Spice & Wolf, Book 1
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Spice & Wolf, Book 1 (Spice & Wolf #1)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,215 ratings  ·  83 reviews
The life of a traveling merchant is a lonely one, a fact with which Kraft Lawrence is well acquainted. Wandering from town to town with just his horse, cart, and whatever wares have come his way, the peddler has pretty well settled into his routine-that is, until the night Lawrence finds a wolf goddess asleep in his cart. Taking the form of a fetching girl with wolf ears a...more
Paperback, Novel, 240 pages
Published December 15th 2009 by Yen On (first published February 10th 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Amazing what happens when you're flipping through channels looking for something to watch and your significant other says, "Stop!" So, I stopped and saw this woman with animal ears and rolled my eyes. "It's a catgirl. Please, let me find something else." And after being shushed I listened to the dialogue and sat through the remainder of the episode in pure disbelief. The first chance I had I bought the first season. We watched through all thirteen episodes in two days. "Then" I discover it's bas...more
Megan Lavey-Heaton
Who would think that a series centered around economics would be appealing? Craft Lawrence is a traveling merchant in the Middle Ages in a land that is controlled by the Church and has done its best to squelch the pagan gods that were once worshipped. However, Lawrence comes face-to-face with one of these gods in the form of Horo - a wolf-god who just wants to return to her true home. The series features a fantastic chemistry between its leads and is very intelligent. It's not a quick read despi...more
Marty Preslar
A well written story with compelling characters. I would also suggest the anime version, which is very true to the book, with the exception of one character that is changed (for the better, in my opinion...)

The real strength of this story is the realistic development of the relationship between the two protagonists, despite the fact that one of them is a "harvest goddess" with ears and a tail. This isn't one of your standard "magical girlfriend" stories where the characters are in love from the...more
I've been hearing a lot about this series, mostly from people who are saying that the series deserves more attention than it is currently getting. After reading through the first light novel, I can agree that Spice & Wolf deserves more attention than it currently gets & is sure to become very popular. I also want to let people know that even though this is NOT a manga, it is worth purchasing.

This first volume of Spice & Wolf begins with the traveling merchant Lawrence slowly approach...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Very, very sweet book I'd recommend to any manga fan. Another plus is that it makes economics fairly easy to understand and doesn't overcomplicate matters. Even an idiot could eventually understand the way the exchange rate works in this series. Holo may seem bratty and imperious, but she's a great character otherwise, plus, she's not going to be humble, being a god of the harvest and all. Lawrence is genuinely sweet and one of the more realistic characters. :)
Alicia Wright
You may have come across Spice and Wolf as an anime or a manga... both of which are awesome. I first saw it as an anime and that was what hooked me.

Now then. The novel?

I was disappointed when I first started reading the novel... It started out like any other 'guy finds magical pixie girl in bed' type anime. And the way it was written at first... just for a page or so... was 'Hey, look how pretty and cute and adorable she is!!'. I hate that. I hate being TOLD the character is pretty or cute or w...more
Steven Phan
Characters: 5/5
I really enjoy the characters of Spice and Wolf, especially because of the small cast. You have a merchant, his apprentice, and a WOLF GODDESS. The cast seems to be fairly realistic, but corny at times with it's clever antics and wordplay. This is due to the old wording style of the novel with lines such as, "All, be they human or animal, look on my form and give way with awe, and treat me as special. I have tired of this treatment"(Hasekura 29). The characters grew on me staying...more
I have to say, this was an amazing book. I'd heard that the book was better than the anime and manga renditions, so rather than check those out, I read this instead. Let me tell you, it was worth it.

The book's a light novel that follows the story of Lawrence and Holo. Simple as that.

Holo is epic, my favorite character. She's tough, clever, and strong. Lawrence was pretty good too, but I definitely like the "Wolf" in Spice and Wolf.

It was neither too long nor too short, the perfect length.
Watched the anime, now I'm reading the books. My personal opinion so far, they're not actually too bad, but I was kinda hoping for something more. The writing is nice and flowy (not a word but who's judging me anyways) although at certain points something was off, about the writing. It's strange, I can't put it down on paper properly but there was something I didn't like it. The dialogue was perfect but the descriptions irked me in an odd way. Might just be me being picky here.

After the anime, I...more
Having bought the anime of the same name in the sales at the start of last year this is a series I've been aware of for some time. It took me over six months to finally get around to watching the show and I instantly regretted not having had watched it sooner. After devouring both series in quick succession I did a bit of research and discovered the material in the light novel series expanded well past the end point of the show and I knew I needed more.
The tone, flow and subject matter of these...more
This is a must read if your interested in an old European concept of trade and merchants.
This review is missing the gifs *gasp* To see all the review in all its awesomeness you must go here

Major Selling Points:

Spice & Wolf was one of the first animes I watched and I loved it. It as different from everything else I was watching and very unique. When I really like an anime I make sure to try and go back to read the series in its original form (if there is one)

Godly Chracters
Holo, one of the main characters, is a harvest god of sorts. And we all know how fun it is when gods s...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"When it comes to Spice & Wolf, I heard of this franchise mostly from my friends who love anime and manga. None of them indulge in light novels. It would just be last month when I finally found out the anime and manga are based off the light novel and I am really happy I got it. The story is very simplistic but the delivery is excellent especially since the novel is translated into English from Japanese. I also liked the overall direction as well as the dynamic relationship between the main...more
Gregory K.
The story begins rather roughly as the author gets used to the characters and the story he is creating. It does get much better as he goes along though and by the end of this first book it felt to me like the author had become quite comfortable portraying that peculiar tenderness that is the hallmark of this whole series. The story begins awkwardly enough but becomes very sweet.

