Monday, February 20, 2017
In the cold, crown of the world the wolf tribes are in ascendancy. They broke the Tiger's power over a decade ago and drove them to the peripheries. Maniye is the daughter of Akrit Stone River, chieftain of one of the wolf tribes. However her mother was a queen among the Tiger.a result she as always been an outsider in her own tribe. She holds a secret that could destroy her, she has two souls and can shift her form to both that of a wolf and a tiger. Things begin to look up when she passes a coming of age trial and thinks she may at least win her father's approval even if she never wins his love. However she learns that Akrit his plans for her to subjugate the remaining Tiger tribes and to marry her to Broken Axe, the loner he tasked with killing her mother. Horried Maniye flees taking with her an aging snake priest who was going to be sacrificed to the Wolf. Akrit tasks Borken Axe with retrieving them. Meanwhile Asmander, a stranger from the South, journeys North seeking the famed iron wolves to prevent a civil war from spilling over.
I have been thoroughly impressed with Tchaikovsky's works since he concluded his Shadow of Apt series and he has ensured that, as good as it is, it will not define him as an author. The characterization is top notch with Maniye being a credible protagonist on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. What's more impressive is the way Tchaikovsky gives every character introduced such depth of their own without being bogged down. It truly feels like an intersection of different stories.
The world-building is an exceptional with the stone-age tribal society of the wolf described in depth and pieces of other cultures wetting the appetite without slowing the story. Pacing was also even throughout.
Overall Tchaikovsky delivers a great story defined by it's vivid characters. 9/10.