Fantasy - Independently Published

Esmes Indie Author Highlights: Wolf of the North by Duncan M Hamilton

I really liked the way this story was told, it was a lot like King Killer Chronicles in that one of the characters in the book is narrating a story. In this case it’s an older man who’s profession seems to be story telling.

It was a really quick read, the fact that the story was being narrated by someone else helped speed the story along because the author was able to put in non-awkward time gaps. Sometimes time gaps can be awkward or jolting, but before each time gap you get an interlude with the story teller, and then he just says “and we’ll continue with the story 3 years later” go over some random plot points from those three years and you pick up to where you need to be to reasonably progress the character. In this way, you don’t get this hero going from novice to badass in a matter of chapters and have it seem forced and fake.

Plot:

This series so far has been about warring clans/towns who have been partly manipulated into war through politics and happenstance. A mix of bad timing for certain crimes to be committed on top of old hatreds between the clans make warfare pretty common. I like the fact that this is “medium stakes”. It’s not mundane in a slice of life kind of way, but this isn’t world ending kind of thing either. The characters are normal townsfolk and some town leaders called First Warriors and that’s about it so far – I’ve started the second book but haven’t finished yet.

Setting:

This has a very similar feel to the North in ASOIAF, including worshiping “old gods’ compared to the southern Gods. The North is the focus of the first book and they are described as “savages” by the southerners. The universities and schools are all in the south as well, so it helps fuel the idea that the north is full of uncivilized people.

Characters:

Although this is being told sort of like King Killer, it differs in that it hops around POV’s, it’s mostly about a young man named Wulfric but you get to see a bunch of minor POV’s as well. I like the main character, he’s fairly easy to relate to, not much angst for a teenage character, a light romance interest that grows slowly in importance which was nice – I don’t like when you’re hit over the head with a love at first sight infatuation kind of thing.

Some minor POV’s include some boys in the same general age bracket as the main POV, his love interest, his mother and father, the town Priest who works as a healer/educator and some other older male tribe/townspeople. In the second book we get a more developed female POV, but in the first book it’s mostly about the main character.

Tone:

I’m going to use “adventurous” as a tone again. It’s not dark, it’s not light or funny – there’s a fair amount of action in the book whether it’s skirmishes, battles, or fighting wild animals.

Pacing:

There’s a good amount of background politics going on and action scenes and character development scenes. So the pace ebbs and flows nicely for me, it’s not a whirlwind book that’s all battles, but it’s not a book that’s mostly dialogue either.

Audience:

This book will appeal to people who enjoy:

  • Multi POV
  • light magic
  • coming of age
  • series vs stand alone
  • swords
  • beast fights

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