I am so in love with this series. It's a cross between Clan of the Cavebear and Mists of Avalon. This is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver; it's set in prehistoric times and is primarily about a young boy named Torak, his pack-brother Wolf (who really is a wolf, that's not just a name), and his best friend Renn. Torak has the ability to communicate with wolves, being as he was raised by them (it's not as Jungle Book as it sounds), and connects in the first book (Wolf Brother) with an abandoned pup. As Torak is also freshly orphaned, the two become "pack-brothers" and go in search of a larger tribe that they can form up with. Torak's abilities mark him as destined for great and dangerous things, and as he goes on his adventures in search of Soul Eaters and evil spirits, he is accompanied by Renn, a mage of the Raven clan. What I personally find most fascinating about these books is the portrayal of Wolf. Normally I really don't go for getting inside the heads of animal characters, but Paver's writing is so well-crafted that I look forward to chapters from Wolf's perspective. Paver completely understands the dog/wolf mentality and behavior, so it is believable as well as engaging. And as in the Clan of the Cavebear series, you can't help but learn a little about the medicinal properties of plants and the secret lives of forest animals.

Author: Michelle Paver
In this book, Torak is outcast (as the title implies). He must constantly be on the run from surrounding clans while trying to find a way to prove he is not a Soul Eater. However, a mysterious enemy has gotten a hold of his name-spirit and is slowly draining the sanity and strength from Torak. Wolf watches helplessly while Torak goes mad, and Renn must find a way to not only track down Torak but to release him from his trance. An underlying plot set us up nicely for the fifth book, Oath Breakerr.

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