Customer Reviews: Night of Wolves (The Paladins Book 1)
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on June 29, 2011
Rating: 4.6 out of 5

What does friendship mean?

Is it sticking up for your cohorts in time of need? Is it putting aside differences and trying to find a common ground? Is it a solemn smile or a firm slap across the face when the other starts to stray? Is it setting aside your own fears and convictions, even though everything about you says to get away, because deep down you just trust this person, for better or worse?

These are the questions David Dalglish asks in Night of Wolves, the first book in his new Paladins series.

With this series, it seems Dalglish is going down a Memento path when it comes to his characters' stories - aka going backward. This particular book is the tale of Jerico, the paladin of Ashhur we first met (and fell in love with) in The Death of Promises. Wolves takes a few years before the events in the Half-Orc series, and introduces a major plot point that those who've digested Dalglish's work might find unbelievable.

A friendship between paladins of the two polar gods, Ashhur and Karak.

Jerico, it seems, has befriended a young man named Darius while both are stationed in the farming town of Durham, preaching the messages of their particular religions. Theirs is a relationship built upon mutual respect - they learn from each other, protect each other, help each other grow...the gods be damned. And when the wolf-men from the Vile Wedge start crossing the river, threatening the lives of the townsfolk, they must work together even more so than before, which causes just a few moral dilemmas within each of them. But work together they do, because they both realize that without their combined strength, the good men and women of Durham don't stand a chance.

There are interesting threads all around in this book, such as a new leader rising to lead the pack of wolf-men: Redclaw, a powerful foe with the desire to pull a Moses, bringing his people out of the dead landscape of the Wedge to enter the lush, bountiful forests that lie just out of their reach. There is also the fall of the Citadel, which occurs from afar, the repercussions of which are hinted at, and are haunting. Finally, there is the concluding battle, as the wolf-men gather together and assault the human forces in what is a greatly realized battle sequence.

But none of these threads can compare with Jerico and Darius. They steal the show, and as often happens in Dalglish's novels, their quiet scenes together are magical. These are two men who grow to love each other over the course of the book, and that brotherly bond is something beautiful to behold. As usual, the author's asking a philosophical question that not many others do - in this case, can we ever shove the veil of faith out of the way and see our brothers and sisters for what they truly are: fellow human beings, just as deserving of love as any other.

There are many surprisingly tender moments to be seen, and these aspects are what I appreciate the most. On the bad side, some of the battle scenes early on are ho-hum, to the point where I had to fight the desire to skim and turn the page, saying, "Just give me more Jerico and Darius, dammit!" However, I can't decide if that's because they really are subpar, or if it's because the interplay between those two characters is so brilliantly done that everything else seems unimportant. No matter, though, because as I said, Dalglish pulls it out in the end, and the attack (and defense) of Durham is truly a sight to behold, equaling (though not surpassing) those more tender moments

Reading Night of Wolves is a fantastic experience. It's short and to the point, filled with just about everything I love about the author's work. It's dark yet filled with hope, brutal yet compassionate. The words he weaves captivates, pulling us in and making us care about these people. The story is chock-full of metaphor, of the questions of what moral belief is correct, if there's a correct one at all. This is one point I'm not going to harp on in this review, however, for I'm sure I'll have plenty of things to say on that very subject when the next book comes out in a couple months.

Once again, I fully recommend Night of Wolves. You'll enjoy seeing friends and enemies, old and new, and be intrigued by just how the ungodly mess Jerico and Darius have gotten into will resolve itself. It's an oddity: an edge-of-your-seat fantasy thrill ride and quiet literary piece all rolled into one.

You'd be hard pressed to come up with a better read.

Plot - 9
Characters - 10
Voice - 10
Execution - 8
Personal Enjoyment - 9

Overall - 46/50 (4.6/5)
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on February 2, 2012
As a lover of fantasy genre, I was recomended to read something from David Dalgish. This book seemed quite interesting so I picked it for like .99. While reading, I had to put the book down several times and force myself to read it through (just an interesting point - I fell asleep two times while reading this book). The characters are deeply uninteresting and shallow. Paladin of Ashur is good-hearted and kind, paladin of Karak is cocky and undecisive when it comes to something other than killing. That's all about two main characters... Sadly, uninteresting is also plot - two paladins kills one man-like wolf and this sets series of actions that are all the same or similar - they kill one, then they kill several of them and at the end, they are facing all of them. The pacing is slow and the story is boring. Basically nothing happens until the main battle which is at the end of the book (page like 180-190/217). Settings is very uninteresting since it is dull and boring. There isn't single place that is important for the story (except the village and the Wedge itself) nor single place that would be memorable. I'm baffled by such high rating this book has.. Does it really deserves such a high rating? Sorry, but I don't think so.

