Driven by a formless
fury when the prince of Kardeth refuses to halt his invasion of the
kingdom of Pelucir, the great mage Atrix Wolfe creates a fearful hunter,
"a warrior with no allegiance but to death." But the ensuing massacre
of both armies and the king of Pelucir appalls the mage, and he flees to
the mountains to live in wolf form among wolves until, 20 years later,
the queen of the Woods demands that he seek out her daughter, who
disappeared at the time of the great bloodbath. The ensuing story
involves aspiring mage Talis Pelucir, son of the slain king, and Saro, a
young, mute scullery maid in the castle of Pelucir whose background is
unknown. Steeped in medieval legends of the wild huntsman, living trees,
and shape changers, McKillip's tale is decidedly atmospheric, complex,
compelling, and filled with rich imagery.
This is the first book I've read from the much-lauded Patricia A. McKillip and I really enjoyed this YA Fantasy tale! The author's writing is very lyrical yet she still manages to be concise and convey a complex story within a slim novel.
I loved the magic and dark sorcery that permeates the book. Throughout reading this novel you are biting your nails - wondering how the story will end and the characters restored after one awful instance of dark magic.
Fans of Robin McKinley will likely love The Book of Atrix Wolfe (and I'm guessing other McKillip books too). This novel has mystery, magic, romance, sympathetic villains, unlikely heroes, and fantastic settings - who can resist? Highly recommended to fantasy fans!