Wolf Huntingby Jane Lindskold
"In Wolf Captured, Firekeeper and her lupine companion Blind Seer, found themselves kidnapped and dragged overseas to the unfamiliar land of Liglim, where humans have a different relationship with intelligent animals. Now, still in Liglim, Firekeeper and Blind Seer respond to a request for assistance from Truth, the soothsayer-jaguar." "While helping Truth, Firekeeper… See more details below
"In Wolf Captured, Firekeeper and her lupine companion Blind Seer, found themselves kidnapped and dragged overseas to the unfamiliar land of Liglim, where humans have a different relationship with intelligent animals. Now, still in Liglim, Firekeeper and Blind Seer respond to a request for assistance from Truth, the soothsayer-jaguar." "While helping Truth, Firekeeper and her companion come across evidence of elaborate investigations into the kinds of ancient magics taboo in Liglim culture. It appears more people in Liglim are willing to flout this taboo than anyone cares to admit, and Firekeeper and Blind Seer decide their duty is to find out more." "But Truth knows more than she's telling. She can see and trace future timelines for particular individuals, which in the past had led her into madness. Since then, the Voice that guided her out of that madness has continued to speak to her - and it's not her friend." Eventually Truth realizes that her Voice may well be a person the Liglimom call "The Meddler" - a dangerous trickster figure. But Truth doesn't own up to this until far too late.
“What do you get when you mix lost magic and feral children with dynastic politics, wolf social dynamics, treason, and over-ambitious, social-climbing parents? You get Jane Lindskold's new novel Through Wolf's Eyes and another stay-up-to-finish-the-last-page read.” David Weber on the "Wolf" novels of Jane Lindskold
“Her characters livethey’re real, but they are different. And the world they live in lingers in the mind; heroic, squalid, exotic, everyday. I was convinced that it went on by itself when I turned the last page. Bravo!” S. M. Stirling on Through Wolf’s Eyes
“Exciting!” Publishers Weekly on Wolf Captured (starred review)
“Watching Firekeeper learn about humanity and still maintain her identity as a wolf makes for compelling reading. Intricately plotted and written, Lindskold's latest creates an utterly fascinating world that readers can thoroughly lose themselves in.” Romantic Times on Wolf Captured
Read an Excerpt
By Jane Lindskold, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2006 Jane Lindskold
All rights reserved.
"HERE, KITTY, KITTY ... HERE, KITTY, KITTY ..."
The voice was mocking, but Truth turned toward the sound. Those words offered something she had been without for what seemed like an entire lifetime: direction.
Truth did not hear the voice. Rather the call appeared to her as a physical thing, a strand of certainty amid the chaos of nearly infinite probability. She followed that strand's odor, though she smelled it with her nose no more than she saw it with her eyes, no more than she heard that mocking voice with her round, furred ears.
The jaguar dipped her head close to the ground and took the scent, then followed its trace — for how long? Truth had no idea. The notion of time was one of the first things that had fragmented beyond repair. Even so, she followed, desiring certainty as once she had desired the hot blood of her prey, the attentions of lovers in season, lavish praise or admiration.
Truth followed, hearing a voice that wasn't there, scenting a trail that did not exist, seeing a path that left no mark on its surroundings. She followed, because all these things led her toward certainty.
FOREVER AFTER, that full year's turning of seasons on Misheemnekuru, the Sanctuary Islands, would remain green in memory for Firekeeper. Events of the summer before had freed her from responsibility for her human companions. Now she ran with the wolves, as free and unencumbered as ever she had been in her childhood.
The wolf-woman even had acquired a pack of her own, she and Blind Seer, for though Moon Frost had won Dark Death back from the doom he had ordained for himself, the season was too early for mating. Instead of dispersing to seek their own territory, the pair ran with Firekeeper. The greatest wonder of all to Firekeeper was that she, she and Blind Seer, were the Ones of this small pack.
Later, another joined them. Young Rascal of Moon Frost's own birth pack followed these first four when they moved on from hunting with his family. The pups Rascal had nursemaided were hunting small game on their own, so neither his mother nor his father held Rascal back from his desire to explore his strengths, though his new teachers would be odd indeed.
