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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Character Connection: Wolf

Character Connection is a weekly meme hosted by Jen @ The Introverted Reader.

This is our chance to tell the world about a character that we love in whichever way we want. More information about this meme can be found on Jen's blog here.

This week's pick:

The series: The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
The author: Michelle Paver
The Character: Wolf

Books in the series:
Book 1: Wolf Brother
Book 2: Spirit Walker
Book 3: Soul Eater
Book 4: Outcast
Book 5: Oath Breaker
Book 6: Ghost Hunter

When I read, I normally identify with characters who are in some way a bit like me. I guess that is why we connect because we have some things in common or at least have a shared experience. So I guess it is no surprise that so far my Character Connections choices have at least all been connected by their humanity.

So I obviously have to change that...

This week I chose Wolf from Michelle Paver's breathtaking Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. You might not know how much I love Michelle Paver because I have been adoring her books since I read Wolf Brother back in 2004 (and that was years before I became a blogger). I love everything about CofAD but my favourite character is Wolf and he is exactly that a wolf, an animal and not of the supernatural variety.

To say he is just a wolf is to misunderstand the nature of these books. Michelle Paver tells the story from the third person but she shows us the world through a wolf's eyes (as well as the eyes of the human characters )and it is incredible and often moving.

Wolf has his own unique voice. He describes Torak as "Tall Tailess" and as "pack brother". Torak was raised by wolves after the death of his father. He saves Wolf from a flood when Wolf is just a cub and they become a pack of two. Wolf and Torak communicate with yips and yowls, howling and body language.

Beyond what I have already said, the best way I can show you Wolf's perspective is to quote Michelle Paver. If you read the next two paragraphs you'll see how Wolf interprets the natural world around him:

He was a wolf - racing between the trees in the swift wolf-lope that goes on for ever. He revelled in the strength of this legs and the stretch of his back; in the suppleness that let him turn at full speed on a single paw. Oh no, the demon would never catch him!

Wolf paused to drink at a noisy little Wet, dropping the ravenskin for a moment. Then he snatched it up and settled back into his stride, climbing higher towards the Great White Cold that he'd only ever smelt in his sleeps.
© Michelle Paver, Wolf Brother, page 153
So this got me wondering, how many of you have non-human characters that you love? And I don't mean vampires and werewolves because they are of humanoid appearance. I mean animal characters who are unable to communicate through words. Do you have a favourite? Tell me in the comments!


prophecygirl said...

I've only read the first two books in this series, but I did enjoy them. I got the impression that Wolf's character would get better with each book. Great pick for Character Connection!

brizmus said...

Wolf sounds awesome! I think I'd love to read some of these books! You should do an old review of the first one.

I, personally, absolutely ADORE Falcor from the Neverending Story (the book and the movie!)

LovesSam said...

Do you know who I really love? Charlotte from Charlottes Web aka the spider. I fell in love with that book when I was a kid. I need to read these books, because I love wolves, so I think i'd love them.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh wow. What a good choice. I'm sure I do and just can't think of one right now. I always always always root for the animals in films and books.

Weird (sort of off subject note): I loved the teddy bear in A.I.

Enbrethiliel said...


Now that you ask, I realise that I tend to identify with fictional mice the most! =)

Wolf sounds like a great character! I do like reading the perspective of "realistic" animals, so I think I will enjoy this series. The excerpt you share is particularly good. Thanks!

Ryan Woods said...

Brilliant! :D I love Wolf. Probably my favourite character. And everyone knows my love for this series! Love this! Very well done Becky. Made me like him even more!

Whitney said...

Wolf sounds way cool! I'd never heard of this series before but it looks fantastic. Thanks for listing the novels in the series.

Jake Kirk @ Teens Read And Write said...

Great character! In fact you've inspired my next Character connection pick.

My favorite non-human character is Mouse, Harry's 200 lb dog in the Dresden Files series. He's an awesome mutt - so smart, brave (fearless) and loyal - he's also got a little magic going on and protects Harry and his friends at all costs. Love him!

Daria Hlazatova said...

I haven't read the books, but i find the character of the wolf very intriguing. i don't know what it is, but it's so enigmatic. a great character in any fairy-tale.. and a great subject to illustrate :)

The Book Mole said...

I haven't heard of this series, but it does sound interesting to see the world through a wolf's eyes. Thanks for choosing wolf! Hmmm, now I can't think of a non-human character *who can't talk* that I really like, its probably a horse in some classic story!

Sullivan McPig said...

sounds like an interesting series
I myself love Templeton from Charlotte's Web and characters like Eyeore and Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.

Jen G. (The Introverted Reader) said...

I haven't heard of this series either, but I'm off to check it out! I like that excerpt you gave us.

I went digging through my "animals" shelf on GR and I don't have many non-talking animals on there. My favorite is probably Rosie the elephant from Like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. She has a sense of humor, and you can't help but love her. There's also a dog in one of James Herriot's books that's just the quirkiest, cutest thing ever. It's been a while since I've done a re-read, but I want to say his name is Brandy or Rusty and he's some sort of retriever, but he likes to slide with children and he likes to slowly sneak his butt up his owner's legs while she's not paying attention so that she all of a sudden has a lap full of big dog. He's adorable!

tinkandalissa said...

I never even thought about the non-human variety of characters as favorites. Very neat. I have to say that I love Church from The Mortal Instruments series and am so looking forward to Cassandra Clare's next few books which promise to have more of him! He just has so much personality. Thanks for the great post!