Secrets of the Wolves

Written by Dorothy Hearst
Review by Heather Domin

In this second volume of the Wolf Chronicles series, young wolf Kaala deals with the fallout arising from her heretical belief that wolves and humans can live together in peace. As the ancient laws and ways of her kind are called into question, Kaala and her pack are sent to live near the humans she has befriended in order to test the possibilities of wolf/human cooperation. But change always comes with resistance, and there are many on both sides who will stop at nothing to see Kaala fail – and if she does, it could mean the death of every wolf and human she holds dear.

The promotional material focuses on the author’s research into actual wolf behavior, but this story is set solidly in the fantasy realm. Wolves have a full culture complete with law, politics, and religion; humans are primitive creatures who must be cared for and guided by them. All animals can talk to each other and to certain humans, and there are elements of extrasensory knowledge and communication with the spirit world. On the historical side, the anthropology of the Stone Age humans feels authentic, as does the geography and ecology of the Neolithic setting; and so this story is recommended for readers who enjoy a fantasy tale with exciting action, interesting characters, and the magical feel of legend. One warning: it’s not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy Secrets of the Wolves, but this installment ends with an abrupt segue into the next volume. Cliffhanger alert! Luckily, the third book is coming out in 2012.