Summer was a fat time, as was the autumn that followed. Firekeeper's reputation was such that no wolf pack minded if the wolf-woman's small band shared the hunting in their lands — as long as the five first cried for permission, and granted those who held the territory their due.
When they were not hunting, the wolves usually slept, but Firekeeper — who was wolf and not — often searched out the human ruins that dotted Misheemnekuru. Blind Seer — who was wolf, but had run where no wolf had run for a hundred years and more — went with his Firekeeper. Between her questing eyes and his keen nose they discovered many curious things.
Winter was harder, though to Firekeeper and Blind Seer, born farther to the north, the temperatures were comparatively mild. Firekeeper's five joined with another little pack, a mated pair and their first year's pups. When a pup or two who might not have otherwise survived the winter's lean hunting lived because Firekeeper was clever with bow and snare, then to the songs that were already sung of her battles were added those of her generosity, and of her mercy.
When spring came around, Firekeeper and her pack went their way, seeking fresh hunting grounds. Spring had brought with it a small litter, born to Moon Frost, sired by Dark Death. Only two pups survived the birth. There were others, but deformed so that they came forth dead or only breathed a few shallow breaths. This was the curse of Misheemnekuru, and the reminder of it darkened Firekeeper's idyll.
Yet nothing could diminish the wolf-woman's contentment for long. The surviving pups grew strong and fat with only one other to share Moon Frost's milk, and with five adults eager to spoil them, for wolves love their pups and indulge them greatly. Firekeeper had Blind Seer at her side, and a pack with which to sing songs to the Moon.
That summer a few young hunters trying their skill — and some not so young, nor without skill — came to challenge Firekeeper, for as she was wolf and yet not wolf, there were those who doubted Firekeeper's right to walk freely on Misheemnekuru. These battles she won — and the fact that her pack showed willing to fight alongside her counted for much in all eyes.
With the coming of the raven, this time of contentment was shattered forever.
THE RAVEN CAME TO Firekeeper and Blind Seer early one morning at that time of year when the days were hot and heavy, and so — unless the wind came off the water — were the nights. The wolves had been sorting among bits of broken glass and cut stone at what had probably once been a fine estate, but was now little more than an assortment of vine-covered mounds.
When the raven landed on one of these mounds, Firekeeper greeted her with a friendly smile.
"Hey, Lovable," she said. "Come to see if we have found anything that shines?"
The raven lifted her head, angling it to one side to better look at what Firekeeper might be holding, then sank her head between her shoulders and sleeked her feathers flat, so that she looked smaller than she was. This was not very small, for Lovable was a Wise Raven, and like all of her kind, larger than her Cousin counterparts.
"Something that sparkled would be nice," Lovable began, then stopped herself with visible effort, "but that isn't why I have come. The beast- souled, the maimalodalum, asked me to find you and request that you attend upon them at Center Island."
Firekeeper let the bits of stone and glass she had been sifting through her fingers fall to the ground. Blind Seer, who had been lying recumbent, watching Firekeeper as he drowsed, rose in one easy motion. He did not quite challenge the raven, but his posture was defensive.
"What do they want her for?"
"They want both of you, actually," Lovable replied. "Powerful Tenderness, speaking for the rest, said to me, 'Find Firekeeper and Blind Seer. We have learned something that may interest them.' That is what he said."
Blind Seer relaxed somewhat, but Firekeeper, who knew the blue-eyed wolf well, felt he was still suspicious.
"You," Lovable agreed. "Though your pack would be welcome, I am sure. But it is to you the beast-souled wish to speak."
Firekeeper rose and placed a hand on Blind Seer's shoulder.
"I would go," she said. "Otherwise, I will wonder what the beast-souled wished to tell us."
"Curiosity," Blind Seer growled. "It is the most human thing about you, Little Two-legs."
Firekeeper did not bristle as once she might have. She knew what Blind Seer said was true. Instead she turned her attention to Lovable.
"What do they want?" she asked.