The wolf-men are very strangely depicted - firstly, they are described as nearly godlike creatures when Paladin of Ashur has troubles taking down ONE, but then, they stand up to like 200 of them. Strange, huh?
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on February 24, 2012
This is the third series of his that I have read, and I enjoy each one more than the last. He really seems to be maturing as an author, and I appreciate that he is shedding his unwillingness to protect all his favorite tertiary characters from harm. This book is well worth the time to read.
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on July 26, 2012
This was an odd book. The writing was generally good. One of the main plots was pretty fun. Even the POV from the werewolves was good, and while the werewolves didn't all that different than humans to me, they felt different enough to sell it. Plus, their dialogue was often amusingly bloodthirsty.

I had a minor quibble with the writing every now and again when it seemed hokey, or when the dialogue seemed too modern. Then again, the author was not laying on the "ye olde" speech, so maybe he never meant them to sound anything but modern and this was just me being married to the tropes of the fantasy genre. I can admit it, and that was perfectly easy to look past.

A much more major problem was that the book tried to have two full main plots, and not have them be related. That, unfortunately, just does not work. The plot with the werewolves and the village is fine, even pretty darn good at points. Simple, but that's not always bad. It would be a good light fantasy tale on its own. But in addition to that we had _another_ plot, which was much more epic in scope yet told sparingly, concerning Gods and paladins and a big holy war. Yet it is in the background, and seemingly unrelated - despite the fact that one of the gods created the werewolves in the first place, and a couple other reasons that led me to believe he would eventually tie all the events together. Instead, the schism bothered me right up to and past the end of the book, when even more stuff jumps out of nowhere and in fact the whole gods and religion thing suddenly rears up and tries to resume the focus. Sorry, doesn't work like that.

I guess it feels like he should have separated out the plots into two separate books rather than trying to stuff them into this one book, or expanded the book itself and given them both their due (and connected them!).

Also, the religions themselves felt hollow, typical, and jarringly discordant (the paladins preaching about Order and such are also... evil? And have armies of undead? And their god created the werewolves that they now fight against? Again, maybe I'm too used to "typical" fantasy, but if you're going to upset a trope you have to sell it well!).

For anyone wanting a quick fantasy adventure, pick this one up and just ignore everything that deals with religion. Read it for the werewolves (which were downright sympathetic at times) and the often amusing dialogue (though people do talk way too much during fights).
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on June 20, 2011
"Night of the Wolves" is the first book in 'The Paladins' series by author David Dalglish. This Kindle e-edition a 308 Kb download while the paperback copy is 216 pages in length.


A group of ferocious wolves have a new leader, Redclaw, and he has decided to assert his long suppressed desire to leave 'The Wedge' where he and his clan have be forced to live; forced because the humans have hunted them to near extinction everywhere else. These wolves, however, are not your average animal; they are huge, incredible strong, can stand erect and speak the human language (and thus are often referred to as 'wolf-men'). He decides to begin his quest for freedom by attacking a small isolated town, called Durham, and its inhabitants. However he doesn't take into account the fact that two Paladins, Jerico and Darius, have been assigned to watch over this remote hamlet. The story details several small encounters between the two groups before the big battle at the finale.


This is a well written story that builds in tensions as the stakes become higher with each encounter. The battles, initially little more than skirmishes rapidly progress into major confrontations. Things begin to take on a personal note as members on both side are killed...hatred, animosity and doubt begin to creep into all participants both human and wolf, adding to the depth of overall story and character development.

The story was told in a manner that alternated between the two faction and this technique had some pros and cons. The positive was that it gave the reader an excellent sense of what both sides where thinking and the rational for their actions. The main drawback was that this foreknowledge of what the wolf faction was planning, took away (from a reader viewpoint) some of the potential for surprise stealth attacks against the undermanned defenses of the town. This would have added a truly creepy and foreboding atmosphere to the terrifying predicament the denizens of the Durham found themselves in during these dead-of-night attacks.

MInor concerns:
1.) Jerico's character (Paladin of the Light) seemed a little bland at first, however he became more interesting and intense as the tale unfolded.

