Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Epic Reading List Updated: Wolf Speaker

List Update as of February 15th

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson
8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce

13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce

Oh Wolf Speaker, you are sadly still my least favorite, so far at least. Originally I thought that I might have disliked it for much the same reason that I initially disliked The Woman Who Rides Like A Man. Daine spends much of the novel cut off from the other characters. This time around I think that I was right.

I didn't dive right into this book as I've done with her others. A part of that may have been the whole chocolate-shop-employee-Valentine's-Day exhaustion thing but I just wasn't as excited to read this one.  I was hoping to like it more as I did with The Woman Who Rides Like A Man but it just wasn't there.

I've said it before the dialogue and interactions between the characters is one of my favorite things about Tamora Pierce's books. We do still get a little of that characterization in Wolf Speaker. For example one of my favorite moments is Kitten sulking when the lock wouldn't open. But Daine is never really given the chance to have witty conversation once Numair leaves. The wolves are great but don't show the flashes of brilliance or supply out-right laugh-inducing comments that Numair tends to.

I think this book supplies the opportunity for Daine to grow. The changes in her magic are related to the plot but come off stronger than it. She is given the chance to learn without the aid and prompting of Numair and she is all the stronger for it. She grows not just magically but as a person as she learns that not all of one creature or person are bad. There are always exceptions and she's beginning to realize that not every stormwing is outright evil.

I also disliked the lack of strength in the villains. Tristan and Yolande are barely memorable. The only strength they lend to the plot is the affirmation that Ozorne is involved and that is heavily suspected from the first book. Their actions are horrifying but the don't destroy your natural resources lesson is overpowering. They aren't given enough characterization to make them memorable villains.

I love the growth of Kitten we get to see and the introduction of Tkaa. It's also cool to see Daine grow into her powers and the responsibility it brings to her. This is a growth book and has merit as such but comes off as one of the more dull of Pierce's books. It lacks the punch and wit of many of her novels.

Overall Rating: Mildly Epic. (*Gasp* Am I becoming semi-objective towards her books?)

My next read is Ally Condie's Matched. I've heard good things and am excited to check it out.
I'm hoping to do a writing post tomorrow.

Talk to you lovelies soon.


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