Thursday, July 06, 2006


By Juliet Marillier. This is the sequel to Wolfskin.

This book is so much better than Wolfskin that I have to wonder if I judged the former unfairly. Admittedly, I did not exactly suffer through the emotional anguish of the main characters since I sort of skipped to the end, but said ending was good and surprising enough to make me go back and read the rest of the book. This is the story of Thorvald's quest for his father, Somerled, but it turns out to be about a lot more than just Somerled when his childhood friend Creidhe stows away on Thorvald's boat and they are stranded in the middle of a terrible and tragic war.

One of the things that caught my attention in this book was the way prophecy and visions are treated in it and other books. I think there have been seers in all the books I've read by Juliet Marillier, and their visions are constantly treated with care, not to be shared in their entirety with others, but only at the discretion of the seer. Who knows if knowledge of the vision will only bring about the disastrous fate foreseen? And after all, seers may be misled into seeing only what they want to happen. This brought to mind (finally! after five books by her) the false prophets in the Bible whose dreams were made up by men, and the true ones who I doubt were concerned at all about holding back God's words. Jonah is the obvious counterexample, and he was afraid that God would have mercy on Jonah's enemies!

So. About Foxmask, I have to say that it is a pleasure to see the characters grow and change as the book progresses. The ending is relatively happy, despite some of the (inexplicable) wrongs that occurred and can never be put right.

It would probably help if you read Wolfskin before this even if I didn't think it was a good; it may explain some useful background information, even if it's not strictly necessary.

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