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Table of Contents
PART I - AUTUMN, COLD COAST
Chapter 1 - PARTING WORDS
Chapter 2 - THE GATHERING STORM
Chapter 3 - THE VISITOR
PART II - SPRING, THE DYREWOOD
Chapter 1 - THE STORY BOOK SCOUT
Chapter 2 - THE BEAST AND THE APPRENTICE
Chapter 3 - THE WYLDERMAN’S WORDS
Chapter 4 - FIGHT OR FLIGHT
Chapter 5 - THE DYMLING ROAD
Chapter 6 - CAGED
Chapter 7 - THE HEALER
Chapter 8 - BONFIRES AND BANDITS
PART III - THE REDWINE RIVER
Chapter 1 - THE ROAD TO REDMIRE
Chapter 2 - COURT OF THE BOARLORD
Chapter 3 - THE FOX AND THE HOUND
Chapter 4 - PREPARATIONS
Chapter 5 - STRANGLEHOLD
Chapter 6 - FLIGHT ON THE REDWINE
Chapter 7 - KING WERGAR THE WOLF
Chapter 8 - MERMAIDS AND MILITIAMEN
Chapter 9 - THE WOLF REVEALED
PART IV - THE WYRMWOOD
Chapter 1 - THE SHAMAN OF THE WYRMWOOD
Chapter 2 - THE MAGISTER
Chapter 3 - LAIR OF THE SERPENT
Chapter 4 - THE ENEMY IN THE MIST
PART V - WESTLAND
Chapter 1 - THE BOAR TAKES THE REINS
Chapter 2 - THE DROWNING MAN
Chapter 3 - THE MAELSTROM
Chapter 4 - TALKING TO THE DEPARTED
Chapter 5 - THE CRIMSON SEA
PART VI - HIGHCLIFF
Chapter 1 - INTO THE LION’S DEN
Chapter 2 - LORD OF MERCY
Chapter 3 - CONDEMNED
Chapter 4 - DISSENTING DISCUSSIONS
Chapter 5 - THE SWORD OF JUSTICE
Chapter 6 - SACRIFICE
Chapter 7 - UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Chapter 8 - THE FALL OF THE WOLF
Chapter 9 - DREAMS AND DESTINY
Published by Penguin Group Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in 2011 by Puffin UK.
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To my pack:
Andrew, Evelyn, Scarlett, and Constance,
THERE ARE A FEW people who’ve played their part in my writing of Wereworld, either knowingly or unwittingly, so it’s only right that I briefly mention them now.
I fell in love with storytelling via a misspent youth engaged in role-playing games, more often than not running the things. Thanks to all the guys I’ve gamed with down the years, in no particular order (and I’m bound to miss someone): “our kid” Mark, Andy J., Big Stu, Doctor Andy, Kinnon, Jesus Joe, Nick, Wayne, and all the gang from art college who stayed up playing Cthulhu when they should have been partying, including Ian, Bru, Ed, Ron, and Sparky B. Of course, my folks thought I was studying when I was at college as opposed to pulling all-night gaming sessions, so I also need to mention the incomparable and always supportive Kath and Mel.
Cheers to Andy Glazebrook for fiddling with my map (I shouldn’t be allowed near PhotoShop), and Jon Hancock, the most passionate (and hairiest) children’s book specialist I’ve ever known. Also thanks to my awesome test-readers who gave me the earliest feedback: Rich Dolan (he’s lost friends with his critiques), Tom Martinek (read between blowing things up 920T_pre.indd vi 29/09/2010 09:16 for ILM), Patricia Brennan (should have been painting puppets), and my darling Emma (be gentle with me!), plus the children of her various Internet weirdo friends who were the target audience. Cheers, chaps!
Thanks to my brilliant agent, John Jarrold, for believing in this crayonboy and taking me on, and a massive debt of giddy thanks to Shannon Park, my editor. Without Shannon’s unwavering belief and constant advice, a great deal of which she sent my way before Puffin even picked this up, Rise of the Wolf may never have happened.
And special thanks to my brothers from another mother—Ian Culbard and Niel Bushnell—who have followed my attempts to break into novel-writing every step of the way, providing varying degrees of support and ridicule when needed (suicidal sheep, anyone?). They even fashioned the spiffing Wereworld teaser trailer between them, with the help of the lovely Tanya Rich and the gang at Qurios.
One last thumbs up to Ian—the man who gave a name to the series: Wereworld. Cheers, buddy!
Curtis, September 2010
AUTUMN, COLD COAST
DREW KNEW THAT there was a predator out there.
He looked out over the barley field, mottled shadows racing across it, and the crops swaying rhythmically as storm clouds flew by overhead. Behind him his father and twin brother continued to load the wagon, backs bent as they hauled sacks of grain onto the wooden boards. A heavy gray shire horse stood harnessed to the front, tugging with its teeth at tufts of grass it found at the base of the tethering post. Drew stood on the roof of the rickety old toolshed, scouring the golden meadow for a telltale sign, of what he wasn’t entirely sure.
