The Wolf of Tebron

( 10 )


In classic fairy tale style, we embark on an enchanted journey with a young blacksmith—Joran—whose only desire is to live a peaceful, uncomplicated life in his forest village, a desire shattered by the sudden and bizarre disappearance of his wife, Charris. Later, Joran is plagued by nightmares of an unimaginable sea, where Charris remains trapped in a sand castle at the whim of the Moon. The goose woman insists he will find no rest from his nightmares until he solves the riddle of three keys. She tells him to ...

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The Wolf of Tebron

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In classic fairy tale style, we embark on an enchanted journey with a young blacksmith—Joran—whose only desire is to live a peaceful, uncomplicated life in his forest village, a desire shattered by the sudden and bizarre disappearance of his wife, Charris. Later, Joran is plagued by nightmares of an unimaginable sea, where Charris remains trapped in a sand castle at the whim of the Moon. The goose woman insists he will find no rest from his nightmares until he solves the riddle of three keys. She tells him to travel the treacherous journey to the house of the Moon to find the answers he seeks.

Unable to ignore the urgings of his nightmares, Joran sets out north seeking the Moon. Leaving a town and family where he never felt truly at home, Joran’s journey becomes more than just a search for his wife. His path also leads inward, for he must face emotions that have tormented him his entire life—feelings of alienation and anger, of despair and hurt. Along the way he rescues a wolf—a huge, imposing creature that becomes a companion, and eventually a trusted friend.

Joran has the uncanny ability to speak with animals, and learns from the wolf, Ruyah, that he can manipulate his dreams to affect the real world. With Ruyah’s humor and guidance, Joran finds the courage and fortitude to press on, despite setbacks and disappointments. With the wolf by his side he endures the darkness at the end of the world and the ravings of the lunatic Moon, who sends him off—more confused than before—to the Palace of the Sun with a seemingly useless gift.

After trekking through a vast, unmerciful desert, Joran arrives at the Palace of the Sun, where he meets the Sun’s mother, Sola. She helps Joran understand part of his riddle and then sends him, with the gift of a sunstone, to the cave of the South Wind, whom, she says, will finally reveal the truth to him about his wife—if he dares hear it. He and Ruyah travel south through jungle, and finally arrive at the cave. There Joran is swept along a vision where he sees his past, and in horror, learns truths that send him into deep despair. The South Wind dismisses him with one last gift—but like the other two gifts, he has no idea what they are for or how they will help him rescue his wife. She tells him to find the sea of his dreams—far west, beyond his imagining.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899578880
  • Publisher: AMG Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: The Gates of Heaven Series Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,454,629
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, dog, and three cats. The first four books in her seven-book fantasy series, The Gates of Heaven, have been released: The Wolf of Tebron, The Map across Time, The Land of Darkness, and The Unraveling of Wentwater (July 2012), allegorical fairy tales drawing from classic tales we all read in our childhood.

Lakin's relational drama/mystery, Someone to Blame, won the 2009 Zondervan First Novel award, released October 2010. She just completed writing her eleventh novel, a modern-day take on the biblical story of Jacob called Intended for Harm and her twelfth: The Crystal Scepter (book five in The Gates of Heaven series). Also available on eBook are two mystery/psychological dramas: Innocent Little Crimes (top 100 in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest) and Conundrum. Don't miss Time Sniffers: a wild young adult sci-fi romance that will entangle you in time!

Lakin has two websites for writers: with deep writing instruction and posts on industry trends.
Her site features her critique services.
Follow her on Twitter: @cslakin and @livewritethrive and Like her Facebook Author Page:

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    I Lovd I Love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great book I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting story

    I was slow to get into this book because Joran was so incredibly whiny and obtuse. At the beginning, you learn that he has sent his wife away for some unrevealed reason and it is pretty obvious that he was an idiot about it. Then, after she disappears, he waits two weeks before starting his quest to find and rescue her. On the journey, he complains about everything and if it wasn't for Ruyah (his wolf friend) he wouldn't have stood a chance. However, in his favor, Joran is always kind to animals and polite to others, and he is willing to find his wife even though he believes her to have betrayed him. Slowly, throughout the novel, Joran's character and personality steadily improves until I almost liked him.

    I loved Bryp and Cielle. The quirkiness of those two characters softened my annoyance with Joran and made me laugh a couple of times. It was hard to care much about Charris (Joran's wife) because she was hardly in the story. All references and descriptions of her were dubious at best, and soon after you actually meet her the book ends.

    The story itself was a little bit like a dream sequence; I half expected Joran to wake up and find out that none of it had been real. Dreams did play an important part in the plot. Many of Joran's troubles at first and his salvation later were his abilities to make his dreams and emotions into reality without intending to. His anger at Charris kept her imprisoned and other emotions such as despair and grief caused other thing to happen. (I won't give away too much of the story.) It was an interesting idea and well written.

