Wolf Tower: The Claidi Journals I

Overview

All her life, Claidi has endured hardship in the House, where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden stranger arrives,living proof of a world beyond the House walls. Claidi risks all to free the charming prisoner and accompanies him across the Waste toward his faraway home. It is a difficult yet marvelous journey, and all the while Claidi is at the side of a man she could come to love. That is, until they reach his home . . . and the Wolf Tower.

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Overview

All her life, Claidi has endured hardship in the House, where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden stranger arrives,living proof of a world beyond the House walls. Claidi risks all to free the charming prisoner and accompanies him across the Waste toward his faraway home. It is a difficult yet marvelous journey, and all the while Claidi is at the side of a man she could come to love. That is, until they reach his home . . . and the Wolf Tower.

When a stranger is captured by the Guards of the House and Garden where she has worked all her life as a slave and maid, sixteen-year-old Claidi helps him escape and sets out with him to journey to his home city through the dangerous Waste.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's Nov. 2000 review of the hardcover edition: This is the beginning of an appealing fantasy series about a young woman named Claidi who lives in a constricted world as a servant (slave) in a rigid society. She grabs at a chance to break free, mysteriously aided by an old woman who wants her to accompany a prisoner she will arrange to free. It helps that this prisoner, Nemian, is an attractive prince with gorgeous hair, who seems fearless. The two go out across the Waste to the prince's home, defying every warning that Claidi has ever heard...Still, Claidi and Nemian push on to his city, the Peshamba, where the plot becomes complex, with an amazing ending to this first book in the series. Lee is an experienced writer of fantasy. Her style is often familiar and informal, rather than the more elegant language found in many books in the genre. As she has said in an interview, she likes to put her characters, especially the women, in situations where they question the rules, stand up to authority, and listen to their own hearts and consciences. Claidi is just such a heroine. (The Claidi Journals, Book 1) Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1998, Penguin, Puffin, , Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT
Children's Literature
Sixteenyearold Claidi is a servant (might as well call it 'slave') to the Lady Jade Leaf, the nastiest, most spoiled princess in the House. But it's better to be a slave in the House than to be an outcast in the Waste. After all, there slaves are dressed and fed, the House is full of beautiful things, the grounds are full of gardens, and the lions, horses, and hippos are safe in their enclosures. The Waste is just that—fierce humans who don't look human, trading in humans, even fiercer uncaged animals, no House and no Rituals that must be followed on pain of exile. No Gates. Claidi dreams of leaving. She gets her chance when a hotair balloon drifts into view and is shot down by Guards. Its passenger is captured and imprisoned. From this point on, Claidi is manipulated into becoming a heroine. She is to lead the prisoner through the Waste to his own city. He knows where he's going. Doesn't he? The reader is manipulated, too—we never quite know who's doing the manipulating. The happy ending is a little too happy to be real. It leaves us looking forward to the next volume. 1998, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 9 to 14, $15.99. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
VOYA - Voya Reviews
All Claidi has known for sixteen years has been the stifling atmosphere of the House, where she lives and works as a princess's maid. Her first release comes when she steals a book and addresses journal entries to a secret friend. Her second release is literal--when she escapes with a handsome stranger to the Waste that lies beyond the House. Claidi has been told that exile to the Waste leads to a miserable death, and this lie and others she has been told have prevented her from knowing whom to trust. At first Claidi constantly doubts her own worth, but her journey through the Waste to the stranger's city empowers her to let her curiosity and natural resilience surface. Unfortunately the fate that awaits her in the stranger's Wolf Tower is worse than that which she left behind. Ultimately Claidi's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and sense of fairness, together with some help from friends she meets, allow her to save herself and the entire city from an unjust set of arbitrary laws. She then realizes that she has found a new family and a new love. A few minor affectations, such as a superfluous author's note and a section where Claidi thinks she hears her hypothetical readers answering her, mar the otherwise engaging and beautifully descriptive text. It is a pleasure to watch Claidi blossom and develop into the confident and capable young woman she has been given the chance to become, the person readers will encounter in further episodes of The Claidi Journals. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Dutton/Lodestar, Ages 12 to 15, 240p, $15.99.Reviewer: Karen Herc
From The Critics
In this fantasy, Claidi is the slave of petty and spoiled Lady Jane Leaf. And her future appears to be an unbroken chain of tiresome chores and senseless rituals. Life changes, though, when a handsome young man arrives at her castle. He has been captured and imprisoned by Claidi's people. Soon, though, Claidi helps him to escape—and they venture on a journey that leaves her a breathless innocent in a vast game of political intrigue. The reader becomes young Claidi's confidant as she ponders such abstract ideas as social injustice, blind obedience, and belief in God. With its heavy emphasis on the concept of religious divinity, this work is recommended for readers who enjoy mixing fantasy with theology. Genre: Fantasy 2000, Dutton Children's Books, 223p