"I don't know exactly," Lovable replied, and from the set of her feathers, Firekeeper could tell this lack of information annoyed the raven. "All I know is that it has something to do with the jaguar Truth."
AFTER ARRANGING TO have the other three adults follow more slowly with the pups, Firekeeper and Blind Seer set off for Center Island. During the year they had spent on the Sanctuary Islands, they had not often visited this one particular island. They were not unwelcome there, but the island held not only bad memories, but two human residents whom Firekeeper had no desire to know better.
Unlike humans, Firekeeper and Blind Seer did not speculate as to what might await them at their destination — at least not out loud. Privately, Firekeeper did wonder, and she suspected Blind Seer did, too, but they saved their breath for running.
So it was that some days later, as evening was falling, the two wolves climbed the hill to the towers where the beast-souled made their headquarters. Once there had been five towers, each dedicated to one of the five elements worshipped by the Liglimom, the humans who had settled these islands before moving to the mainland. The central tower, the one dedicated to Magic, was nothing but a heap of broken stone. The four that surrounded it stood tall — and in far better repair than their battered exteriors might suggest.
Magic's tower alone had been permitted to deteriorate, but then the beast-souled had little reason to love magic, even though magic had made them what they were.
And what they were was as unlovely a lot as Firekeeper had ever seen: furred, fanged, horned, antlered, these characteristics blended without sense or harmony. Each of the maimalodalum possessed traits taken from at least one human and one animal, but most blended those from three or four. A typical representative of the beast-souled might have the scales of a snake on the torso of a broad-chested man — or perhaps of a bear — in addition to the head of a wolf or great cat. However, there were no typical beast-souled. What was most typical about them was that each was a unique monstrosity.
The maimalodalum were descended from the results of sorcery gone awry. In the generations since a plague had either killed or driven away from the New World those who were most skilled in the magical arts, these mutations had interbred. Their children and their children's children now resided here at the heart of Misheemnekuru, a secret from most who lived on the mainland.
Yet for all their ugliness, Firekeeper respected and even liked the beast-souled. She knew better than most how intelligent and strong-willed were the spirits imprisoned within those mismatched exteriors. As Firekeeper entered the round Tower of Earth toward which a waiting raven guided her, she bowed her head in respectful greeting to those who waited within. Beside her, Blind Seer stretched out his forelegs and gave a sort of bow, a mannerism he had picked up from humans that had nothing to do with the hierarchical groveling of wolves.
"Join us, Firekeeper and Blind Seer," said Hope. Her form blended, not disagreeably, the features of a bird and a human woman. She indicated a space left empty in the seated circle of the beast-souled. "We heard from Lovable that you were coming, and gathered here that we might speak with you. But perhaps you and Blind Seer would prefer to eat or drink before we convene? You have run far. Perhaps you need to rest."
"We hunted," Firekeeper said, "while we waited for the tide to shift so we could cross the inlet to this place. There were springs and creeks enough on the path we followed here. We slept through the worst of the day's heat. There is no need for you to wait your business."
"Is this wolfish efficiency I hear?" asked Hope, her laugh holding a touch of a bird's trill. "Or human curiosity?"
"A bit of both, Hope," Firekeeper said. "You invited us. We came. There seems no reason to delay. Why did you summon us here?"
Hope gave a quick, dipping bob of her feather-capped head. Her gaze, eagle-sharp, scanned her companions and found only listening interest. "Very well. I will begin. You remember Truth?"
"A Wise Jaguar," Firekeeper said. "The diviner. She was driven mad."
Driven mad, Firekeeper thought, helping me. Had Truth not immersed herself in omens that final time so I might climb Magic's tower before it fell ...
But might-have-beens were the stuff of nightmare. Firekeeper knew this far better than most of her acquaintances even suspected. Of those present, only Blind Seer knew that she cried in her sleep and sometimes awoke screaming. In her nightmares, too, she almost remembered her human life, but most of the time Firekeeper was a wolf — a wolf in everything but shape.
Hope continued, "You know that Truth did not return to the mainland after the events here last summer. She was certainly not fit for the honored position she had held. Equally, she could not simply be let roam free. She would have died of starvation. Moreover, she would have been a hazard to any who encountered her."