    I am glad I read this book. Once I got into it, it was interesting and enjoyable.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful allegorical tale you won't want to miss!

    "The Wolf of Tebron" by C. S. Lakin is billed as a "fairy tale" and I would heartily agree, but a fairy tale with much allegory and deep meaning, along the lines of C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series. The main character/hero is Joran, a young blascksmith's apprentice who, you find early on, has the ability to mindspeak with animals around him which plays into the story in meaningful ways throughout. Joran is soon on a quest to free his missing wife who comes to him in dreams or rather nightmares, wanting to be found. This quest is long and arduous and aided by "the wolf of Tebron", who he meets early on in the story. The wolf, Ruyah, is the voice of wisdom, help, and love as his friend and companion on this journey. It's a tough journey as he has to face things within himself that he needs to let go of in order to complete his quest.
    This is one of those stories where you can't help but take a speculative look at your own life and wonder- "What are the things in me that I need to lay aside in order to be all that God is calling me to be?" I love when fiction has the power to reach in and accomplish some good in you. I highly recommend this book and as a side note- the next book in this series "Map across time" is due out soon. I, for one, will definitely be picking it up!

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    Telepathic Insights into the Human Spirit and Mind

    In search of his wife, who has disappeared without trace, Joran, the young blacksmith, sets out from his home, where he has been besieged by recurring nightmares for many a night. On the way, he rescues a wolf, Ruyah, who insists upon accompanying him. Joran speaks telepathically to all animals, and has never felt at home in his small village. One is led to wonder why. Thus starts an adventure that is likely to intrigue you and capture your interest in ways that you might never have imagined possible. A fairy tale which is intended for youngster and adult alike, The Wolf of Tebron is a profoundly spiritual work, which teaches values of truth, integrity, courage, companionship and fealty.

    In her discussion of The Wolf of Tebron, which she provides at the end of the book, Lakin explains that she wrote the novel to reflect God's love and devotion to the personal growth and salvation of those who believe in Him. Her aim was to flesh out in the relationship between two individuals the way in which our awareness of God can permeate every inch of our beings. Ruyah is the Christ figure, who has vowed never to leave us, nor forsake us. By using allegory and metaphor, Lakin is able to draw on both traditional fairy tale elements and Scripture to impact on our consciousness of the deeper meaning of life.

    The overwhelming sense of evil which prevails in the prologue is never far from the underlying timbre of the book, just as in real life we are constantly having to guard against surrendering our integrity and essential goodness to forces which mean to harm us. By casting the Moon in the role of villain, Lakin is able to achieve a sustained concentration of a sense of evil throughout the text which is so much more omnipresent than the focusing of such evil in a single individual might otherwise have been. One tends to associate the moon with lovers' trysts, so that, when considering the shakiness of Joran's marriage, and his suspicion of his wife's adultery, it is unsurprising that an object which is traditionally associated with sexuality and physical love is upended and treated as the arch enemy.

    The Wolf of Tebron should appeal to modern-day youth, who tend to be so enthralled by the cult of werewolves and vampires. By using the murky world of the unknown to captivate her audience, Lakin is likely to attract a far wider audience than might have otherwise been willing to become drawn into her text. The Wolf of Tebron is not easy reading, but combines a number of literary approaches to render a coalescent whole which is persuasive and convincing in its power. Whether all those who read the tale will be capable of, first time round, appreciating the subtler aspects of the text is debatable, but then C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has, in similar fashion, attracted the musings of both young and old. Spanning the generations in its appeal, Lakin's The Wolf of Tebron deserves some serious contemplation, whether or not the reader is of the Christian faith.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

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    Beautiful literary allegory

    Review by Jill Williamson

    Joran sent his wife away when he discovered something about her that he could not forgive. But then he discovered that she never arrived. He can't stand not knowing what happened to her, so he investigates and discovers that his wife is being held captive by the moon. Joran embarks on a long journey to bring her back. Her befriends a wolf named Ruyah along the way, who becomes a close friend and protector.

    This book is filled with beautiful literary allegory and symbolism. I enjoyed the fairly tale world C.S. Lakin created for her characters to navigate. Joran and Ruyah's conversations were fun to read. I liked their relationship and Ruyah's bits of wolf wisdom. I love how the story unfolded in the end and look forward to more in the Gates of Heaven series.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Classic Fairy-Tale Fantasy - Beautiful and Thought-Provoking

    In the village of Tebron, surrounded by forests and peaceful mountains, Joran works as an apprentice blacksmith because his unusually sharp ability to mindspeak with animals has made forestry, hunting, and fishing too painful an occupation. He is painfully aware of his difference from his brothers, whom he loves but is unlike. Joran is slender, gentle, contemplative, and quietly desperate, wishing above all things to feel true happiness with his beautiful wife Charris, to feel that he belongs.