“Get your idle bones down off that shed and come and help your brother,” shouted his father. “We need to get this loaded before the rain hits.”
“But Pa, there’s something out there,” Drew called back.
“Either you get yourself down from that thing or I come over and knock you down,” Pa warned, pausing momentarily to glare at his son.
Begrudgingly, Drew searched the barley field with narrowed eyes one last time before jumping down onto the muddy, rutted surface of the farm’s yard.
“I swear you’d rather do anything than a bit of hard work,” muttered his father, hefting a sack up to Trent.
Drew snatched up his own load, struggling for purchase against the rough hemp as he hoisted it up to his brother. Their father returned to the barn to haul out the remaining grain destined for the neighboring market town of Tuckborough.
Tall, broad, blond-haired, and blue-eyed, Trent was the very image of Mack Ferran. Shorter and slighter in build than his brother, with a shock of black hair that tumbled over his finer features, Drew was an exact opposite in all aspects. Though the twins were now on the verge of manhood, Drew knew it would be clear to the most casual observer which of the two had eaten the bigger portions of porridge at the Ferran breakfast table. But, different as they were, they were as close as any brothers could be.
“Don’t mind him,” said Trent, taking the weight of the sack and dragging it across the wooden boards. “He just wants to be off so he can get to market on time.” He slammed the bag down as Drew pulled forward another to the foot of the wagon. Trent rarely had any trouble believing Drew—if his brother said something was amiss when they were in the wild, nine times out often he’d be correct. “What do you reckon it is?” he asked.
Drew paused to glance back at the fields surrounding the Ferran farm. “Can’t say. A wildcat? Dogs maybe? Possibly a wolf?” he guessed.
“At this time of day, so close to the farm? You’re mad, Drew. I’ll grant you it might be wild dogs, but not a wolf.”
Drew knew he wasn’t mad. Trent might have been strong, athletic, and a natural horseman, but he knew little about the wilderness. Drew, on the other hand, was a born outdoorsman and with this came the gift of an innate understanding of the countryside and the creatures within it. Since his first trip out into the fields as a boy with his father, he’d taken to shepherding with an uncanny ease. He found he was completely in tune with the animals, his senses seeming to match theirs. From the smallest field mouse to the largest (and, thankfully, very uncommon) bear, Drew could usually recognize their presence readily, be it from the reaction of the other animals or the tracks and signs they left behind.
But today’s feeling vexed him. Something was out there, watching them, stalking them, but it was unfamiliar. He knew it sounded crazy, but he could pick up the scent of a predator when the air was clear. This had proved invaluable on many an occasion, saving several of the family’s sheep and cattle. Although today was blustery, there was still the faint hint of a creature that was out of place, foreign to these parts. A large animal was out there, looking in, and it irked Drew that he couldn’t figure out what it was, much less spy it.
“You think it’s the thing from last night?” asked Trent.
That was exactly what Drew had been wondering. For the last few nights Drew’s shepherd watch had been unusual. The sheep had not been themselves, and all the while Drew had been consumed by an awful sense of foreboding. Ordinarily the sheep would be very receptive to his commands and calls but, bit by bit, they had become more erratic. This had coincided with the waxing of the moon, which often spooked the animals and had even caused Drew to grow ill with worry. It wasn’t a pleasant sensation, the feeling of being stalked by a predator in your own backyard.
Toward the end of last night’s watch he’d gathered and penned the majority of the flock and picked up the stragglers that had wandered farther afield. Only one had remained—the ram, naturally—and it had managed to find its way up onto the bluffs that towered over the coast below. The Ferran farm was situated on a rocky promontory of land that reached out from the Cold Coast into the White Sea, cut off on almost every side by the rock walls that surrounded it. He’d found the ram in a state of panic.
It had bucked and started, throwing its head back in fear. Drew raised his hands, which should have calmed it down, but it had the opposite effect. Shaking its head from side to side, mouth open and gulping at the salty air, the ram had backed up a step. Then another. Pebbles had tumbled over the cliff edge, dislodged by frantic hooves, as it struggled for purchase. One moment it was there, an eye fixed on him in stricken terror, the next it was gone, disappearing off the cliff.
Drew had scrambled the remaining distance to the edge, white-knuckled fingers clutching the earth as he peered over. A hundred feet below, heaped in a broken mass, the sheep lay unmoving, its life dashed away on the sharp rocks.
As the moon shone down Drew had looked about, convinced he wasn’t alone, sure beyond reason that whatever had startled the animal was still nearby. He’d raced home through the sickly moonlight, heart thundering, not stopping until he’d hit the farm’s front door with an almighty crash. Now, on this stormy morning, Drew had the same familiar feeling. He’d be keeping the sheep penned in tonight, close to the farm where he could keep an eye on them.
“Drew!” His father pointed in the direction of the remaining sacks that were lined up outside the heavy timber doors of the barn. “Get a move on. I want to get to Tuckborough while there’s still daylight, lad.” Drew trudged to the barn, speeding up when he caught sight of his father’s glower.
