Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About the Book
After his father is killed by a demon-possessed bear, Torak is left alone in the
Forest to find his way to the Mountain to ask the World Spirit for help.
the Raven Clan, Torak learns about his fathers past and why the Soul-Eater
the demon bear. Led by his guide, a young orphaned wolf, and with the aid of a
young woman who helps him escape from the Raven Clan, Torak seeks to fulfill the
promise he made to his fatherthat he would find the Mountain, or die trying.
During their arduous journey to the Mountain, Torak must locate the three most
powerful pieces of the Nanuak in order to gain the World Spirits help. Only
it be possible to vanquish the demon bear, but Toraks battle with evil is far
Create packets with information about prehistoric clans from different
Divide the class into small groups and assign each a prehistoric clan to
With the help of the packets, ask students to research the traditions and
their clan. What is the hierarchy within the clan? How is their culture
similar to cultures in todays world?
- Why is Torak so upset and bewildered by his dying fathers insistence that he
swear to find the Mountain of the World Spirit (pp. 78)? Does Torak understand
why his father has asked him to find a mountain that he thought was imaginary?
- What does Toraks vision, when he finds the lone wolf cub, have to do with
fathers prediction that Toraks guide will find him (p. 19)? Do you think Torak
has any idea at this point what his connection is with Wolf?
- Wolf calls Torak a Tall Tailless and considers him a pack-brother. Why
Wolf respond in a similar manner to Renn? Does Wolfs opinion of the female
tailless change with time? If so, why?
- What does Torak do to stop the fight with Hord? Why does this self-protective
action change the way Fin-Kedinn views Torak (pp. 7884)? What do the
legends say and how does Toraks action foretell of his identity? Why doesnt
Torak know about the Clan legends that are so familiar to the rest of the
Do you think Toraks lack of knowledge helps or hinders him in his quest?
- Hord tells Torak about his time with the Red Deer Clan and what he knows
the demon bear (pp. 9091). How does Hords involvement with the demon
bears creation relate to his overpowering need to be the one who saves the
Clans? Do you think Hord can think rationally, based on what he knows and has
- Torak escapes from captivity because he is helped by one of the Raven Clan
110113). Why does Renn help Torak? What does she know about Toraks quest
to find the Mountain of the World Spirit and the future of their people? If you
been in Renns place, knowing what she knows, would you have gone with Torak
on his quest?
- Who is the Walker and why do you think he does not refer to himself as "I"?
What role does he play in helping Torak on his search for the Nanuak
(pp. 163171)? Do you think Toraks father knew the Walker? If so, what was
their relationship and how does it affect Toraks quest?
- When Torak and Renn are caught in the snowstorm, he must decide between
protecting the Nanuak and risking it to save Renn. Do you think he made the
right decision? How does Renn feel about his decision (p. 237)? What would you
have done in Toraks place?
- How do the Soul-Eaters relate to the crippled man who created the demon bear
(pp. 266267)? Are they part of the reason why Toraks father kept him away
from the Clans? Whom was he trying to protect Torak from? Do you think Toraks
father made the right decision?
- In the end . . . the World Spirit destroys the demon bear. In return, does
Spirit receive the payment it wants? Does this mean the terror is over and the
Clans can live in peace and harmony? Do you think Toraks quest has come to an
end? If not, what is he seeking and what or who do you think he will battle
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Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of HarperTrophy.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.