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Claidi, an orphaned lady's maid to a cruel and mindless princess, jumps at the chance to escape with a handsome air balloonist who has been shot down and imprisoned. Leading Nemian through the dark tunnels and out into the Waste, however, she begins to have second thoughts, which she records regularly in the journal entries that form this enjoyable fantasy. Through encounters with tribes that seem kind, and fierce desert bandits, she learns that appearances can be deceiving. When she shows interest in Argul, leader of the bandits, Nemian pleads with her to keep on traveling with him to his home. Nemian's City and its ruling Wolf Tower are bleakly stark and sad, completely bound by rules and the roll of the dice. It turns out that Nemian's quest was to bring Claidi to his grandmother as her successor. Realizing that the punishing cruelties under which the people lived were products of the old lady's twisted imagination, Claidi takes over and breaks the Rules, proclaiming there is to be no more LAW, before being rescued, yet again, by Argul. The satisfying conclusion completes the story but leaves plenty of room for Claidi's journals to continue in sequels. The fantasy world is clearly and humorously described; its varied cultures are both amusing and believable. In spite of her moodiness, the practical and strong-willed Claidi is a likable heroine with whom fantasy readers can easily identify and they will look forward to her continuing adventures.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From The Critics
Claidi has always known the harsh life of being a palace handmaiden dependent on the savage will of her spoiled princess mistress, so when she's given an opportunity to flee the kingdom and enter a strange new land, she reluctantly takes on the challenge, only to find new hardships and adjustments. Her journey takes her through a foreign land and on encounters which will test her ability to survive even harsher rule than her vanished kingdom in this moving adventure for older teens.
Kirkus Reviews
Lee (Saint Fire, not reviewed, etc.) opens a new series framed, belt and suspenders, in chapters and diary entries. Having grown up serving a petty, vicious princess, Claidi jumps at the chance to help in the escape of Nemian, a handsome, imprisoned prince. In their journey across the barren Waste, the pair weather dust storm and monster attack, pass through towns where sheep and clocks are worshipped, and encounter the Hulta, nomads led by Argul, a kingly youth who takes a shine to Claidi. She is attracted to him, too, especially after he rescues her from a sacrificial rite, but though familiarity has worn some of Nemian's glitter away, Claidi decides to go on with the prince to his home in distant Wolf Tower. To her dismay, she discovers that Nemian is already married, and that she is the victim of an elaborate ruse designed to force her back into servitude. Lee gives Claidi a modern-sounding voice—believing that some of the Hulta voted against her rescue: "Now when I talk to them, I wonder which ones didn't think I was worth the trouble. I don't blame them. But yuk"—and regards the religion and politics of the Waste's residents sardonically. In the end, Argul rescues her again, and off the two ride into upcoming sequels. A diverting escapade for fans of Karen Cushman's Catherine, Called Birdy (1994), Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (1997), and the like. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142300305
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: Claidi Journals Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 675,316
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Tanith Lee is one of the leading fantasy authors working today. She has written over 50 novels and short story collections, among them the bestselling Flat Earth Series. She has won the World Fantasy Award numerous times as well as the August Derleth Award.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2014

    ** spoiler alert ** This was a quick and enjoyable read. The mai

    ** spoiler alert ** This was a quick and enjoyable read. The main character was very likable, and I found myself rooting for her the entire time. There were times I was confused as to who I wanted to see her with, as the one male does a great job in deceiving not only Claidi but the reader as well! I cannot wait to read the rest of this series!
    The author describes a new world in a way that the reader can picture exactly what Claidi sees. I am curious as to how the House and Garden, the Waste, and the other cities all came to be. I hope that we are rewarded with this history in the following books.
    The writing is endearing; it is Claidi writing in her stolen journal, and the words are definitely that of a young girl writing her feelings. I enjoyed how she used "filthy word" when she refused to repeat swear words that were spoken. There were also a lot of (?)s and (!)s to accompany observations that she made. The reader also was allowed to witness her slowly understanding new phrases and ways of life.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This was one of those books that was on sale online for a dollar

    This was one of those books that was on sale online for a dollar or two, and I picked it up, because why not? It was a high fantasy. Heroine runs off to create a better life. Sounded like I could like it.