His mother, Tilly, stood on the doorstep of the farmhouse, drying her hands on her apron.
“Try not to be hard on him, Mack,” she said as her husband approached, reaching out and brushing the sweat-soaked hair from his brow. “He’s probably still raw from what happened to that ram.”
“He’s still raw?” said Mack incredulously. “It’s not him who has to fork out for another animal. If I don’t get there before noon, the best on show will be gone to some other bidder.” He saw his son dragging the last two sacks across the farmyard to the wagon. “If you tear those sacks, then it’ll come out of your wages, lad!” he shouted.
Tilly had to bite her lip, mother’s instinct telling her to jump in and defend the boy, but she thought better of it. Mack’s mood was bad enough without one of their rows darkening it further.
Drew stopped to throw one of the sacks over his shoulder, looking back to his parents, who stood talking beneath the farmhouse porch. His father was pointing his way, his hooked thumb gesturing, while his mother shook her head. A few choice words to her husband and she walked indoors in annoyance. The boys’ father looked back toward them, shaking his head wearily before following his wife indoors. Drew trudged over to the wagon.
“Are they arguing again?” asked Trent, positioning the final sack and binding them to the timber hoardings with a heavy length of rope.
Drew nodded, aware that the words his parents had exchanged were probably about him. It always seemed to be about him. It felt as though they were keeping something from him, but he didn’t know what.
Times were undoubtedly changing at the farm, and Trent was biding his time before he finally left home to join the military. Under duress, their parents had agreed to their son’s constant badgering to allow him to become a soldier, something he’d wanted to do since childhood. As a matter of routine, their father had trained both his sons in skill at arms from an early age, teaching them things he’d picked up himself a long time ago. Mack was a member of the old king’s Wolfguard, and there were very few places across the continent of Lyssia that he hadn’t visited. With Leopold the Lion on the throne, it was a very different monarch Trent would serve if he pursued his dream. This part of the Seven Realms was a changed place from days gone by. Leopold ruled with an iron paw, and it was rumored that many of Lyssia’s people had fallen on hard times. Their father would mutter that the Lionguard were now little more than glorified tax collectors, a shadow of their former selves. He had done his parental duty in basic self-defense, with both boys now proficient with a sword, but there was only so much he was prepared to teach.
Regardless of his own skills, Drew had no desire to travel to Highcliff with his brother and join the Lionguard. His home was on the farm, and he felt no need to see the world. He knew his mother found his homebird nature heartwarming and loved the fact that her young boy would always be around. Drew suspected that his father found his lack of ambition disappointing, but the old man never spoke of it if he did. It seemed that his father had written him off at a young age, and if he were to stay around here for the rest of his life then so be it. After all, as Mack Ferran often said, another pair of hands was always needed on the farm, so the boy was good for a few things. It was as close to a compliment as he was likely to get.
Straining against his harness, the great gray shire horse kicked his hooves into the earth, keen to be on his way. He threw his head back and took a couple of forceful steps, almost causing Trent to fall off the back of the wagon.
“Whoa there, Amos,” called Drew, slapping his hand against the wooden side. The horse relented, stepping back gingerly and dipping his head by way of an apology. “He wants to set off,” said Drew, looking up at the gathering storm clouds. “Can’t say I blame him.”
Trent jumped down, and Drew followed him indoors to say farewell. They found their parents standing in the kitchen, embracing.
“Right, then,” said their father. “I guess we’re ready. Trent, get that basket off the table, lad. It’s our lunch in there.”
Trent picked up the basket and sidled past, back to the front door and the waiting wagon. They always took it in turns to accompany their father on the road to market. Tuckborough was some ten or so miles away from them, the nearest spot of civilization. By horse it was a brisk gallop, the coast road skirting the edge of the Dyrewood, weaving one way and the other along the cliff top past bays. By wagon it was a far slower affair. With a number of shops, watering holes, and other more diverting interests, it was usually a welcome break from mundane life on the farm. Come autumn, however, it was decidedly less enjoyable. Cold winds and sleeting rain seemed to instinctively appear on market days. Even the prospects of a sly sip of ale with their father or a flirtation with a pretty girl proved lean enticements.
Their mother cleared up the breakfast pots from the kitchen table. Drew reached up and unhooked his father’s heavy hooded cloak from its peg, handing it to him as he made for the door.
“We should be back around nightfall, depending on the road and weather,” Mack said as he fastened the brass clasp of his cloak under his chin. “You may want to see about keeping the flock a little closer to the homestead today. After yesterday and all, yes?”
Drew nodded his agreement as his mother squeezed by, looking to say her good-byes to her other son. Beyond the doorway, a light rain had started to fall.
“Try not to lose any more of them. And look after your ma,” his father added as she passed.
