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The Red Wolf Conspiracy (Chathrand Voyage) Mass Market Paperback – January 26, 2010
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“What can I say about a book as exciting and fresh as The Red Wolf Conspiracy? I can't remember when I've been so enthralled. Maybe when I first read Philip Pullman. This is one terrific read.”—Terry Brooks
“Wonderfully inventive—Robert Redick is an extraordinary talent.”—Karen Miller, author of The Innocent Mage
“[An] outstanding debut . . . With its colourful cast of inhabitants, which include a band of tiny, Lilliputian-style warriors, sentient rats and archetypal ancient evil the Shaggat Ness, the Chathrand brings to mind The Scar's fantastical floating city.”—SFX magazine
“Redick joins the ranks of writers challenging the fantasy genre and making it exciting again.”—New York Review of Science Fiction
“A wondrous creation . . . an entertaining, fast-paced saga of high-seas adventure that is part fantasy quest, part political intrigue, and part coming-of-age tale.”—Fantasy Book Critic
About the Author
Robert V. S. Redick is the author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy. His unpublished first novel, Conquistadors, was a finalist for the AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award, and his essay “Uncrossed River” won the New Millennium Writings Award for nonfiction. A former theater critic and international development researcher, he worked most recently for the antipoverty organization Oxfam. He lives in western Massachusetts.
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I found my second read through just as interesting as the first time i read it. You are always wanting to know what is going to happen next. The author doesn't make you wait forever to find out, but gives you plenty of clues to decipher on your own. You feel like you're in the book, with the characters, within their setting. I liked how the characters are all somewhat bold in their personality. The bad guys are really bad, and the good guys are good to the very core. You are given vivid descriptions without being drawn out too long, so that you can imagine the world that has been created.
It's a refreshing book for adult readers who like sci fi/fantasy/mystery. The writing is done well, the events flow together. The settings are always really dark, but then again the entire book is set in a massive ship. Even though it feels very dark, the characters' liveliness brings the book to life.
A short summary without giving too much away: The world is one that seems based hundreds of years ago in a place not unlike Lord of the Rings. The lands are ruled by kings and royalty of very poor judgement. The conquering ruler of most of the lands is corrupt and has many secrets that we won't even find out in book 1. This ruler conquered many lands by cruel means and practically putting those peoples entire population to death.
Pazel is a 15 year old boy who is of a somewhat "extinct" race from the land of Ormael. His mother put a spell on him when he was a child and now he can understand and repeat every language he's ever heard. He has become a tarboy bouncing from ship to ship. He survives by the helping hand of Ignus Chadfellow; a doctor who was in love with his mother and who gave him an education.
When we meet Thasha, she is doing everything she can to escape her prison like school. She is a girl of 16 who is dying for her fathers affection and acceptance. She is very smart and attractive, but almost doesn't care a thing about the absurd amount of money her family has. She has a strong heart and is courageous beyond fear.
The conspirator is Sandor Ott- which is no secret from the moment you are introduced to him. I imagine his battle scars prominent and his skin the texture of leather.
The Captain of our colossal boat 'the Chathrand' is Captain Rose; a groteque man of massive pride but little heart. The ship holds hundreds of passengers and sailors, and quite a few secret guests. All aboard have ulterior motives for this trip. We meet mischievous wizards, seers, true warriors, alien-like races, 'woken' animals who speak.
It's a fantastic book and great world to dive in to. You won't regret reading it. It does leave you wanting to find out what happens in book 2. So, if you start reading it and you like it- do yourself a favor and just order book 2 now. I think book 3 comes out the beginning of next year.
I would have given this book 5 stars. However, i have read a couple other books that i had a harder time putting down than this one. I'm a tough critic, so i had to make sure i took into consideration others who have read similar books as myself. I literally don't purchase a book if it has bad amazon.com reviews. Hopefully this one helps you a bit.
In fact, the Chathrand Voyage series now ranks among my absolute favorite series' ever (fantasy or otherwise), along with Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, Brent Weeks' Night Angel series, Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora books, or anything by Lee Child. Just great stuff. In fact, while The Name of the Wind is likely my favorite book ever, the Chathrand series is probably my second favorite (I liked both books equally well...and high hopes for the third!). So, other than The Wise Man's Fear (Rothfuss's second), The River of Shadows (Chathrand book 3) is probably the book I'm most anticipating.
Give the series a shot...you won't be disappointed. I've read the 2nd one as well, and can't wait for more...not praise I give lightly!