Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wolf Hunting

By Jane Lindskold. This is the fifth volume in the Firekeeper series.

Another enjoyable book, this takes a not entirely unexpected turn considering some of the questions left from previous books. Firekeeper seems to have grown up from an impulsive child to become someone with wisdom, at least a little. Parts of the plot seem a little bit artificial (it's not entirely clear why they decide to go on a quest after reuniting Truth with her body) or poorly staged (opening a door covered with magic of unspecified nature: it's never really explained why the door couldn't just be opened). Still, for the most part, the characters seem to act true to themselves in the situations they stumble into, or more probably, go looking for.

As the author's note at the beginning says, you may find some of your questions answered, but there are still plenty left to answer in the last planned installment (supposed to be out in March 2007), and in fact this book seems to leave a little more hanging than previous installments, although it still has a relatively satisfying ending. As one of the quotations on the back says, you feel that the world keeps going even after you finish the story, something I have less trouble imagining with this than with other books, since the characters, especially Firekeeper, are so strongly defined.

I must admit, I may only feel that this one leaves more hanging because I've become a sharper reader and just started noticing things that have been around from the beginning. It's hard to say. The threads the author leaves stretching between each book are either very general (broad questions about the world) or somewhat vague, which is nice in that it doesn't leave a sharp cliffhanger. On the other hand, the contents of the next book seem more easy to predict based on certain events from this one that must be, if not resolved, exactly, at least coped with. The shadowy presence of the mysterious Meddler (seemingly unfairly maligned by the cover flap--but perhaps the next volume will reveal otherwise?) remains an unknown quantity that is likely to influence quite a lot of Wolf's Blood.

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