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Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2003)

Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2003)
4.04 of 5 Votes: 2
0812575490 (ISBN13: 9780812575491)
tor fantasy
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Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2003)
Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2003)

About book: Having begun reading to my son about Firekeeper we kept on going. Believe it or not, but quite a bit of snuggle time goes into around 600 pages worth of story. 600 pages is a lot of words. Sometimes I think the two of us get so caught up in how words and sentences connect that we forget to pay as much attention as we ought to. In my world that is only possible when the writing is tight and attention is paid to how writing is similar to music. Sometimes we have to laugh when I have trouble figuring out how to pronounce a name or two. What we do then is have a discussion on pronunciation and come to an agreement.On to content. "The Firekeeper Saga" is about politics and relationships and coming of age if it is about anything. Sure there is action and fighting, but this is not what the series is about. I love action fantasy and science fiction and I love stories like the Firekeeper saga."Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart" is still about Firekeeper and Blind Seer’s emerging role as ambassadors between humans and Royal kind. On that journey some of Firekeeper’s illusions about the superiority of the Royal kind are torn down. Blind Seer seems more of the adult than Firekeeper in this regard and is in fact one of the people who challenges Firekeeper’s previous beliefs.Derian is another favorite of this tale. I imagine Lindskold has made certain that I be aware of him. Derian is Carter made Counselor, a role he had never imagined and feels overwhelmed by. He is easily Firekeeper’s favorite human friend and a very faithful one.Waln Endbrook is a really good bad guy. He is the ultimate bully – afraid of letting go of power and ready to step on anyone who gets in his way – especially if they are weaker than he is. One of the more fascinating parts of Waln’s character was the mental acrobatics he was willing employ in order to avoid blaming himself for anything. It was always something the other person had done or said that brought about trouble. I hate meeting these people in real life because they scare the shit out of me. But I have also learned, the hard way, the necessity of seeming strong around them.Elise and Doc are the “hopeless romance” carriers of the series. Poor guys. So in love and yet bound by the strictures of society from having any kind of romantic attachment. Politics sure do stink at times.We are also introduced to Firekeeper’s adorable adopted brother Edlin Norwood. Hugh Laurie in Bertie Wooster exemplifies just how I imagine Edlin speaks.

Following closely on the heels of the last book, Wolf's Head is also superior to its predecessor.Lindskold wisely lessens the scope of the novel, especially in terms of its characters. While a huge part of the first book revolved around Firekeeper and her adoption and integration into human society, this book more closely follows her state of mind. The huge cast of royal families is mainly kept to the wayside, occasionally referenced but not important to the story line. The first novel was definitely burdened by too many characters that you didn't know who was related to whom and who liked each other or not, so the coalesced cast here was welcome and the storyline was very tight. What began as a mission to obtain some items became something that pushed Firekeeper and also Elise into places and thought processes they weren't comfortable with and made them question their places and who they were. Awesome.I like where Lindskold is going with Firekeeper, and will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.
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This was a decent follow-on to Through Wolf's Eyes], but it suffered from Robert Jordan syndrome: I was half way through the book before the plot really started to advance. Plot-wise, the saga continues with the same cast of central characters, this time adventuring off to a neighboring country to steal some stuff. The latter half of the book actually reads like a decent RPG adventure. They arrive in the new city, set up a business as a front while they scout it out, plan the theft, then run away.
FINALLY done with this one.Much tighter than the first in the series (the quest plot structure is inherently easier to write), and was fairly high-tension for much of the book, but so much of the writing was just... bog-like. The plot itself is pretty clearly an action story, but the writing is downright meditative -- clearly this author is highly confused over what she wants to write.There are also an alarming density of awkwardly-placed dialogue-tags -- such that they ACTIVELY INTERFERE WITH THE MEANING OF THE DIALOGUE.Ultimately, I'm left with the feeling that this book is in sore need of a vicious editor with a love of the Red Pen. Trim all the paragraphs of unnecessary or repetitive exposition, and hey! Turns out this is actually a 500-page book.Mainly giving it three stars to show the vast improvement from the prequel, but I don't care nearly enough to pick up the next in the series, even if it were to fall out of the sky and onto my bookshelf. Not going to waste another month of my life feeling irritated with an editor for being too nice. (That, or sorry for an editor that they had to deal with whatever the manuscript looked like BEFORE their editing cleaned it up even this much.)
Second book in a rather excellent series!I enjoyed reading about Firekeeper again, and her odd but understandable way of looking at things that normal people take for granted. I got a bit annoyed with her speaking patterns, which seemed to change without rhyme or reason beyond the explanation given at certain points in the book. As in, sometimes she would form complete sentences, and then revert back to broken and nonsense ramblings, but eh.Other than that, and the one instance in the whole book where and action was repeated (bad editors for not spotting it) I can't fault this book at all!Now to start number three!
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