the world. Young Larka has the Sight, a form of ESP, and her pack is torn apart as Morgra attempts to capture her. Roman mythology, Christianlike theology, and supernatural horror all combine to form the legends that lead the Varg toward their destinies. Its members are realistically wolflike; their cold, harsh environment is vividly depicted; and elements of the story are quite exciting. However, much of the tension is lost by a convoluted plot and a multitude of interminable scenes, mostly discussions between characters, that will make many readers either skip ahead or abandon the book entirely. However, this may be a good choice for readers who have outgrown Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel) and are ready for a more complicated animal fantasy.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clement-Davies (Fire Bringer, 2000) returns with another powerful animal fantasy, in which wolves pit instinct against legend. In medieval Transylvania, scarred by human superstition and violence, a small wolf pack flees the tyranny of Morgra, leader of the Gestapo-like Night Hunters. Their newborn cubs are marked by the prophecy of the Sight, a mysterious power that allows wolves to commune with birds, see the past and the future, and even control the minds of others. Pursued by Morgra's curse, the pack is destroyed one by one, leaving only young Larka. She must endure harsh testing by the elements, elude those seeking her life, and overcome her own despair in order to hone the Sight, and discover the deepest power of all: the secret of Man. In this staggeringly ambitious allegory, wherein myths, history, even the landscape have rich symbolic resonance, Clement-Davies's reach sometimes exceeds his grasp. His huge cast, while complex and vivid, can become confusing; too often he preaches through his characters, rather than allowing them to tell their own stories. Still, the tale possesses an epic grandeur, and the poetic language evokes both lyric mysticism and immediate passionate sensuality. As Larka's messianic destiny unfolds, her journey is filled with tragedy, bitterness, violence, and betrayal; but there is also sacrifice, courage, and a love beyond all loss. Above all, this is a story about stories: how they educate, enrich, and comfort, but also entrap within the dead weight of myth. As much as the reader will learn about wolves, close attention will reveal even more about what it means to be human. A flawed but heartbreaking work of imaginative vision. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
A heartbreaking work of imaginative vision. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142500477
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
08/11/2003
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 7.02(h) x 1.48(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

David Clement-Davies is a journalist and travel writer. He lives in London.

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