Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fell (book review)

I got way behind on my book reviews last year, so I decided to skip doing a few and go right to this year's books.

Fell, by David Clement-Davies, is the story of a Kerl, or a lone wolf. His name is Fell, and he is a legend among the wolves of Transylvania. They speak of a jet-black wolf who has the power to talk to other Lera (any wild animal, such as deer and monkeys, though the latter aren't featured in the story), look through the eyes of birds, and control the wills of others. These powers are known by the Varg, the wolves, as the Sight. Fell has never stopped mourning for the death of his sister Larka five years ago. He wanders through the forests of Transylvania alone, with no real purpose or aim except to survive. But when he has a vision of a strange human child whose fate is linked to that of nature itself, Fell knows he must find this child and guide it.

Alina is a changeling child who was discovered in the forest by the shepherd Malduk. She is made to dress like a boy and work more than twice as hard of one. It isn't a great life and Alina has few friends. But this all changes when Alina finds a mysterious paper speaking of her birth. Alina starts off on a quest to find out the truth of her past, hunted all the way by the cruel people of her village, who wish that she had never seen the paper. If that isn't bad enough, Alina finds herself stalked by a mysterious black wolf as she goes...

This was a dark fantasy about the connection between people and wild animals. Although it takes place in ancient times, it involves a bit of science from today. Fell has a vision of Lera evolving into man (which the Varg call the Great Secret, that man is a Lera too) and he sees what harm man will do to the world eventually. This book is also full of emotion, as Fell realizes that although man will harm the world, he is not evil. And Alina discovers treachery, love, and despair. I loved this book and I loved its prequel, The Sight, just as much!