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The Red Wolf Conspiracy (Chathrand Voyage) Mass Market Paperback – January 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Chathrand Voyage
  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034550884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345508843
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Terry Brooks Reviews The Red Wolf Conspiracy

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novel Armageddon’s Children; The Sword of Shannara; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; and the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life. His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. Read his guest review of The Red Wolf Conspiracy:

Robert V. S. Redick has accomplished something rather extraordinary in his new fantasy adventure novel, The Red Wolf Conspiracy, the first in what I predict will be an eagerly awaited series. His accomplishment is in crafting a story that is a throwback to the days of the European Adventure story writers--Stevenson, Dumas, Scott and the like--a tale that is a gripping page-turner accessible to all ages. I seek stories like this constantly and seldom find them. Here we have a good one. The characters are memorable and fully realized, from the lowly tarboy Pazel Pashkendle to the unwilling young bride Thasha to the half-mad captain Nilus Rose to the powerful sorcerer Ramachni. As the story proceeds, we come to know and care about all of them, the good and the bad, the high and the low. We want to know their fates, and we will follow the writer to wherever we need to go to learn what they are.

It is a spirited and exciting journey. By crafting the bulk of the tale aboard the mega-ship Chathrand, the author has created what is essentially a seafaring tale that reminded me of every good seafaring tale from Moby Dick to Treasure Island to everything by Patrick O'Brian. All the necessary elements are there, and you can practically taste the salt water on your lips and feel the grit of it on the pages. I look for and expect a feeling of honesty and reality in my fiction choices, no less so in fantasy than in other forms, and I was not disappointed here. From the description of the ship and its component pieces to the intricate and dangerous relationships between the characters aboard her, it all rang true.

I don't find many books that I wish I had written, but every so often one comes along. I think the last one was Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Here is another. I admire this book for its scope and its power, its language and its imagery, and its fine tight-rope plotting. I could not put it down. I am betting a lot of other readers won't be able to put it down either.

So trust me on this one; you won't be disappointed. Except, of course, like me you have to sit by patiently waiting for the next book. The anticipation is akin to what I experienced growing up with chapter books, when it seemed that every single installment ended in a cliffhanger, and the characters and I were all left hanging together. In an effort to minimize the damage to our fingernails, I will use whatever magic I can conjure up to prod Mr. Redick onward towards completion of book two. You have my promise.--Terry Brooks

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Insane god-kings, miniature warriors and sentient animals fight over a powerful ancient artifact in Redick's dramatic, complex debut. The Mzithrin and Arquali Empires have been locked in a 40-year cold war over the resources and riches of the Crownless Lands on their common frontier. Now the Chathrand, a floating city built as much by sorcerer as shipwright, bears young Thasha, an unwilling bride to an enemy prince. No one seems sure whether this is a sincere attempt to bind the two empires together in peace or merely a gambit in their political games. The tense atmosphere soon erupts as various factions struggle to find and control the myth-wrapped Red Wolf. Both adult and young adult readers will find much to enjoy in this tale of sea-faring and bloody diplomacy. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Robert V.S. Redick is the author of the forthcoming epic fantasy THE NIGHT OF THE SWARM, which concludes THE CHATHRAND VOYAGE QUARTET. The other three books, in order, are THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY, THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA (U.S. title, THE RULING SEA) and THE RIVER OF SHADOWS.


I have two beloved home towns: Charlottesville, Virginia, and Iowa City, Iowa. I've been writing since I could hold a pen, and began my first novel, about purple monsters invading a Chicago apartment complex, when I was twelve. I studied literature and Russian at the University of Virginia, tropical conservation and development at the University of Florida, and fiction writing in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Among my wonderful former mentors are Jim Shepard, John Casey, Wilton Barnhardt, Judith Grossman, David Haynes and Chuck Wachtel.

I've had the good fortune to live and travel extensively in Latin America. In Cali, Colombia, I worked with a human rights foundation and taught in a bilingual school. In Argentina I interviewed park rangers, park administrators, superintendents and biologists across the country and wrote an in-depth study of ranger training in Argentina and elsewhere. My first (serious) novel, Conquistadors, is set during the Argentinian dictatorship of the late 1970s. The book was a finalist for the 2002 AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award.

For four years I worked as a stage critic for two New England newspapers--a nice job to have if you're dating. I've also worked as a baker, translator, Paso Fino horse handler and lab technician in an acid rain study.

For more information please visit my blog:

I live in rural western Massachusetts with my compañera, Kiran Asher, and an assortment of mammals and reptiles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By The Name of the Clam on February 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Empires scheme and brace for war in this beautifully imagined, intricately plotted tale. Taking place aboard an enormous ship sailing to a foreign capital on a peace mission, The Red Wolf Conspiracy focuses on two young protagonists, from widely divergent backgrounds, who unearth a scheme that endangers their world. Also aboard are a mad ship's captain, a race of tiny, ferocious warriors, sentient animals, wizards, and others whose agendas are not at all what they seem.