    I was wrong.

    It's not that Wolf Tower is all terrible; there's a reason I kept reading until the end of the book. There's a handful of side characters that I actually enjoyed. The world that Claidi lives in actually interests me -- I liked learning about it.

    But Claidi, Claidi, Claidi.

    Now, I know Claidi hasn't seen much of the world. Slave her whole life, whatever. But the minute she escaped was when I stopped liking her, not when I started!

    In the first chapter, when she's trapped as a slave, she's annoyed with the world, doesn't trust anybody. She's fascinated by the outsider -- different appearance, perhaps a way out of her life -- and tries to protect the other slaves around her from getting hurt. She's no fragile flower.

    But the minute she leaves?

    Oh, clearly she's in love with the newcomer! Everybody can be trusted except the people who obviously can't be trusted because the newcomer doesn't like them! Oh, love love love do whatever he wants loyalty yay!

    Her and Bella Swann would get along greatly in the "fall-in-love-faster-than-humanly-possible" bit.

    But I'll give Bella this -- it took her more than 24 hours, and she didn't entirely trust him at first.

    Claidi? Not so much.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Beautifully written!

    I read this book more than 8 years ago and I'm back. Buying the entire series and rereading it. They are wonderful books! Inspired me to keep my own diaries. There can never be enough girl power books and no collection of such books will ever be complete without this book and series. My only hope is that when I have daughters they will love these books as much as I did and do.

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  • Posted November 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    love

    Back as a teenager, I LOVED this book. I recently gave it to my 15 year old niece to read, and she loves it as well. I'm not going to lie, my 23 year old self read it again, and I still love it! I've read some reviews saying that the writing style is simplistic, and it is. It's in a journal format, but it works out that way. Tanith Lee is a very talented author and does not skip out in any details of this book. It has wonderful imagery and something that is written "as if by an amateur" would not bring to mind even years later the colors and sounds that I remember from this book. It has a wonderful plot. The other books in the series get a little wild, but I will always love the first book. When Claudi fell in love with Argul, it was so strong that I fell in love with him too. 5 stars!

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AMAZING!!!

    I love this book it is an amazing story about love, freedom and finding your self. I recommend this book for all readers!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2008

    ok

    This book might be a bit boring ,but if you read the rest of the series it is really good.You find out Argul has a brother and that his mother is still alive.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2007

    Dreadful, and very disappointing

    If you're looking for a good fantasy title, don't bother picking this one up! I've enjoyed Tanith Lee's novels in the past, but this one was a great disappointment. The writing was choppy and poorly composed, and many of the phrases were difficult to understand simply because they were so badly constructed. The prose shifts tenses erratically (something tolerable in amateur writing classes, perhaps, but certainly not in published literature!) and it's nearly impossible to tell when any of the events are happening because the author jumps around so much. The characterization is cliché and unbelievable, and character bumble around painfully until they finally make it to the inevitable (and utterly predictable) conclusion. Thank goodness I checked this one out from the library. I'd be even more disappointed if I paid money for this disaster.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2007

    Appalling

    Simplistic, boring, and absolutely ridiculous. I couldn't take anything that happened in this book seriously. The writing style was hilarious, the character development was not believable, and I just didn't feel like wasting my time with the rest of the series when I could be reading something much deeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!

    This is a really, really, really good book. I really liked it when I first read it, and I still do. At first I did not know it was in a series and when I found out that it was I was super excited! If you like ordinary people who become heroines, read this book! And if you like some funny stuff mixed in, you will love this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2006

    One of the BEST Series EVER!!!!!!

