Summary and book reviews of Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver

Spirit Walker

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #2

by Michelle Paver

Spirit Walker
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 384 pages

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Book Summary

When a horrifying sickness threatens all the forest clans, 12-year-old orphan Torak must embark on a hero's mission to save them. This stand-alone sequel to Wolf Brother pits a vulnerable boy with special powers against an unseen menace.

A cry echoed through the Forest.
He froze.
It was not the yowl of a vixen, or
a lynx seeking a mate. It was a man.
Or something that had once been a man.
With a creeping sense of dread,
Torak watched the light between the
trees begin to fail. . . .

Torak is a boy apart. A boy who can talk to wolves. A boy who must vanquish the Soul-Eaters . . . or die trying.

As the Moon of No Dark waxes large, the clans fall prey to a horrifying sickness. Fear stalks the Forest. The very breath of spring seems poisoned. No one knows the cause -- and only Torak can find the cure.

His quest takes him across the sea to the mysterious islands of the Seal Clan. Here Torak battles an unseen menace and uncovers a betrayal that will change his life -- forever.

Spirit Walker is a spellbinding story of fellowship, treachery, and self-sacrifice that takes the reader further on the journey that began in Wolf Brother.

One

The auroch appeared quite suddenly from the trees on the other side of the stream.

One moment Torak was gazing at sun-dappled willows - the next, there she was. She stood taller than the tallest man, and her great curving horns could have skewered a bear. If she charged, he was in trouble.

By bad luck, he was upwind of her. He held his breath as he watched her twitch her blunt black muzzle to taste his scent. She snorted. Pawed the earth with one massive hoof.

Then he saw the calf peering from the bracken, and his belly turned over. Aurochs are gentle creatures - except when they have calves.

Without a sound, Torak drew back into the shade. If he didn't startle her, maybe she wouldn't charge.

Again the auroch snorted, and raked the ferns with her horns. At last she seemed to decide that he wasn't hunting her after all, and slumped down in the mud to have a wallow.

Torak blew out a long breath.

The calf wobbled toward its mother, slipped, bleated, and ...

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About the Book

As he lies dying, ravaged by a demon bear, Torak’s father's last words to him are: "Find—the Mountain— of the World Spirit. . . . It’s the only hope. . . . Find the Mountain, or die trying"
 (pp. 9–10). Thus begins Wolf Brother, the first volume in the series, the story of a twelve-year-old Stone Age boy’s quest to find a way to stop the bear from destroying the Forest and its people and to find out why his father has kept him out of contact with others.

Torak’s quest leads him to find Wolf, his wolf-cub companion; Renn, a young Raven Clan girl; and Fin-Kedinn, the trusted Raven Clan leader. In Spirit Walker, a terrible sickness plagues the people of ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Spirit Walker is the second in a planned six part series set 6,000 years ago in the forests of Northern Europe. It's a fantastic adventure set in a meticulously researched world of hunter-gatherers, which, as Paver comments, is a misleading term that conjures up a picture of someone casually spotting a clump of berries and saying, 'Oh, good, I think I'll gather some of those'.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Paver incorporates vivid descriptions of her characters' woodcraft and other skills, as well as credible views of their oneness with the natural world and animistic beliefs - details that enrich her complex tale without impeding its quick pace.

Booklist

Maintains the momentum and convincing characterizations of Wolf Brother.

The Herald (UK) - Ann Johnstone

...another gripping, taut adventure in the ancient world.'

Daily Telegraph - Edward Malnick

The perfect concoction of action and narrative is what makes the book so attractive. ...Paver has succeeded in producing a first-class story supported by substantial moral messages... unclouded by the present day.

Reader Reviews

Molly Parker

Spirit Walker
Spirit Walker is a book I recommend to people aged 10+, but maybe some younger people. I am 9, and yet I loved this book. I have also read Wolf Brother and Soul Eater, books 1 and 3 in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. There will be 6 books in all....   Read More

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Beyond the Book

To research The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, Paver spent time with a guide in the forests of Finland (some Finnish forests are still much as they would have been 6,000 years ago). She learned how the people lived by studying archaeology; and to understand what they might have thought she studied many groups including:

  • The San Tribe of South Africa (formerly known as the Bushmen).
  • The Ainu of Northern Japan.
  • The Inuit, (sometimes known as Eskimos, which simply means 'eater of raw meat', whereas their preferred name...

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