    When Charris betrays Joran, he sends her away in a fit of passionate anger. But then come the dreams, tormenting him night after night: dreams in which he climbs to a sandcastle above the sea where Charris is trapped in ice, and he struggles to free her while sweeping blackness clutches at the back of his neck and the lunatic moon looks on and laughs. And then come the encounters: the great wolf watching him from the fringes of the wood, the crazy old goose woman with her riddles, and finally the most frightening encounter of all - the discovery that Charris, sent home to her relatives, has disappeared into thin air.

    Unable to live any longer with himself and without answers, Joran sets off on a journey, joined by the giant wolf Ruyah, that will take him to the ends of the earth - to the Hovel of the Moon, the Palace of the Sun, the Cave of the Wind, and finally the Unimaginable Sea - and to the depths of his own dreams. His is a search for his wife, for the truth, for answers, and for peace. The way is made bearable by Ruyah's wise, playful, and always caring presence, a presence that means far more than Joran can imagine.

    The Wolf of Tebron is being hailed as a modern-day fairy tale, which it certainly is at heart, though its characterization is richer than a typical fairy tale's. Joran's struggles with himself are intensely human. In an irony that struck me as particularly true to the Christian life, Joran does not want to be a hero and in fact would not be one were it not for Ruyah pushing, leading, and saving him at every step. Every spark of heroism in him rises in response to the heroism of another. At the same time, he is a likable hero, with pain and struggles that are poignant and relatable.

    Not a simple allegory, The Wolf of Tebron nonetheless employs allegory and symbol in great measure, and Ruyah's wise sayings - "It is said among wolves . . ." - come from sources as varied as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Carl Jung. (Chesterton, I think, would have enjoyed being a wolf.) It's a book meant to inspire thought. Its story of redemption is thoroughly Christian at heart, though some of the allusions to life as a dream, reality as a matter of the will, and looking inside yourself could be just as easily interpreted through a non-Christian lens. It's also a thoroughly enjoyable adventure story, with exotic settings, unpredictable turns, a terrifying enemy, and unexpected humour.

    Lakin's work is stylistically beautiful. The exotic locales are vivid, from dark north to burning desert to misty jungle: I found myself looking forward to each leg of Joran's journey just so I could experience another part of her story world. The Wolf of Tebron is the first in The Gates of Heaven series from Living Ink Books (AMG Publishers). I'm looking forward to The Map Across Time, Book 2 in the series.

    - Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy,

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review take from One Book At A Time

    I was intrigued by the email I received pitching this book. It was described as being along the same lines as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. So, I accepted. I'm glad I did. I loved the fantasy world the author was able to create. It felt very real and definitely had the same feel and The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved how each journey was set up and how the scenery changed with each one.
    The characters were interesting. I was surprised at how fast Joran decided to take his journey. But, he did whine about it a lot along the way. It was a constant battle of not knowing what he was doing, were he was going, or why he was doing it. Sometimes it wasn't very convincing why he continued on. Ruyah, the wolf was fabulous. He was the backbone of the story I felt. His actions proved his loyalty to Joran. In fact there was lots of animal interactions that I thought contributed to the story greatly.
    It was a wonderful story with Joran journey to the house of The Moon, The Sun, and The South Wind. Each interaction was beautifully set up. Joran learns a lot about himself and about humans in general and each location. Along the way, Ruyah provides thoughtful words of advice and anecdotes.
    The only draw back for me was the ending. I just didn't feel it like I thought I should have. It left me wondering if I didn't connect with the characters as much as I thought. But, overall a wonderful story that draws some interesting parallels and really makes you think.

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  • Posted July 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Balance in the Heavens

    Joran the Blacksmith is tortured by his own anger, an emotion that digs deep into his soul, his dreams, and his daytime work. Everyone in his small town suspects that something is deeply awry but says nothing. Finally, Joran takes a leave of absence to find Charris, whom he initially sent away with unflagging righteous dismissal. But now he has heard that Charris never arrived back in her family's town. She seems to have disappeared!

    So begins an amazing journey rivaling the best of C. S. Lewis's tales for adventure and wisdom presented in an exciting and intelligent manner. Joran will indeed meet a wizard, a very special wolf - Ruyah, a cast of characters related to the Sun and Moon, and the South Wind, among others who will lead Joran to realize that nothing is really quite as it seems.

    For Joran must learn the power of balance, that which keeps reason and emotions, dreams and nightmares in check. Surprisingly, this humbled blacksmith begins to realize he can be the creator of his own dreams, depending on how he treats them.

    C. S. Laskin has a vivid imagination, and there are so many special moments in this "fairy tale" that will please all ages and leave you with many things to seriously and pleasantly ponder. There are many fantasy and fairy tale stories that tell a typical and predictable story - this is NOT one of those but instead a true fairy tale that is bound to become a classic! I loved this novel, and I rarely say this about many books I review!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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