on March 24, 2009
This second book in Tamora Pierce's THE IMMORTALS QUARTET centers around the further development of Daine's magical ability to communicate with animals.
The story begins when the wolf pack that lives near her former home village sends an envoy to ask for her assistance communicating with the humans who are ruining the lands where these wolves hunt. Daine, who owes a debt of gratitude to these wolves for having cared for her once she escaped her village, can't say no to their request, and along with her wizardly teacher, the powerful mage Numair Salmalín, she journeys to Fief Dunlath, the area known by the wolves as Long Lake.
There, things are much worse than they initially seemed. Not only are the rulers of Fief Dunlath completely disregarding the impact of their actions upon the local wildlife, but Numair recognizes one of their guests as a Combat Mage from the Carthaki Empire, a country currently engaged in small skirmishes with Tortall. It soon becomes apparent that the Lady of the fief is engaged in double dealings with the Carthakis.
While Numair speeds back to warn King Jonathan of what is happening, Daine stays behind with her wolf-friends, gathering information and making plans for putting an end to the mining and garrisoning of soldiers that are destroying the natural habitats of more animals than just the wolves.
In a continuation of her skills from the previous book, Daine learns how to share her mind with animals, seeing through their eyes and sensing with their senses. She also discovers, much to her surprise, that any lengthy mental cohabitation could give her unexpected animal characteristics, like the ears of a mouse or the eyes of a hawk, that fade away only after she has detached herself from the animal's consciousness. With the help of a whole network of animal friends, Daine sketches out a plan of attack that will show the nobles of Fief Dunlath what happens when you mess with the wildlife.
Overall, I found this book quite enjoyable; the continued development of Daine's character was accomplished smoothly, and the characters newly introduced in this volume were fleshed out in their own rights. Particularly notable characters included, not just Numair, but also the baby dragon Stormsong, known as Kitten, and all of the wolves of the Long Lake pack.
If you liked the first book, you'll love the next one!
Reviewed by: Candace Cunard
on January 9, 2007
"Wolf-speaker" is the 2nd book in Tamora Pierce's "The Immortals" quartet, set in the kingdom of Tortall. If you haven't read the previous book in the series, "Wild Magic", please do so because it provides you with background information regarding the characters that will be useful when you read "Wolf-speaker".
As you already know if you are still reading this review, Daine is a 14-year-old girl with wild magic that is training to be a mage. Wild magic allows Daine to communicate with animals, and in some cases even heal them. However, and as Daine will learn in this book, she still has to discover the extent of her powers. Most readers will delight in reading the conversations between Daine and her animal friends, and laugh at her clumsiness when trying to turn into a wolf, or... a bat :)
The plot of "Wolf-speaker" revolves around the fact that some wolves ask Daine to help them find a solution to a dangerous trouble that is threatening the place they call home. Daine is compelled to help the wolves, as they are the very same pack that helped her to find revenge against those who killed her mother. But as Daine begins her new journey, along with her teacher Numair (a powerful mage), she will realize that not everything is going well in Tortall, and that there is a new threat that could mean not only the doom of the wolves, but also of the whole kingdom of Tortall. Only by joining her strength to that of Numair and her animal and immortal friends will Daine be able to prevent the disastrous consequences of treacherous acts.
All in all, I think that readers older than 9 will love "Wolf-speaker", and that even teens or adults that enjoy a good fantasy epic with lots of magic and adventure might appreciate it. If you like "Wolf-Speaker" check out its sequels, Emperor Mage" and "The Realms of the Gods".
on June 17, 2004
"Wolf Speaker" is the second of Tamora Pierce's "Immortals Quartet" concerning fourteen-year-old Daine, a young woman who possesses "Wild Magic", giving her the ability to communicate with animals, heal any animal wound, and in this book, to gradually change her form into any animal she wishes. Pierce jumps straight into the story without hardly any background information, so if you are unfamiliar with the fantasy realm of Tortall, I very highly recommend that you don't begin your journey with this book: start with "Wild Magic", or even better "The Lioness Quartet", Pierce's first books concerning Tortall.
