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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 - light novel Paperback – December 15, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Isuna Hasekura's debut novel, SPICE AND WOLF, earned the Silver Prize in the 2005 Dengeki Novel Prize with the series going on to total seventeen novels and both manga and anime adaptations.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759531048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759531048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll keep this short and sweet. Fans of the anime will love reading the original story and will gain a greater understanding of Lawrence & Holo. Little gestures you may not have even noticed the first time you watched the series, become clear and meaningful after finishing the book.

If you haven't heard of Spice & Wolf before, then either this book or the anime series are good places to start. You'll get more life out of the series, but the book is a bit easier on the wallet. Despite the unusual premise this is a slower-paced and more dialogue heavy story, suited for an older audience. A healthy interest in economics isn't needed, but it'd be a plus.

EDIT: I just have to update this after completing Volume 5 of the Spice & Wolf...everything I originally said about the rocky translation was just wrong. Paul Starr is doing an AMAZING job, this is by far one of the best translated light novels I have read to date, it perfectly captures the tone of the series.

Five volumes down and I am even more in love with this series than before, here's hoping we get to see the rest brought over!
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Format: Paperback
While one might not be surprised to find a wolf-girl and a fantasy setting in a book aimed at young adults, plots based on the principles of free-market economics are unexpected. Yet Hasekura combines a very unusual romance with economics and comes up a winner. Who'da thunk it?
The teasing romantic interplay between Lawrence and Holo is a delight. Two world-wise adults, albeit in different ways, they tease and flirt in an amusing and yet sexually-tense manner. You know that if either of them pushed things even a bit, they'd be...well, you know. But both are aware of the inevitable outcome of love between an immortal and a human. Not to mention Lawrence is a little afraid of being with a god (quite reasonably) and Holo has her near-arrogant pride to hold her back.
Anyway, a fun read. Note that it is for young adults, so don't expect Lord of the Rings. But for what it is, it's satisfying.
I'd like to note the translation was a surprise. It's excellent. Very smooth, vivid, and accurate. I might even say it reads better than the original (although I only read two chapters of that some years ago). A pat on the back to Paul Starr who deserves much more credit than a tiny line almost lost on the indicia page. In Japan translators are properly respected and their names are even on the front cover. Shame on American publishers for treating their essential contribution so poorly.
The front cover art is odd. I suppose they're trying to attract "mainstream" readers of light novels and maybe this is a way to do it. I suppose we'll see if that does any good, and the fans will buy it anyway. But Holo should at least have had fangs....
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Format: Paperback
Because of the picture, I was worried that this volume was printed with the photograph cover-- Especially since I heard that for the original American release the Japanese cover was only available as a dust cover for a short period of time. Luckily, the dust cover was the American title and the Japanese cover was on the actual book.

Haven't read it myself, but this was a birthday gift for my husband and he was ecstatic!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those still wondering, I can confirm that the books now have the anime style art work as the cover. Mine did not come with any dust jacket. The picture you see displayed is the image on the book. As for the content, I enjoyed it very much and have also read the other books. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of the anime you will most likely be a fan of the light novel. You pick up on a few things you will have missed if you had only watched the anime.

Also, if you're not a fan of the American artwork on the cover - fear not! It's only a sleeve. The original artwork is underneath the removable sleeve if you don't like it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great story. If you like light novels, love anime, I'd be shocked to hear you've never heard of this series. Its considered a classic by thousands, and it really is a cool story. The premise is original and interesting, and its just so well written. Not a lot of light novels are third person, and very few of them are 100% original. This is one of them, and its great. I love light novels, and anime and all that crap, as I think its a great way to tell a story, but I do see the faults with quite a few of them. This one has almost none. The first volume is worth picking up and placing on your shelf. Its an interesting fantasy tale not about knights and kings, but about merchants, and I just love it. Technically, overall, the series is a rom-com, but hey, I like a good rom-com. If you like romance, comedy, quick wit, interesting original stories, or just overall good writing, then this is worth your time. Personally, I think the whole series is worth the time, as the light novel series ended in 2011 with 17 volumes, which is actually a strange number for light novels. Most end in the 20s, and others end around 12. Anyways, Isuna Hasekura's a cool dude, and he can tell a cool story.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book in many that ended up spawning an anime series, and it well deserves it. The story is about Holo asking Kraft Lawrence to take her back to the North since the people of Pasloe no longer need her. Being the keen merchant Kraft is, he agrees to take her to the north in the chance he may be blessed with good fortunes, and thus their journey begins.

The pacing in this book is quite wonderful, and the intelligence of the characters really shine through the experiences they have to face and the challenges they have to overcome. This book has some action, but it's more about Kraft Lawrence's life as a traveling merchant, and always trying to read people and getting the best deal possible. The author pulls this over well, and makes it quite unique journey through multiple cities.

At key moments in the story they decided to add some Anime-ish drawings, and you can really see where they got the look of Holo and Kraft for the anime. It's a decent length book at around 230 pages long, and as far as I can tell it has really good editing.

This book is good for people who enjoy a good story, great character development, and the idea of a traveling merchant going through trials and tribulations in a middle aged-ish world. Even if your all about violence, I say give this book a try, you just may be surprised how much you like it.

-Written Jan, 2012

Positives:
* Great character development
* Unique situations and setting
* Holo and Kraft are some of the coolest people
* Setting is set up nicely, and you believe the locations they visit are real
* Church has a crusader era to them, and the crazy stuff that happened at that time
Negatives:
* May not be for people who only want action
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