A great and entertaining read, this book's tremendous strength is in the comprehensive imagination of a world in all its fascinating detail. Redick gives us a glimpse of the workings of a vast, ravenous Empire reflected in the lives of characters ranging from peace emissary to political operative to near-slave. It reminded me of the experience of reading Dune for the first time, with throwaway details that hint tangentially at complex, fully-imagined institutions. Cumulatively, they yield a sense of a vast society that is at once fantastic and utterly plausible.

This story is the first installment in the trilogy The Chathrand Voyage, and my one quibble with Book 1 was that it will make for a rather infuriating wait for Book 2. You get the impression this trilogy is elaborately designed, with many more twists and reveals on the way. - think "Lord of the Rings," and imagine how tough it must have been to await the release of those installments.

I highly recommend this engrossing book and I'm eagerly awaiting the next one!
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71 of 89 people found the following review helpful By J. Shurin VINE VOICE on August 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Robert V.S. Redick's The Red Wolf Conspiracy is a book that takes the realistic movement in modern fantasy as far as possible in an ostensibly literary direction. Despite the setting, the story reads more like a contender for a Booker Prize than a Nebula Award. A displaced migrant worker struggles against an oppressive, misogynistic society. Set against the backdrop of the horrors of war, he bands together with other outcast minorities to forge a new family (in a triumph of the human spirit, naturally).

The setting is overtly - ostentatiously - fantastical. Tribes of tiny humanoids (Ixchel) scuttle around. Sorcerors and mad doctors practice their mystical arts in tandem. The overarching plot (when finally revealed) is similarly decadent. Two ancient empires, colliding in battle. Insane god-kings, long held captive in magical bonds. Ancient evils battle heroes from other worlds, etc. etc. Blah blah blah.

All of that, no matter how grandiose, is incidental. The real story of The Red Wolf Conspiracy is merely that of Pavel, a little boy on a big boat. Of no actual importance, his one SuperSecretHighFantasy ability is a magical ability to understand languages. He doesn't fight. He's not a wizard. He's just a cabin boy with bad headaches and an ear for dialects. He is, quite possibly, the least spectacular fantasy hero of all time. (Redick strikes me as the guy who played the Bard in his D&D group).

The earth-shattering events that surround Pavel are largely ignored by him - he's too busy trying to find a place for himself, in his own tiny world. Pavel is a real person, with real problems. He's got a good heart, so he's eventually pulled along in the meta-plot for understandable, altruistic reasons, but his primary motivation is often just to keep his head down.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bee on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the best fantasy novel I've read in years! The world Mr. Redick has created is rich and fully realized. It's also unusual--a real departure from the typical fantasy fare. As a reader who knows absolutely nothing about ships and sailing, Mr. Redick's rich prose allowed me to immerse myself in his world with total abandon. And isn't that a big reason we fans read scifi and fantasy?

The plot is intriguing with lots of twists and turns, and the writer keeps it moving along at a quick clip. It's one of those books that make us stay awake all night long reading, because we just can't wait to find out what happens next.

A lot of thinking has been going on here, and that applies to his characterization as well. The characters are all fully human in their personalities, motivations, strengths and weaknesses. And as the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of two little girls, I was particularly gratified to see the strong female characters Mr. Redick has created.

In a nutshell, it all makes sense. And it serves up a heaping spoonful of tension and mystery as well. I can't wait for the second one!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Keene on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up The Red Wolf Conspiracy because it has a picture of a full-rigged ship on the cover. As a passionate, but certainly not exclusive, reader of age-of-fighting-sail historic naval fiction, I am intrigued by the possibility of successful HNF/SF hybrids. There are some quite good cross-overs between HNF and mystery fiction, as well as espionage and even romance, but I'm still looking for the perfect mix of HNF with the genre I read avidly in my long-ago youth, Science Fiction. Taylor Anderson has produced an excellent SF/Naval Fiction series, but it is based on WWII destroyers - fun, but not my cup of sunshine. Tom Grundner did a creditable hybrid with the first book of his Sir Sydney Smith series, but then wrote out the SF elements when he republished. (I haven't read Naomi Novik yet, but I have high hopes there. So little time...) The action of TRWC does take place on a sailing ship but, despite the occasional "stunsails aloft," it is not really naval fiction. It is, however, a damn fine novel and I was forced to put my quirky expectations aside and enjoy it on its own merits.

The Chathrand is by far the largest ship in the world, the last survivor of a distant era, and she is being prepared for a mysterious voyage. She carries not only a variety of nationalities and classes, but a mixture of sentient species. The action centers around two young people, Pazel Pathkendle, a tarboy (the lowest of the ship's crew) and Thasha Isiq, the daughter of the ship's most exalted passenger. Everyone aboard has secrets and few people are what they seem.

Secrets are revealed as the characters pursue their competing ambitions and the reader is forced to confront questions about the nature of good and evil, loyalty and betrayal, life and death.
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