The old man patted his hip, checking his hunting knife was at home in its sheath. Drew handed his father’s longbow to him before picking up the quiver of arrows that lay at the foot of the stairs. He’d rarely had to use any of these weapons on the road, certainly not in recent years anyway. There had been a time, when the boys were toddlers, that bandits had stalked the coast road, and bows and blades were a necessity for travelers. Eventually the local farmers and road traders had come together to form a makeshift posse that dispatched the brigands. Those who weren’t slain or hanged in Tuckborough had fled to pastures less feisty. Now the most dangerous encounter they might face would be a boar, big cat, or wolf. Still, old habits died hard for the ex-soldier. Trent followed his father out into the drizzle, wrapping his scarf tightly about his face and pulling up the hood of his cloak.
They both climbed into the cart, and Drew followed them to pass up the quiver of arrows. Amos gave a whinny of excitement, feet stepping in anticipation, aware that they were about to be off. Drew stepped up to pat the horse’s nose with an open hand, but the beast pulled back, uncharacteristically arching his neck with a nervy snort. Clearly the horse was also on edge, and Drew guessed he was picking up on the same unsettled atmosphere.
“Gee up,” called Mack Ferran, snapping the reins in his hands and spurring the old shire horse on. With ponderous footsteps the horse stepped out, pulling the great long wagon behind him. Drew stood clear of the vehicle, the huge wheels cutting up the mud as it went. As the drizzle slowly turned to a downpour and a storm rumbled overhead, the wagon disappeared into the rain.
THE GATHERING STORM
THE AX HOVERED briefly in the air, poised for the drop, its blade glinting in the lantern light. With a thunderclap and a simultaneous flash of lightning, it flew down, cracking the log in two. Drew returned the ax to its bracket on the barn wall, picked up all the firewood from the floor, and set off back to the farmhouse through the sleeting rain.
Once his father and Trent had left, the day had been one of the most miserable Drew had ever experienced. The storm had been relentless, windowpanes rattling and shutters clapping as rain and wind battered the farm. The yard was a quagmire of mud and water, great dirty pools clogging the ground underfoot. He could hear sheep bleating from their shelter beyond the barn, where he’d moved the flock earlier in the day.
Hoping his bad luck with the animals was behind him, Drew had been disappointed to find the hex still firmly over his head. The sheep had proved skittish and unpredictable, almost impossible to herd when he took them to the field. A week earlier the flock had come to him when he called, happily gathering around him. Now they were different animals, the arrival of this invisible predator leaving them edgy and out of sorts. After trying to coax and cajole them for an hour, he had eventually turned to shouting to scare them into obeying his commands, something he’d never needed to do before. All the while he’d watched over his shoulder for any clues as to what was out there. By now there was no doubt in his mind that, whatever it was, it was something to be afraid of.
A day alone with his thoughts had not been the best remedy for Drew’s mood, which was darker than ever. Whatever had upset the sheep had also played havoc with Drew, leaving him sick and fevered, and unable to eat his supper earlier. Elbowing open the front door, he stumbled into the hall, shaking the wet cloak from his shoulders and hopping about on one foot then the other, kicking off his boots. Barefoot and shivering, he trotted into the living room, where his mother sat knitting in the armchair by the dying embers of the fire. He tipped his armful of kindling and wood into the scuttle on the hearth with a noisy clatter, placing a couple of pieces on the coals of the fire. Crouched on his haunches, Drew remained at his mother’s feet, hands held out toward the fire.
“How are you feeling, son?” asked his mother, putting down the needles and wool. She leaned forward, stroking his damp hair affectionately. She laid the back of her hand against his forehead, checking his temperature. He knew it was up.
“Not too bad, Ma,” he lied, fighting back the cramps that rolled and shot through his belly. He looked up at the mantelpiece. Below his father’s Wolfshead blade was a brass carriage clock. It was almost half past ten in the evening, well beyond the time that his father and Trent would normally be home. He had to assume that they had fallen foul of the weather.
Standing, he managed to smile to his mother. “Do you fancy a brew, Ma?” he asked, making for the kitchen. A hot drink seemed to be the only thing he could keep down at the moment.
“That would be lovely,” she called after him. Filling the kettle with water he placed it over the big old stove. Whereas his brother clearly followed in his father’s footsteps, Drew took after his mother, sharing her peaceful demeanor and easygoing nature. He always figured his mother must have been wasted in her youth as a scullery maid in Highcliff serving the king; her sharp mind and quick wit could have made her a great scholar if the opportunity had been there for her.
Leaving the kettle on the stove, Drew wandered back into the sitting room, settling cross-legged on the rug by the fire.
“Still not hungry?” his mother asked, concerned again.
“No, can’t eat anything, Ma. Sorry,” he replied, aware that his mother had spent hours preparing the evening meal earlier. Unable to eat, he had lain in his bunk in his bedroom, leaving his mother downstairs to eat her meal alone. The table still remained set, the cutlery for Pa and Trent laid out, plus his own.
“There’s no need to apologize, my dear,” said his mother. “I know how it is when you feel ill.” She looked intently at him, as if reading his thoughts. “And I hope nothing else is troubling you.” She put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “I know you didn’t mean to lose that sheep.”