2.) No map...although not absolutely essential for the main focus of this book, the ongoing stories that involve the land of Dezrel (and there appears to be more to come) have reached a point where a map is needed to help keep distances, directions and geographical landmarks in perspective.

Author David Dalglish has written another fine fantasy-adventure occurring in the land of Dezrel. Some of the characters in this book were also in "The Half-Orcs" series (another very different but intriguing five book effort by the same author).
This novel ends with a situation that assures of a follow-up book.
Would I read the next installment...absolutely!
5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
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on July 2, 2011
David Dalglish is one of the finest new authors I have come across. The characters in this book are amazing and I love how he weaves both the stories of the wolves and humans together. Jericho is one of my new favorite fantasy characters and his friendship with Darius a Dark Paladin is what makes this book so great. Their struggle to do what is right or do what their respective orders have told them to do. The characters are complex even the wolves themselves led by their awesome pack leader Redclaw.

I can go on and on how this book just spews awesomeness all over you like a shield bash to the face, but you can read it for yourself. Thank you David, you have won a new fan.

I also want to thank Amazon for giving authors a new medium to get their stories out to the general public. I probably would have never found David and others such as M R Mathias or Michael R Hicks. Thank you!
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on September 23, 2012
This book could have been called The Night of Crickets and involved a swarm of pint sized bugs, but it still would have been a five star for me. The reason: the relationship between Darius and Jerico was the thing that carried the entire story. Don't get me wrong, there were some really cool wolf moments, and I liked how Redclaw was developed, but it was just inconsequential to me in comparison to the two paladins.

I've read some of David's contemporary shorts before, but this was my first in the true "Dalglishian" style. Loved it. If I had one thing to be a critic on, it's some of the foul language. It's not that I'm opposed to foul language, it just seems strange to me to use it in this setting and time period. I know it's another world, but it just seems like a "b#tch" would be a "hag", or "sh#t" would be "blast" or something like that. Not a big deal, just being honest, and I honestly REALLY liked this book. I will definitely continue with the series.
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on June 19, 2013
Like most self-published books this title suffers from a lack of deep editing and runs rampant with pacing issues. Dalglish has published close to (13) books in less than 3 years, so I was not expecting really solid prose going into this novel. I found the book's plot and setting to be a rehash of some notable MMORPG fantasy games and that was a bit of a turnoff for me. I did not find Dalglish's paladins interesting and honestly felt the story lacked an overall maturity. While going through the book, I was forced several times by the plot's pacing and garbled descriptions to stop and reread passages, just to have things make sense. I applaud Mr. Dalglish for completing the book and having a great cover grace its pages. Outside of that I cannot recommend this book to any serious fantasy reader. However I think any MMORPG fan would just love the work he has done here, if you can get past the pacing and editing.

I wish Mr. Dalglish, luck on his publishing endeavors and know that a great story will come from him someday soon.
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on November 11, 2015
Good story, likable characters, but too much time was spent on the wolves and developing a character in the wolves that ultimately ended anitclimatically. The book also ends in a bit of a cliffhanger that probably is purposely done to make you want to get the next on. I'll probably pick up the next book, the paladin characters are good. i do wish he gave a little more depth to the world this story is set in, no information is given on the gods they worship of the mythos behind the diety. This book was a simple read and went quickly, I enjoyed it but it never really immerses you in the world the characters exist.
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on June 19, 2011
Night of Wolves is the first book of the Paladins series, and I have to say that it opens the series in an interesting way.

The book focuses on Jerico, a paladin of Ashhur. Those of you who have read The Half-Orcs series will recognize him. He was one of my favorite characters, and the way his shield lights up with divine magic isn't even one of the main ones.

As a heads up to readers of the Half-Orcs series, I want to say that this book begins before the Citadel fell, which (I believe) puts the book as happening a few years before The Weight of Blood.

Anyways, the overall storyline is focuses on the wolfmen that are mentioned in The Half-Orcs books, and it's interesting how much Mr. Dalglish goes into them in this book. I could never truly sympathize with the enemies of The Half-Orcs books, but I grew to understand and like the antagonists of this one.

Well, as long as we're talking about the wolf-men, at least.

Naturally, Velixar made an appearance in this book. It seems he's always around when there's mention of the gods.

Now, I have read the entire Half-Orcs series in the past few days, and I have to say that this book is, without a doubt, not very dark at all. I had gotten used to Mr. Dalglish's dark themed novels that this surprised me. That said, it does get dark in some places, but it doesn't even compare to The Half-Orcs.

Great job as usual, David.
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