Daine and her mentor Numair have been sent abroad in order to investigate the disappearance of several of the Queen's Riders, and in doing so Daine receives contact from the Long Lake wolf pack - the animals that she once ran wild with when they helped her avenge her murdered family. Their call to her is for help: their home is under threat from humankind's mining and construction that is destroying the natural habitat, and desperate to help her friends, Daine convinces Numair to help them.
But by helping the wolves, the two of them uncover even more secrets: the rulers of Dunlath, Lady Yolane and her consort - and Numair's old classmate - Tristan, are plotting to usurp the thrones of King Jonathon and Queen Thayet, by bribing the war-mongering empire of Charthak with the black diamonds they are acquiring through the mining that cause the animals so much trouble. As you may have already guessed, it's up to Daine, her powers, and the animals to put a stop to all of this, resulting in a plan that is sure to excite all readers once they hear of it.
In the overall context of the "Immortals Quartet", "Wolf Speaker" is the least important - in fact you might be able to get away with not reading it with only minor confusion. But it is a great adventure, despite the somewhat cliched environmental issue at the heart of the book, and it drops little hints throughout as to Daine's parentage, her growing magical powers, her relationship with Numair and the growing threat of Charthak.
Pierce's range of characters is huge, from the animal kingdom (Flicker, Scrap, Sunclaw, Blueness, Rebel, Brokefang and the Long Lake pack) to the humans (Tait, Maura, Gissa, Belden) to the immortals (Tkaa, Iakoju, Rikash, and of course the Badger-god and Kitten the dragonet, that Daine rescued at the conclusion of the previous book). Each character is well drawn and realistic in their actions and motivations (though I dearly missed the absent Onua), and Pierce is clever enough to mix in shades of grey to her growing war, with the inclusion of Rikash the Stormwing who holds a brotherly affection for the young lady Maura.
The "Immortals Quartet" are the best books that Tamora Pierce has to offer, so make sure "The Emperor Mage" is on hand to continue Daine's journey.
on March 8, 2004
Don't you wish you could talk to animals? Well if you were Daine you could. She can hear their thoughts and even share their bodies, but it's not always as great as it seems. When Daine is summoned by the wolf pack that took her in before she started working for the king, she starts to wish she had never been born. Strange changes have come over her old friends. Now they think like humans. They ask Daine to talk to the nasty "two-leggers" who are ripping up their valley. If the humans don't stop, they might just have to do something drastic and un-wolflike. Now it is up to Daine to stop her wolf family from going too far and to figure out how to stop the strange magical barrier that has formed in the valley locking everyone in.
I liked this book because it had lots of adventure. At first when she kept mind-speaking to the different animals it was a little confusing because you couldn't tell very well who said what. When she started jumping into their minds as well, it got really nutsy. But after a while I got into the pattern of the book and it's not so hard to understand.
I think middle school girls will like this book a lot. It has a strong girl character, who although she has a special gift, isn't perfect. Also this book has animals and girls tend to like animal stories. They also like fantasy stories, so all in all it has a little bit of everything.
on July 4, 2002
Wolf-Speaker, the second book in the Immortals series, proves to be just as good as the last. In this book Daine and Numair are off north when Daine gets a distress call from the wolf pack that helped her avenge her parents death. The pack tells them about a force of two-leggers (or humans) that are tearing up the land, cutting down trees, and scaring away all the game. Daine is the only one that can tell the nobles in the area to stop. But when Daine and Numair comes across the nobles of the area they realize that they might have much more sinister causes, causes that has something to do with the dangerous immortals that are running rampant in Tortall. Because of this Daine and Numair are seperated, both focused on their tasks. Daine wants to help her pack brothers and sisters more than anything, but with every step she takes she finds herself getting in more dangerous predicaments. I really enjoyed this book, I've nearly read everything by Tamora Pierce and this series is becoming a fast favorite of mine. I was really happy to see Daine learning more about Stormwings and meeting ... different kinds of immortals (but I won't spoil it for you!) I recommend this series not only to fans of Tamora Pierce and Fantasy fiction, but to animal loves as well.
on January 24, 2002
I just finished this book about two hours ago-I Just LOVE IT!!!!!
I totally do not understnad why people think that this book is not very good. I love it so much-it's wonderful. Tamora Pierce is an extrordinary writer she develops her characters so well!!! (At the end I was sad to let them go, especially Tkaa and Scrap.)
