Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #3: Soul Eater by Michelle Paver

I really enjoy the prehistoric fiction that I’ve read (the Earth’s Children series and The Gathering Night pop immediately to mind), so when I picked Soul Eater up at a sale, I figured it’d be worth a try.

This is actually the third in a series, but there was nothing on the outer cover of the book to indicate this. All it says is that it’s part of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. It’s okay, though, because the book works perfectly well as a stand-alone. There are references to what has happened earlier in the series, but it’s done with tact and felt more like character backstory than a recap. There’s also a little bit of a cliffhanger to show what will come next, but this, too, is done very well and I never felt like I’d been cheated out of a satisfying ending. Honestly, this is a series done right. Really, really right.

Torak’s beloved wolf companion has been kidnapped. Unable to waste time getting help, he and his friend Renn head north, following the path of the kidnappers.

It’s an interesting story that is so much more than just a travel narrative (though they do get to meet a tribe from a different culture, and that was lovely). There are choices, there’s some character development, there’s action, there’s friendship… And, of course, there’s all that survivalist stuff that I love so very much.

I loved reading this as an adult, but I think that 12-14 year old me would have loved loved it. The main characters are around that age, and I think it fits right in with the likes of ShabanuA Girl Named Disaster, and other adventure stories aimed at that age group.

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