Peter Birk was born in Oakland, California, but was raised in Decatur, Illinois. He started writing in grade school, and never stopped to look back. He studied fiction writing at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, where he was privileged to work with Robin Metz, Robert Hellenga, and David Foster Wallace. He emigrated to Iowa, and has worked a variety of odd jobs throughout Iowa City, but he has been writing the entire time, even through the period wherein he claimed he no longer wished to be a writer.
To Trust the Wolfby Peter Birk
So begins the story of Perdita Perrault, an awkward but
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As the mundanes riot against the control of the witches, threatening to tear the fragile realm of Raioume apart, the Gran Mater of the Coven races to defend one little girl who holds the key to mankind's future, only to find her beset by ancient demons the Gran Mater had assumed long vanquished.
So begins the story of Perdita Perrault, an awkward but precocious young witch who struggles to find her place in the world, a path which ultimately leads her to the Gran Mater's greatest enemy, the vicious and blood-thirsty Wolf King, Lupus Rex.
To Trust the Wolf is the first book of the Little Red series of novels, set in a land filled with political intrigue, governed by a matriarchal society led by a martial order, the Red Cloaks. The story of the Gran Mater, Perdita, and Lupus Rex weaves a dramatic thriller against a backdrop of magic, witches, and wolves that will captivate and enthrall.
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I'm reading this for the fifth or six time and am still enchanted. I'm not a huge fantasy reader either. But I like a compelling narrative and the fast-moving plot, political intrigue and memorable characters make this an absorbing read. A matriarchal society setting has the potential to become precious, especially in a male writer's hands. But Birk convinces the reader of the reality of the setting with little comment, allowing the world of Raioume to unfold for you. The women are strong, powerful and flawed, like any leadership, and their infighting and political maneuvering is fascinating. The Gran Mater, in particular, is a character that won't soon be forgotten, and it's refreshing to have an older woman be a source of such power - and be so contentious. The narrative begins some thirty years after a major civil war, and so raises some interesting questions leadership and power. It reminds me a little of the best writing of the recent Battelstar Gallactica tv series in that it asks us to consider what happens to living legends whose battles are over, how long a society needs the security of martial law, and how a second generation learns from (or ignores) the lessons of the first. Shadows from the past are constantly flickering at the edge of the narrative, giving us a glimpse of the vastness of the world that Birk has created. In fact, my only complaint is that I often found myself wanting to know more about a given character or piece of history. This is the kind of series that you can picture a mega-nerd writing and index for. Fortunately, since it's a series we have more to look forward to and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book.