I really think that this book is better than the first-and I'm going to read the third book right away. But really I think this will be at least ONE of my favorites-this is the only series I've ever read by her-But I'm going to get all of her books, definatly.
I still am really baffled by how many people think that this book is not very good-it's so wonderful! (I know I keep repeating myself, but I can't help it-It's Wonderful!) I remember all of the times I was on the edge of my seat while I was reading it-and I know I was constantly turning pages, even more than the first book. These have the perfect elements-action, adventure-and I'm not totally sure, but I believe there will be a little romance even. Though I am falling in love with Numair myself! Wonderful, wonderful.
on June 17, 2001
Wolf-Speaker is definitely my favorite book in the Immortals quartet. I feel that this book is just as good as Prisoner of Azkaban or any other Harry Potter book. It captivates in it's own way. Numair, Daine, and the cast of other memorable characters are definitely the best! Great wolf book! It's like a personification except only one person can see them that way. We actually meet the first batch of truly evil people, Tristan Staghorn and his crew. Numair, the most powerful mage in all of Tortall, and Daine, the only wildmage, stop them! The magic in the Immortals quartet is a really imaginative branch of animal magic. Daine is a girl who's perfectly human, except for the fact that she has wild magic. A must read series and book for lovers of magic, wolves, magical creatures ~aka the Immortals~, and animals overall! Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors. Her books, including Song of the Lioness series and Protector of the Small, will captivate any reader. Beware of night-reading! You won't be able to put this book down!
on December 9, 2000
The wolves who had taken in Daine and avenged her parents' deaths, are in trouble. Some two-leggers (A.K.A., us) are cutting down all of the trees in Dunlath Valley. They call to Daine for help, and she comes to them with Numair, Kitten (Or Skysong, the baby dragon), Cloud, Spots, and Mangle (The last three are two horses and a pony). Daine is worried about the wolf pack. Ever since she's met them, they've had, how should I say... not wolflike thoughts and ideas. Especially Brokefang, the packs leader. To not spoil the whole story --- Daine has to save the animals from something really, really bad (You know, death). But the wolf pack keeps doing not nice things! Daine acquires a new power- the ability to shapeshift and see what animals see. Perhaps this new magic will help her. Will the animals get back their forest? Will the two-leggers stop this destruction? Will Daine be able to save the day? Perhaps... [Ooh, I just gave you some forshadowing (Even if it isn't very good forshadowing)!] I gave the book five stars, because it was as good as the first book (Which I gave five stars to too). It's got animals, and magic, and... well, what doesn't it have that fantasy/animal/humor lovers don't want?
on September 2, 1998
This book competes with The Realms of the Gods for the position of my all-time favorite Tamora Pierce book. I love it, because it really shows Daine's special relationship with the People by having her interact with them more than in the other books. And it's interesting to see into the minds of the wolf-pack that was so much a part of her life before she came to Tortall. Not only is Daine faced with the daunting task of toppling a conspiracy against the throne, but she has to somehow come to grips with the way her wild magic affects the animals she loves. It's really fascinating. You get to see that Daine is the sort of person who doesn't care about court protocol and what fancy-shmancy nobles think of her. She does act a little childish when dealing with Maura, the runaway daughter of the conspiritors, but that only makes her more realistic. You get to see the full reach of Numair's powers. You get to see another side of the Stormwings with the grudgingly loving Rikash. AND you get to see Daine converse with two loveable cats, Blueness and Scrap. This book really has something for everyone.
on August 29, 2001
I am a 13 year old avid reader and absolutely love all of Tamora Pierce's books. I have read all of the Circle of Magic books and 2 of the Immortal books. I have to say Wolf-Speaker may not be as well done as some of her other books, but it still definately deserves a five star rating. You'll love this book if you are a fantasy type of reader, if you like wolves (or any animals!), or if you just like Tamora's books.
Wolves for Daine's past seek her help to stop men from cutting down trees, poisoning the waters, and doing other terrible stuff where they live. She agrees, and along with her teacher Numair, she helps the wolves as best she can. But, it turns out there is more at work here then just the cutting down of trees and the destroying of the environment.
In this book, she learns another, exciting ability, and encounters other immortals such as basilisks and hurrocks. If you enjoy Tamora Pierce's books, I guarantee you'll love this one!! I sure did.