“Stone Age” in more ways than one

Wolf Brother, a children’s book set in the Stone Age, was published in the UK yesterday. It was first written twenty-two years ago — and put aside — by Michelle Paver, a lawyer who later went on to become a romance novelist. The book earned a five million dollar advance, apparently the highest amount ever paid for a debut British children’s book. Described by Paver’s agent as “Mad Max for children,” Wolf Whistle… I mean, Wolf Brother, is the first in a six-part series called The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Writers — if you happen to have a children’s chronicle of your own tucked away in the “ancient darkness” of a file box at the back of your closet, maybe now would be a good time to dig it out.

A Guardian review of the book says:

Though the mythology may deepen as the saga progresses, there’s nothing of the sophistication of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, with which Wolf Brother shares enough (demons, bears, frozen wastes) to make comparison inevitable.

It’s hard to see it becoming a crossover hit with any but the most attention-impaired adults. In its favour, though, it’s a rattling read, has a nicely detailed setting and covers enough reader interests – friendship, adventure, even pets – to keep male and female tailless cubs curled up in their dens for a few happy hours at least.

BBC link via Bookninja.


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