If you like the anime I highly recommend this book series. The anime (both seasons) only covers the first few novels in...more
Amazing, amazing anime! I haven't read the manga or the light novels, so I'm not sure whether I'm qualified to review this series or not, but I did sit glued to my laptop screen for several days straight as I plowed through the two seasons of Spice and Wolf. And I have not wasted time for a better cause as of yet.

Spice and Wolf is about the medieval travelling merchant Laurence and the companion he picks up along the way, 900 year old wolf goddess Holo. The strength of this series, I think, is t...more
Wendy White
--Addition, July 4th 2011--
I just got a comment from the translator! Wow!

Just like to amend my original review below - I criticised the "show, not tell" writing style and wasn't sure if it was the translator trying to faithfully reproduce the writing style or whether it was something lost in translation.

Paul, the translator, filled me in: Hasekura's writing style really is just that long-winded. This was my first "light novel" so I think I was expecting more than really that genre is intended to...more
Amusingly enough, the edition I have comes with a vaguely (That is to say, trying and failing to be) sexy model on a wraparound cover hiding the manga illustrations. Presumably this is to draw in fantasy readers who are disinclined towards manga, anime and the ilk. It would be a shame if they were out off as this series is thankfully far, far away from any sort of magical girlfriend series.

This is the first of seventeen in a light novel series. Essentially, these are designed to be easily digest...more
Lois Bujold
Spice & Wolf, Vol. 1, by Isuna Hasekura (2006), English translation 2009 by Paul Starr


Having, upon rec, seen and rather enjoyed the anime adaptation of this, I was a bit frustrated by Netflix not having Season 2. I checked the Hennepin County Library, and found they had a scattering of the manga adaptations, plus this translation of the original Japanese light novel upon which both were based. I'd been hearing for a while about the "light novel"... format, form, I'm not sure which, in J...more
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
This light novel and the ones that come after it inspired the anime, but I saw the anime first. I had actually heard about this book long before I saw the anime, mainly because of the controversy over the cover. The cover image you see in my blog is not the cover the original Japanese version of this book had, and, from what I can remember, it was extremely difficult to get the version of the cover with the original artwork. I remember assuming that the cover re-design was an attempt by Yen Pres...more
"I am Holo the Wisewolf!"

There's always a risk to an author that their darling won't elicit the same feelings of awe and adoration in a reader that she (or he, in this case it's a she) does in those around her, including the point-of-view character.

"I am Holo the Wisewolf!"

"I am Holo the Petulantwolf!" or "I am Holo the High-handedwolf!" wouldn't have quite the same ring, I suppose.

This is a re-read. The financial aspects of the story weren't as confusing to me as they were the first time around...more
2.5 stars

I enjoyed this light novel, but couldn't really bear giving it 3 stars, since 3 stars for me is usually a default rating for many books much better than this one.

However, one must keep in mind that this is a "light novel," and isn't expected to be great literature. I often feel that light novels are stories that the writer had too many words to make a manga. I haven't yet read the manga, and I don't know if I will, but I feel like that would be a better media, since, while reading Spice...more
I accidentally deleted my review, so this one will be terrible, however I should summarize.

This is an English translation of a Japanese light novel done by Yen Press. It clocks in at about 200 pages, and is very quick to read. There are apparently 17 of these in the series, and everyone one that I've read so far has had the same parameters.

The story is generally about a wandering merchant, and his wolf-spirit companion, that roam from town to town encountering interesting economic issues (trade,...more
Willis Wang
I have never read a book that can be make into three episodes. Who would thought that a translated novel can offer interesting plots like the rest of English novels? Unlike anime, this book contains a more detailed plot. You can be amazed by looking at how the two businessmen argue for prices. You can be amazed by knowing how powerful the church is at that time. Best of all, you can be amazed by the relationship between Lorence and Holo.
Ok. So. OHMYGOD I NEED TO GUSH ABOUT HOLO!!! *calm self down… somewhat* I didn't read the book because I couldn't get my hands on a Japanese light novel here. *sigh* (The EXACT same situation with Zero no Tsukaima) But I've gotta say Holo is my number 1 fav anime heroine. Gah!!! First off, I love wolves. (Ahem, in case you haven't notice with all the Artemis/Diana/Archer/Moon vibes from me.) Second off, Holo's the cutest wolf ever! Love her VOICE!!!

So I actually got my hands on the books and voi...more
May 21, 2014 Hiridessa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Smart people, people who likes fantasy, and a bit of romance, and tales of build up relationships
Recommended to Hiridessa by: Brad Branham
"A story about a wolf girl + economics manga= PERFECT!" Hahahahaha I read this and thought, it's completely truth!

I had only heard good recommendations on this manga, and I was not dissappointed, thanks God!

The story line is very interesting, the way things develop and the inteligence game they often play, lovely!
My first exposure to the franchise -- I haven't watched the anime yet -- and it's fun! Nothing terribly elaborate to the plot, one narrative thread followed beginning to end, but a decent little yarn. Something of a "problem" book: one major issue, what clever workaround will the protagonist figure to deal with it? Well-seasoned with the Lawrence-Holo interaction. Much better character development than many novels of that type.
It wasn't terrible, but all this talk over money and trading was kinda boring. Sorry. I do kinda want to read the next one, however, to see if it gets a little more exciting.. and maybe see if they actually get her home.
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Spice & Wolf, Vol. 1 (Spice & Wolf: Manga, #1) Spice & Wolf, Book 2 Spice & Wolf, Book 3 Spice & Wolf, Book 4 Spice & Wolf, Book 5

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