    I loved it. I just started the series and read half of it in one day. It really pulls you in. The beginning is not that great but then in the middle, you can't stop reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2005

    katie- i loved this book so much i did not eat until i finished

    ok, first i want to say that i would reccomend this book (as it was to me)to every girl who loves an adventure story(boys to i guess) and who also likes to read about love that unfortunately gets ripped to pieces so to all you people who like that (like me) then read this awesome book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005

    Wow. Just wow.

    This book is simply amazing. I enjoyed reading it completely, and couldn't put it down until I finished it. Of course, as soon as I did finish it, I was complaining about how I hadn't bought the other books in the series, and how I would have to do that right away. Anyway, a few things I know I look for in books are: Realistic, true characters... You know, with real, complex personalities... Continuing, though, an interesting, entertaining plotline, and a great overall feel to the book. Wolf Tower definitley hit all those and more. The main charater, Claidi, is interesting and real, with a definite personality. You also don't just have 'good' and 'bad' people in this book, just like you don't have 'good' and 'bad' people in real life. Each person is somewhere in between, and I appreciate that. The plot was unlike any other book that I've seen before. You see, when I read books, I like to analyze things. Through this book, I was pleased to find out that when I had decided a certain thing was going to happen, a new twist was thrown into the plot, and it happens that I guessed incorrectly. Not that many books do that to me nowadays, and so I'm always tickled pink when I can find a book so... Different. And just overall, this book had a wonderful vibe to it. You can just tell that Tanith Lee enjoyed writing The Claidi Journals through her writing. It radiates, the magical feel of this book. It simply radiates.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2005

    Cool

    As a young teenager, this was one of my favorite books. I highly recomend it to anyone seventeen and younger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2005

    I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!

    Its one of the best books I`ve ever read!!!!!! You totally have to read this book!!! This book should get an award. Its that good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    Not So Great

    I thought the book seemed to copy a lot of characteristics from a couple of other books. Also, I think it got confusing a couple of times. It is fast paced too, because of the journal style writing, with not enough description. For example, I don't remember ever reading about what Claidi looked like. For all that, it was still amusing but, I wouldn't buy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2005

    outstanding and detailed

    i thought this book was out standing how she made every seen as if u were there i could find my self going to bed and wanting to turn the light on and pick the book up agian it 1 that i wont forget its is put together in such a great way it just fits all the seens the romantic love for her friend argul and all the tradgedy she had to face and yet got up agian this book is the most wonderful book ever i think im 14 and had fun this summer enjoying this book by tanith lee

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2005

    Couldn't Put It Down!!!!!!

    I loved this book sooooo much that when I finished it (the same day I bought it) I begged my dad to take me back to B&N. I don't usually like journal style books, but this one was great! I got so into Claidi's character and only put the book down once when Claidi did something I thought she was idiotic for (actually, I threw it across the room, but quickly retrieved it to see what happened, lol). This book also had just the right amount of fluff (romance).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2005

    Allright but I'm not sure

    I didn't know what to make out of this story. It's brillantly written and theres a nice plot but it was confusing. The Girl's perpective problably was the result becasue she didn't know what was going on so no one knew. Also I thought that this book was about love. I certainly didn't feel that bond. All that it said was that he kissed her. Allright but wheres that bond? Wheres that pull that says they really love each other and nothing is getting in their way? I especially hated the part with the Prince Nemian. He is such a PIMP! But most importantly I didn't think that Claidi knew the meaning of love at all even though she says that she loves him. In conclusion I believe that yeah sure you should read this book but check it out in a library. Don't buy it like I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2005

    Adventure, Unexpected Romance, Un-Cliche!

    This is a wonderful story about a girl who frees herself from a cruel palace and goes on an epic adventure. This story is so wonderful because everything is so unexpected! It involves humor, a surprise romantic twist, and a lovely descriptive insight from an average teenager all girls can relate to! This is a must read for all fantasy lovers. Tanith Lee has left a masterpeice in her legacy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2004

    Pretty darn good

    This book really surprised me. I didn't think i would like it so much! Just the different world, you could really imagine it. I thought it was really cool that you could relate to what she was thinking. I don't know if it's just me, but i didn't get on to look at the reviews to get a lesson about heaven. I sort of would like to know about the book. People have different opinions, and I think some people (really long review somewhere below mine) should respect that and keep their spiritual lessons for a more appropriate occasion but, that's just me. Anyway really good book, really different

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