Drew nodded. It was true he’d been worried about that, but now something else was disturbing him. He’d attempted during the day to unravel what had been going on with his parents’ heated arguments, but his mother had proved adept at dodging his subtle lines of questioning. Although she’d provided no answers she had, however, revealed some clues.
To his relief, it didn’t appear to be his fault. He knew his father was annoyed at the loss of a prize-winning ram, but his mother had just made it clear that he had done nothing wrong, and he believed her. She would sooner stay silent than tell a lie to either of her boys. Nor was it something that stemmed from a disagreement between his parents. Whatever it was, the clues suggested that it had something to do with the flock’s strange behavior, but that was all he could work out. With his father dismissing his theories earlier, Drew was surprised to find out that he also thought something was wrong.
Drew was pulled back from his thoughts by the rapid rat-tat-tat of the rain on the windowpanes, making it seem as though the glass might shatter at any moment. Picking up another log, he threw it into the fireplace. The flames leapt high, the fire burning hungrily now, spitting, hissing, and popping. Drew walked across to the huge bay window. Over the storm he could hear his sheep bleating, wailing with worry. Should he go outdoors to check on them? Surely they’d be safe in the paddock? The moon, full and bloated in the night sky, broke through the storm clouds, casting an eerie light over the farmyard.
Drew suddenly felt the fever take him anew, as never before. A wave of dizziness washed over him as the blood rushed from his head. He grasped the heavy curtain with a trembling hand to stop himself from falling. His breathing rasped in his chest, labored and shallow, as rivulets of sweat rolled down his face and into his eyes. Drew wiped his forearm across his face and his sleeve came away sodden, clinging to his flesh. What kind of illness could have this effect on him?
He fixed his eyes on the moon, trying to focus, trying to clear his head of the painful sensations that now assaulted his body. His skin crawled, a fevered itch spreading its way over every inch of his flesh like wildfire. Nausea assailed him, his chest heaving, his lunchtime meal threatening to make a break from his stomach. The world turned around Drew, spinning on the bright white axis of the moon. Focus on the moon.
Focus on the moon.
His body seemed to calm, the pains passing as quickly as they had come. His flesh cooled; the sickness passed. Outside the rain was subsiding, gentle now and almost tranquil. The sheep had quieted, suddenly calmed. Drew released his grip from the curtains, putting his hand to his clammy throat and massaging it softly. The peace he felt was unnatural, unnerving.
His mother rushed over. “Are you all right, Drew?”
“Not really,” he replied. “I feel ill. I think it’s the sheep being in distress. I’m picking up on it, and there’s nothing I can do.”
His mother chewed her lip, her brow creased as she stroked his cheek.
“Ma,” asked Drew, taking a deep ragged breath. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing, my love. Nothing at all.”
Her face looked so sad, Drew thought, her frown aging her before his very eyes.
“I know there’s something you’re not telling me, Ma,” he said, then, as she started to protest, “Please don’t deny it. I’ve seen you and Pa. There’s something you’re keeping from me. I know I’m right, but hear me out. I need to say this. I just want you to know that I trust you. Whatever it is, whatever you and Pa are worried about, I know you’ll do the right thing. I just hope, whatever it is, there’s something I can do to fix it.”
Excerpted from "Rise of the Wolf"
Copyright © 2012 Curtis Jobling.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
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.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for the Wereworld series:
Rise of the Wolf
“Jobling’s debut initiates a sure-to-be-long series of Wereworld tales, pure fantasy adventure with plenty of horror in the mix…this will find broad appeal among lovers of adventure fantasy, especially those mourning the end of John Flanagan's Ranger’s Apprentice.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[A] rousingly gory heroic fantasy…there are plenty of brutal fights for action lovers, and the quest has some stirring moments. Give this series opener to fans of Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series.”—Booklist
“In this thrilling middle-grade debut, first in the Wereworld series, British author/illustrator Jobling (the designer of the Bob the Builder TV series) creates a memorable new setting in which were-creatures rule…a thoroughly enjoyable adventure that makes particularly inventive use of its shape-shifter elements and mythology.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Even reluctant readers should enjoy Wereworld as the first in a new series…as a fantasy world it is superior to Eragon, and pure fun.”—The Times (London)
“The nail-biting pace and plot turns will keep the reader wondering exactly how Drew will resolve it all…there is enough romantic heat, girl power, and vulnerable tough guys to guarantee interest from the Twilight crowd.”—BCCB
“This first book in the series hits all the bases for a fairy tale with fangs…this will be a popular book, particularly for the young sword and sorcery fan contingent.”—Library Media Connections
“Assured and lively enough to captivate with its strong world building and approachable language…will draw followers to the sequel like Drew to a damsel in distress.”—VOYA
“Can he write it? Yes, he can!...a good mix of the traditional pre-industrial society with shape-shifters, and looks like it could be the start of a very fun ride.”—Geek Dad on Wired.com
Rage of Lions
“Give Jobling a… hand for crafting a sequel that’s even more lurid and action packed than the opener.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Game of Thrones for the tween set...”—School Library Journal
Shadow of the Hawk
“Plotlines and were-creatures proliferate …there’s enough spilled blood and shape changing here to appease the most demanding fans of either.”—Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After several months of eager anticipation, this UK novel finally found its way to US shelves. The first thing about this novel that I came to like was the writing style, which was not overly complicated nor immature for the directed audience. This made for an easy, enjoyable read. The second thing- Let's talk werewolves. The werewolf novels you might find today on the shelves seem to be filled with the "just a big wolf" werewolves. If that's what you're hoping for with Curtis Jobling's Wereworld I implore you to seek a different read, because Wereworld's "Therianthropes" are monstrous man-beasts that thrive on their baser instincts to bite, tear, and rip their way to victory over their adversary. These beasts cave into blood lust, and do not refer to their "therianthropy" as a curse to feel sorry for themselves over, but more as a gift- even a right. I immensely enjoyed Wereworld and its immersive environment of lovable characters, budding romances, incredible plot, daring sword-fights, and big twists that will keep you turning pages well into the night.