Firekeeper nodded understanding. Any jaguar was dangerous. A Wise Jaguar, larger and more intelligent than its Cousin-kin, would be more so, even one who was insane — perhaps especially one who was insane.
"Yet we could not simply kill her," Hope said. "Truth had done nothing to earn execution. Her injuries were as much battle wounds as those so many others took to their bodies."
Firekeeper felt a twisting in her gut as she thought about those who had died or been permanently mutilated. She herself bore scars from the battle in which Truth had lost her mind. The least of these marked her body. The deepest were in her heart.
"So you didn't kill Truth," Blind Seer said, perhaps to give Firekeeper a chance to compose herself, "nor let her run free. That must mean you have taken care of her."
"We have," Hope said. "Powerful Tenderness made Truth's care his charge, and to him belongs the next part of this tale."
Attention shifted to where Powerful Tenderness sat — or rather hunkered — on the ground. He was one of the most physically terrifying of the beast-souled. It was impossible for Firekeeper to decide whether his torso was that of a brown bear or merely of a very large, very hairy man. His head bore traces of both ancestries. His toes and fingers ended in claws, not nails. His eyes, when Firekeeper forced herself to meet them, were those of neither man nor bear, but the cold, somehow dead-looking eyes of a snake.
When Powerful Tenderness spoke, a snake's tongue slipped from between too-human lips, and gave his words an incongruous hiss. Yet for all his fearsome appearance, Firekeeper knew, Powerful Tenderness deserved his name as much as she deserved her own. She waited with interest to hear what he would say.
"Bide while I begin with those first days," Powerful Tenderness began, "for only in knowing how Truth was then can you understand what she has become."
Firekeeper inclined her head respectfully, and slung one arm around Blind Seer's shoulders. This was a posture that said "I am not going anywhere. Speak as much as you like," and Powerful Tenderness responded to it as he would have to words.
"At first, I despaired of keeping Truth alive once the fat in her body, the strength in her muscles, was depleted. It was almost impossible to get her to eat, and the few times I restrained her and tried to force her ..."
He held up one forearm. A scar made a white river through the brown fur. He need say no more.
"Weakness saved Truth," Powerful Tenderness went on, "for when she was weak, she seemed to see this reality more clearly and would eat what I set out for her. But this was not her salvation. Every time Truth ate herself to some modicum of strength, she would again see each possibility in her action and balk at dangers we could not imagine, though sometimes phrases she spat to invisible enemies gave us a clue. She might fear choking, or illness from a faint trace of rot, or even mourn the creature that had died to provide her sustenance. She would again refuse to eat, grow weak, and become somewhat sane, only to fall into madness as she regained her strength. It was not a good time.
"But at last — sometime this spring — Truth broke this cycle. She did not return to full sanity, but she had flashes wherein I know she knew me, knew where she was, and knew, too, that this reality held the foundation from which she derived her omens. Then, just as I was hoping Truth would be with us more often than not, something new happened. Truth seemed to find another ..."
Powerful Tenderness trailed off, and for a long pause Firekeeper thought he had forgotten what he had been about to say. The other beast-souled waited with such tense watchfulness that Firekeeper felt certain that they, too, had not heard this tale. Hope alone held herself differently. Hope waited, her lips pursed as if ready to prompt her friend, but she held herself silent: a bird on the edge of song.
She knows, Firekeeper thought, but she does not wish to take this hunt from her friend.
"It was as if," Powerful Tenderness said at last, "Truth had located another reality, one as solid and as real as this one. I swear I saw her lap as if drinking. There was no water near her, but I saw the muscles beneath her throat fur rippling as she swallowed. Once I thought I glimpsed a drop of water on her whiskers, but that might only have been saliva. Yet, yet ... It glittered clear and shot rainbows when the sunlight touched it."
