BookBrowse Reviews The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Red Wolf Conspiracy

by Robert V. S. Redick

The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick X
The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2009, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2010, 544 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A fantasy debut, bursting with magic and adventure, the first in a planned trilogy

Publicists often use comparisons to well-known authors to convince readers to pick up a novel by an unknown writer. In the case of The Red Wolf Conspiracy, this tactic does the author a disservice. Robert Redick's writing is so good and original that neither of the comparisons listed in the book's description do it justice. If you're expecting another Game of Thrones or Golden Compass, you'll be disappointed, as The Red Wolf Conspiracy resembles neither. If you're looking for a simply great fantasy read, though, this is your book.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy falls neatly into the "high fantasy" genre. Redick immerses the reader in themes and archetypical characters many will recognize from other novels in the category (good vs. evil; the young protagonist with a mysterious skill and/or past; the malevolent Dark Lord who wants to take over the world; etc.) Redick, though, puts a unique spin on this tried and true format, turning the reader's expectations upside down and creating a story that engages the imagination. By and large, it's completely unpredictable. It's also very complicated; there's so much going on that the plot defies description.

What really sets this novel above the norm, though, is the quality of Redick's writing. Like most fantasy novels, this book contains a huge number of characters. Amazingly, nearly all of them are three-dimensional. Even characters with "bit parts" are fully-developed. There may be an occasional stereotype here and there, but they're rare. It's a remarkable feat considering the large cast. He also does a marvelous job of portraying the swashbuckling nature of the story. His descriptions of life on the sea and of the tall sailing ships seem dead on, and his action sequences frequently leave the reader breathless.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy is geared toward a very broad audience. The book has no sexual content and the violence depicted isn't extreme, making it appropriate fare for young adults. More mature readers will appreciate its intricate plot, richly imagined world and high-quality narrative.

Nelson's VictoryThe one criticism that could be leveled against the novel has to do with its overall pacing. The first hundred pages or so are devoted to acclimatizing readers to the world Redick imagines for his characters. As such, it's very well-written and detailed, but may bore readers more interested in an action-adventure novel. The last hundred pages rush by in a blur. While very exciting, these final pages are less convincing and not as well-written as prior chapters. As a result, readers who've been enjoying the detailed writing may feel a bit of a let-down at its end.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy is the first book in a planned series. While it ends at a natural break point, most plot lines remain unresolved. In fact, readers will discover they've only scratched the surface of Redick's complex world; multiple layers await discovery in the remaining volumes in this epic series. It's a very promising debut by a talented author, one which will definitely leave fantasy fans eagerly anticipating the next installment.



Photo: Nelson's flagship Victory which, like The Chathrand, has seven decks plus a hold.

Series Order
Originally planned as a trilogy, the Chathrand Voyage has been expanded to four books but the author assures readers that "the tale will end decisively with Book IV"

  • The Red Wolf Conspiracy (UK: 2008; USA: 2009)
  • The Rats and the Ruling Sea; published in the UK in 2009; publishing in the USA in Feb 2010 as The Ruling Sea
  • The River of Shadows, scheduled for release in 2011
  • The Night of the Swarm

Sea Fever
*Interestingly, the term tall ship is modern, and was not generally used in the era when such vessels ruled the waves. Some think that the popularity of the term stems from John Masefield's 1900 poem "Sea Fever"

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...

Reviewed by Kim Kovacs

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in May 2009, and has been updated for the February 2010 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: What Storm, What Thunder
    What Storm, What Thunder
    by Myriam J. A. Chancy
    What Storm, What Thunder illuminates life in Haiti during and after the massive earthquake on ...
  • Book Jacket: Noor
    Noor
    by Nnedi Okorafor
    Noor's heroine goes by the moniker AO. Though officially this stands for her given name, Anwuli ...
  • Book Jacket: Five Tuesdays in Winter
    Five Tuesdays in Winter
    by Lily King
    Lily King's two recent novels Euphoria and Writers & Lovers could hardly be more different: one has ...
  • Book Jacket: Never
    Never
    by Ken Follett
    Ken Follett's thriller Never outlines a chillingly possible path to World War III. Fifty-year-old ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
My Broken Language
by Quiara Alegría Hudes
A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a sprawling Puerto Rican family.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Paris Bookseller
    by Kerri Maher

    How a humble bookseller fought incredible odds to bring one of the 20th century's most important books to the world.

  • Book Jacket

    Free
    by Lea Ypi

    "Nothing short of a masterpiece."
    Publishers Weekly
    (starred review)

Who Said...

A million monkeys...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A P O B Y Houses

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.