I bought this book and I loved everything about it. It had action, adventure,fantasy, and animals.
I didn't know what to think when I first received this book. The cover art made me think of the Conan, and like, books on my Dad's bookshelf. But I'm one to try anything, and I'm glad I did. Not only is it a Must Read, but definitely one of the best books I have read thus far this year. The beginning had a slow start, but in the way a storm builds. You can feel the pressure changing in the air, sense the approaching darkness. At the moment everything is quiet, peaceful, but in the back of your mind, you know things are about to shift. You can't explain it, you just know. Drew Ferran, knew nothing of the outside world that flowered along the edges of his family's farm. And he was content with that; living the life of a farmers son, herding sheep. But when Fate, has other plans, there's nothing you can do about it. Left at home with his mother, while his father and brother head off on an errand, Drew is unaware of the impending danger. That a beast is lurking in the darkness, with the intent to spill blood. A beast, similar to the one Drew, has hidden within himself. Before the night is through, Drew will come face to face with the creature. Not as a boy, but as one himself. Drew, suddenly finds himself being wrongfully accused, by his very own father, for the atrocious murder of his mother. With his father and brother turning on him, Drew, is left with no other option, but to flee. The life he once knew is forever lost to him now. Entering into a series of life altering events, Drew, will embark on a journey of self discovery. What he learns will shock him. Even more, the world he knew nothing about, is depending on him to survive. For he, is their last hope. Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, is an amazing book. Not only did Curtis Jobling, prove that he has supreme world-building skills, but that he is equally talented in developing characters. A rare find amongst fantasy writers, or really any writers. The world he created, Lyssia, is so wonderfully designed, that I found myself envisioning it as a real place. More astonishing than that, are his characters. Each one is not only unique, but Curtis Jobling, has a way of bringing them to life. I love how even the small mentioned characters have development. You continue to remember them long after they're mentioned, as much as you would the main and secondary characters. Curtis Jobling, did extremely well, when it came to writing his main character Drew. Drew's development throughout the story is captivating. Each action, consequence, thought, that Drew, takes or has, shows the depth of who and why he is such a noble character. So many times when faced with difficulty, that would normally cause others to turn away, he silences that inner-taunting voice and stands strong. The best part, is Curtis Jobling, provides us with detailed actions, leading the reader to develop this understanding, rather than just 'telling' the reader, who Drew is. Same can be said for all his other characters. I enjoyed witnessing Drew's influence and the affect he had on others. How he was able to show Hector, a friend found during the most distressing time, how to live. The way he was able to get under the skin of Gretchen, a snob in everyway possible, and break her down. A character, you enjoy to hate in the beginning, yet find yourself loving in the end. And that is only mentioning few of many. Read the rest here: FollowMeReviews (dot) Blogspot (dot) com
Jobling had me hooked from start! Had to pick up info as i went, though
Wereworld is a must read book
Sixteen year old twins Drew and Trent Ferran live on a farm with their parents. The siblings are close though they look nothing like brothers. The father and Trent set off for Tuckborogh to sell goods. However, while they are away for the day, a monster attacks and kills his mother even as Drew turns into a werewolf to try to save her. His dad returns home to see evidence that makes his son a killing beast. He drives the lad into the woods. Drew is unaware that he is the only living lycanthrope as his native land Lyssia has been ethnically cleansed of his species by werelion King Leopold, who rules the Seven Realms and obviously wants him dead too. He finds allies with a wereboar Lord Hector the scholar and werefox Princess Gretchen while struggling to survive the were-assassins sent by the monarch to finish the extinction of the werewolf line. The first Wereworld middle school fantasy is a fabulous brisk twisting coming of age quest thriller. The story line deploys the frequently used theme of the return of a young hero to fight against injustice and survive assassins but is made fresh by the shapeshifter hierarchy that make up the Seven Kingdoms. Tweeners will enjoy the Rose of the Wolf as the exiled prince returns home. Harriet Klausner
It's a very awsome!!!! If you like action and fiction. This is a book for you.
Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf tells the story of Drew and the world that he suddenly finds himself inhabiting. Drew was an ordinary boy on an ordinary farm living with the people that he believed were his family. But what happens one night shakes his belief of his existence to the core. His mother is mauled to death and his father and brother both believe that he was responsible for the actions of that night. Confused, Drew flees the life that he knows into the darkness of the Dyrewood. As suddenly as he left the world of his people, Drew is just as quickly catapulted back into the land of the living after months of living on his own. He in embroiled into politics that he was never aware of and into people that he can neither trust or understand. As the story progresses, Drew becomes a rallying cry for the people against a powerful rotten king. At the first beginnings of the story, I was a little concerned that it was following the normal train of events that some fantasy stories tend to do. And, to be honest, several elements are there: the boy who has a hidden destiny and parentage, the quest for understanding, the move from a lonely existence to one of prominence, and rejecting a rotten king. But what Jobling does with the elements makes it turn into a darker, more realistic story. First of all, the story moves along at a realistic rate, with months and events all happening that seem not to be related to the central storyline but allows both the reader and Drew to be enlightened as to the situation that is going on around him. Drew also meets some truly interesting characters and enhances the story in ways that make it a much more interesting plot. The hesitation that Drew has as he is propelled from event to event that is often not of his own doing adds a nice level of realism. The book is, also admittedly darker than you would first guess, especially as to what Drew experiences in the hands of the enemy. But, it is nice to see that side of it as well, many authors would not have put that in, and it really adds to the story. Overall, this is an excellent novel, and is one that I will enjoy re-reading and I cannot wait until the next installment.
This is is my favorite book series of all time now!! I highly recommend!!! I read this to my mom (she is in her 30s) and my sister (She is 10) and they both loved it! I think anyone who likes action Will love this series!
This is a fast pase-book and and is a great family read
This book is defiently a MUST READ! This book took me by suprise at first when i got this book, i thought it would only be for adults but when i read the first two chapters, well just say, IT LITERALLY BLEW ME AWAY! I loved the action, the suspense, the drama, and the adventure. It is like all my favorite thing wrappe all into this book! I would recommend this book to anyone who is 11 and up ( plus if you have a strong stomach and can take some gruesome things in). But this was truly a great book. It will make you want to read it again ad agian!
Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf is a very magical book that i love greatly. I like how the author used the idea of doing the sort of switched at birth type of thing to instill in Drew the ideas of a common man. Making him more likable by the people of Lyssia. I like the way Drew keeps trying to escape his fate, just to be pulled back again. There really isn't anything about this book i don't like. I would recommend this book to anyone i know.
One of the best books I have ever read. If you are a fan of Eragon this is the best book to read.
This book combines my two favorite things animals and a good fantasty! To any one who is a eragon fan i suggest you read this book.
OK i found this at barnes and nobel and since i Absolutly LOVE werewolves, I thought this is my type of book. I got a sample.
This is an amazing book If you liked it you should check out shark wars Or maybe alex rider
The stars say four but I say 4.5 just because of the amount of gore and death but otherwise the best book I have ever had the pleasure to read
Great book with great detail! I love werewolves!
THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS.I read a lot of fantasy. From the classic epics like "Lord of Rings" to the newer vampire and werewolves urban fantasy, I've read practically in every sub-genre. Not surprisingly, this has included a lot of childrens and young adult reading as I've found that fantasy written for these markets is very often of higher quality than that written for the adult markets. Jobling's "Rise of the Werewolf" is no exception; I found it to be enjoyable and a quick read and probably one that younger readers looking for another book after Harry Potter (although it is very different in setting) will really like.Jobling's "Rise of the Werewolf" is an exciting and action packed thriller of an epic fantasy. It is set in a standard pseudo mediaeval European world but one where "werelords" are the equivalent of the kings and barons. As a premise it is startlingly simple and yet original. Since werecreatures are stronger and less susceptible to injury they have risen to the top of the power hierarchy. However, the exploration of the differences caused by being a therianthrope (authors word) stops there as the story turns to being a fantasy epic.The plot is easily recognized by well versed fantasy readers yet the inclusion of the hero being a werewolf adds a breath of freshness. Its a standard journey driven epic fantasy. Here however, (and refreshingly) there is no central quest driving the plot -- merely a need for the protagonist (Drew) to escape. Along the way, Drew and his friends battle some scary monsters, get tortured a lot and yet manage to escape with their lives at the end of the book.As opposed to the plot, the characterization is somewhat sketchy. The author focuses primarily on Drew's pov except when the plot requires someone else take the center stage. As a result, one doesn't get as good a sense of the other characters as they are painted somewhat simplistically.In addition, there are some weaknesses with the dialogue. I got the sense that the author didn't easily settle into a period dialect and the juxtaposition of slightly modern colloquialisms with the setting jarred a little. It wasn't too much of a problem though and virtually disappeared after the first section.To sum up, the book was thoroughly enjoyable and I heartily recommend it. For the target age group, I am sure it will be well loved and it can also be enjoyed by older readers.
