Another one of my favorites, Robert V. S. Redick spins a splendid tale on the high seas about the voyage of the Chathrand, the last remaining great ship which can sail across the Ruling Sea, and it’s assumed demise.
The Red Wolf Conspiracy is a book that had been on my radar for some time. I decided to finally give it a go this fall, and it quickly became one of the few novels I truly could not put down. I found myself sneaking around the house to get in another chapter – or even a page – when I was supposed to be doing something else (like tending to my four year old daughter or cleaning the dishes).
What was it about Red Wolf that I loved so much? First, I loved the writing. Robert V. S. Redick’s language brings you square into a fantasy pirate setting where you can taste the ocean spray on your lips, feel the sting of its salt in your eyes, and hear the tolling of the harbor bells as you drift past them on your loosely lashed together raft. The story is written so teens can enjoy it and adults can love it. No foul language fills these pages, just a lot of dreamy adventure. I haven’t read any of the Redwall series, but from what I do know of those beloved books I imagine this novel is similar in a lot of ways yet at a more advanced level appealing to both younger and older crowds.
The characters were defined quite well, and the fact that the main protagonist’s only magical power is the ability to understand other languages is quite unique. A talking animal (a mink I think) plays the part of a powerful sorcerer from another world on a mission to save both worlds from an evil wizard. Some may think talking animals amount to a childish story and not want to read it. Okay. Well you can feel that way, but you’ll be missing out on a great, great book!
The story line itself is linear, very orderly and filled with excellent scenes. One scene in particular (an underwater scene for those who have read it – but I won’t go further for fear of spoiling) left me stunned at the visualization and originality the author employs. Red Wolf Conspiracy is actually only the first part of a longer story, so you are left hanging a little – but in a place where you don’t feel you have missed out on anything. I can’t wait to read the next book – I just need to find the time now… maybe a babysitter or a house cleaner.
Due to the gorgeous writing style, in depth characterization, and unique magic powers, I am very pleased to give The Red Wolf Conspiracy 5 out of 5 stars.
You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Wolf-Conspiracy-Robert-Redick/dp/034550884X/