Excerpted from Wolf Hunting by Jane Lindskold, Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Copyright © 2006 Jane Lindskold. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Jane Lindskold lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the author of Through Wolf's Eyes; Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart; The Dragon of Despair; Wolf Captured; The Buried Pyramid; Child of a Rainless Year; and several prior fantasy novels, including Changer, Legends Walking, and Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls. With Roger Zelazny, she wrote Lord Demon and Donnerjack.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book got off to a very slow start. I've read all Ms. Lindskold's books and have enjoyed them all. This one was no exception, even with the slow start. I look forward to read the next in the series.
I enjoyed the book. The way it was written and the way the characters acted towards one another.
Series takes a new direction. Interesting and leaves one waiting for the next
This is one of my favorite books in the series. I absolutely love the tragic tale of someone stuck between two worlds that are completely different, and recommend this to any fantasy and/or animal lovers who can appreciate this romantic fantasy in all its glory. I truly hope that many will come to love this book just as I have!
I seriously could not put this book down. I had it with me when I ate, I had it with me while I worked and, yes, I even had it with me while I bathed. Jane Lindskold writes in a way that absolutely captivates the reader, drawing them fully into the story, surrounding them in a world that holds a plethora of surprises. Her imagery is so keen that I see every little detail of her world in my mind¿s eye, from the colour of Derian Carter¿s hair to the wild battles that they must fight. In this installment of the Firekeeper series Lindskold continues to develop the increasingly intriguing story arc that has been going on through each of her novels. Magic and the Old World, which were only mentioned with disgust in the first installment of the series, now begins to take an increasingly important role in the lives of Firekeeper and our friends. While the book can stand on its own, I would highly recommend reading the first four books so you can completely understand all of the undertones and references this one has. Lindskold¿s characters are seamless and completely relatable, even though they may be a wolf, a feral child and a carter¿s son. At times I find myself more interested in the character development than the actual story, but that is not a bad thing in the least. Her characters are so well developed that they actually seem like real people, like one day I could wake up and Derian Carter would be walking down the street. I find myself relating most with Derian Carter, not only because we share the same name, but because he is a completely real character, going through the trials and tribulations of a regular man when he isn't involving himself in political issues. If Lindskold suddenly decided to end her current plot and simply write about the characters lives, I could honestly say that I would not mind. In this installment, without giving too much away, we get a visit from a few old friends, a disease that threatens the life of our protagonists, and a transformation that will leave Lindskold¿s readers shocked. The final installment of this series will be a bittersweet read for me. On the one hand I am incredibly anxious to see how she concludes her story arc and to witness the final developments of her characters. On the other hand, I will be devastated to know that it is the end of the line. Lindskold¿s plot and characters are so gripping that it will be like saying goodbye to good friends when I turn the final page. Wolf Hunting has been one of my favourite installments of this incredible series and I would recommend it to anybody, even if you are not a fantasy lover.
I haven't read this one yet, but the others are amazing! And, if you read what the critics said, I have a correction: It's spelled Derian, and he's from Hawk Haven, not Liglim! But I love these books with a passion!
it was a grand book and well worth the read i cant wait for the next!
The jaguar oracle Truth sends a message to Firekeeper, the female raised by wolves, to help her regain her sanity lost in a recent battle (WOLF CAPTURED). Though her wolf developed senses warn her not to go and keep avoiding danger, Firekeeper also has a feral inquisitiveness that overwhelms her internal alarm system. She cannot resist the lure of Truth's quest. Her wolf companion Blind Seer is at her side as his her new collaborator, Darian Carter of Liglim on the journey to bring Truth back to her senses. However, the trek proves odd and dangerous as the trio also must first find out how to remove the voice inside the oracle¿s head if they are to bring her back her senses, but to achieve the former requires that they learn who has manifested inside Truth¿s brain and are they manipulating the oracle and Firekeeeper and her allies.----- The fifth Firekeeper Wolf tale is the best of a solid fantasy series due to a thrilling action-packed straightforward (less subplots) story line with much more enchanting interrelationships between humans and wise animals. The heroine continues to learn though she feels more comfortable still with her wolf friends. Fans of Jane Lindskold will appreciate this strong saga that can stand alone though is enhanced by having read the previous quartet so that one can understand the world better and to see how far Firekeeper has come in her human venture.---- Harriet Klausner