Tragedy, romance, flying fur, and sharpened, pointy teeth tearing through flesh...to top it all off werewolves were not the only things shifting in this book.This is the realm of the Werelords. The noble families are all of different were descent. Fox, wolf, bear, and even boar are all represented in the land of Lyssia. Drew and his brother, Trent grew up on a farm with their mother and father, not unlike many other poor farming families in the kingdom. One night, as Drew and his mother awaited the remainder of the family to come back from town, a storm blew in the window of their home along with it the hopes of any normal future Drew had. A hulking monster attacked Drew, slays his mother, and flees after Drew manages to injure the terrifying beast. Upon Mark's (Drew's father) return, he attacks Drew thinking he is responsible for his beautiful wife's murder.After running Drew through with his sword, the most extraordinary thing happened. Drew not only managed to keep his footing, but he was able to flee.From here Drew seems to alter the lives of everyone he comes into contact with. Prophecies have been written about a change soon to come. Could Drew be the one foretold in the ancient prophecies? This young lad, who isn't even quite sure what he is, has the innate ability to reach out and help those in their most dire hour. The kingdom is being controlled by the werelion, who has used his power to keep the people downtrodden and looking for a brighter future. Drew may be their only shining hope.I devoured this novel. I had to force myself on several occasions to put this book down so I could not only work, but get my school work in as well. The scenes were described in great detail, but not to where it bored the reader and stopping the flow and action in the story. I have a tendency to "tune out" when the descriptions are too narrative and puts a halt to the adventures of the characters. The descriptions were done mainly through the viewpoints of the characters, which I always find more interesting than a page narrative about the environment.The characters are enchanting. Some you love, some you are weary of, some you admire. By the end of the story, I remembered each of their names(which is an accomplishment for me), and am actually invested in their futures. this is not a short story, and we have plenty of time to get to know them intimately.Some of the parts were predictable in the story, but I think that was still one of the charms of the book. We always know in these stories that we will have the one character, at least, that we will get to see grow, mature, change, and become the person we knew he or she could be. That provided me with the familiar comfort that I long for in certain stories. But there was enough action and twists in the story that I was always wanting to turn the page to see where our heroes and antagonists would take us next. Heroes and enemies popped up where we least expected, and death was not saved for the villains.This books is set to be published in September of this year. Please, reserve your copy of this book, and put it on your to-read-list. It was an amazing adventure, and it was one I was reluctant to leave behind. Five stars to Wereworld and Curtis Jobling.
I need a book to hook me right at the beginning. This one didn't, which is why it only warrants a 4 star review. Were I not reading it for Early Reviewers I would have quit it. Luckily I trudged ahead because the story was excellent once I got into it. This is a book my students would definitely enjoy and it's nice to piggy back off the recent interest in paranormal novels.
WOW!! That's the first word out of my mouth after I read this book. It was so well written. To be honest, I was surprised since it was a free book I won. I really did not expect it to be as good as it was. Very, very hard to put down. As soon as I finished it, I passed the book on to my mother who is also an avid reader and she said the same thing. My mother and I are not the target audience for this book, but for two adults to enjoy it this much is really saying something I think. I plan to pass the book onto my nephew and niece, and really hope they enjoy it as well as I did. Without giving anything away about the storyline, I would love to see another book in this series, but more centered around the wereshark (which I have to say is so original, I had never heard of anything like that before!!) or at least maybe a "tail" about him. I would go so far as to say this book is in the same echelon as J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, which as far as I can say is the best praise I can give it. I so look forward to more books in this series!!
Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf tells the story of Drew and the world that he suddenly finds himself inhabiting. Drew was an ordinary boy on an ordinary farm living with the people that he believed were his family. But what happens one night shakes his belief of his existence to the core. His mother is mauled to death and his father and brother both believe that he was responsible for the actions of that night. Confused, Drew flees the life that he knows into the darkness of the Dyrewood. As suddenly as he left the world of his people, Drew is just as quickly catapulted back into the land of the living after months of living on his own. He in embroiled into politics that he was never aware of and into people that he can neither trust or understand. As the story progresses, Drew becomes a rallying cry for the people against a powerful rotten king. At the first beginnings of the story, I was a little concerned that it was following the normal train of events that some fantasy stories tend to do. And, to be honest, several elements are there: the boy who has a hidden destiny and parentage, the quest for understanding, the move from a lonely existence to one of prominence, and rejecting a rotten king. But what Jobling does with the elements makes it turn into a darker, more realistic story. First of all, the story moves along at a realistic rate, with months and events all happening that seem not to be related to the central storyline but allows both the reader and Drew to be enlightened as to the situation that is going on around him. Drew also meets some truly interesting characters and enhances the story in ways that make it a much more interesting plot. The hesitation that Drew has as he is propelled from event to event that is often not of his own doing adds a nice level of realism. The book is, also admittedly darker than you would first guess, especially as to what Drew experiences in the hands of the enemy. But, it is nice to see that side of it as well, many authors would not have put that in, and it really adds to the story.Overall, this is an excellent novel, and is one that I will enjoy re-reading and I cannot wait until the next installment.