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Wolfskin (The Light Isles #1)

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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  5,472 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
"Eyvind can think of no more glorious future than becoming a Wolfskin, a warrior devoted to the service of the mighty war god Thor. His closest friend, Somerled, a strange and lonely boy, has his own very different ambitions - yet a childhood oath, sworn in blood, binds these two in lifelong loyalty. Meanwhile, far away across the water, on the Light Isles, the king's niec ...more
Kindle Edition, 508 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Keertana
After my ever-so-slightly-disappointed encounter with Son of the Shadows, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Wolfskin. It can be a painful process to read the work of a beloved author with the knowledge that the novel in your hands is good, but it isn’t the outstanding masterpiece you were expecting, and I did my best to avoid another Marillier novel because of my fear of that very feeling. Even more disturbing, though, is the fact that virtually none of my friends have read Wolfskin and ...more
Nikki
Sat down and finished this off in one gulp, three hundred pages in one go, this evening. That seems to be the best way for me to read Marillier's work: I remember doing the same with her other books to finish them, and enjoying them much more at that break-neck pace. Wolfskin is sort of more in my line of work, you might say, since it involves Norse settlement of the Orkney islands: the Norse culture was familiar to me, if not always entirely in step with what I know, and I think Marillier toed ...more
Maria
Mar 06, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Foi uma amiga recente que fiz no booktube que me deu esta obra lindissima.

Na verdade, dou 4,5 estrelas.

Ora, este é um romance na tradição d'As Brumas de Avalon, com o seu realismo misturado com alguma magia, derivada do folclore da região. Aqui é -nos dado a conhecer uma tribo viking, de onde se vai destacar a relação entre 2 homens, que se conhecem desde meninos e que forjaram um juramento de sangue. Esses 2 homens têm aspirações na vida bastante díspares e vão ser uma reflexão sobre objetivos
...more
Susana
(review in english below)

Mais uma vez a Juliet transportou-me para outro mundo e durante duas semanas vivi parcialmente nas Órcades, na companhia do Eyvind e da Nessa. Para quem já leu vários livros desta autora, não é difícil prever como vai acabar cada história, mas o que eu mais gosto é a forma como ela cria situações que parecem impossíveis de resolver e que nos fazem não conseguir parar de ler, só para saber como é que ela vai desenvolver a trama de modo a que tudo encaixe e faça sentido no
...more
Telma
Sep 28, 2013 Telma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-estrelas
Desconhecia por completo esta autora e "O filho de Thor" mas conheço várias pessoas que gostam bastante dela e decidi aceitar a recomendação da Célia. Não sei bem porquê mas tinha-a associado à Anne Bishop o que agora percebo que foi um erro pois ambas são muito diferentes na escrita e universos. A escrita de Marillier é muito bonita e poética, com muita imaginação e informação histórica mas sem aquele "despejar de informação" que muitos autores acabam por fazer.
A primeira metade do "Filho de To
...more
Sarah
Nov 17, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I finally finished this extremely LONG book, I found it quite good up until the last quarter which dragged a bit. I thought Somerled was the most interesting character in it, despite his evilness, and strange though it seems was starting to find him kind of... hot? At the end? Yes I KNOW he's a psychopath but he was just so snarky and clever and cranky and he DID display glimmers of secret and heartfelt feelings at the end. I especially liked that trial scene where they were all just standi ...more
Katherine
Two boys swear an oath that tie them together for life. One character is strong in body, the other strong in mind. This book explores the consequences of this oath, including themes such as trust, honor, ambition, courage, strength, truth, and justice.As men there is a problem. Is a promise made in childhood strong enough to ensure both character's happiness?

While Wolfskin isn't the conventional Marillier book that readers put above the rest, it is the one that has out-shined the rest for me. W
...more
Dakota★Magic in Every Book
While I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the Sevenwaters series, Wolfskin was still an excellent novel that mixed Viking lore and legend with Mariller's lyrical writing for a magical story that kept me with my nose in the book!
Lela
Jan 09, 2017 Lela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing fantasy read from this author. Love the mix of history, action , folklore and romance. I've yet to be disappointed by this author.
Holly
Mar 19, 2010 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Eyvind lives in snowy Rogaland where the Viking warriors called Wolfskins are honored above all. Every waking minute he longs for the day when he is old enough and skilled enough with bow and sword to answer god Thor's call and become a Wolfskin himself. In his training, he meets Somerled, the small, strange brother of the respected chieftain Ulf, who has neither friends nor survival skills. Over a summer of fishing, hunting, and combat, they become blood brothers. And strangely, years later it ...more
Jessica
Sep 27, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2006
Given the impact the Sevenwaters trilogy had on me, I expected to adore this - I wasn't really disappointed, I just didn't get as engrossed as I did with the author's previous books. I was slow getting into it at first, but it picked up for me once they reached the Light Isles and Nessa's perspective was introduced. I love the way that nature and the spirits of the earth are given such reverence in Juliet Marillier's works, and how she draws on mythology. Perhaps the reason why I didn't enjoy th ...more
Veronica
Feb 10, 2017 Veronica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Juliet Marillier writes beautiful fantasy novels and I enjoy her prose very much. That said. This entire (very long) book is about a "good man" whose best friend is a rapist and a murderer, and even after the protagonist is forced to admit that, yeah, he kinda knows that his bestie did in fact rape that woman and murder that guy and this is kiiiiiinda problematic, he still loves this dude and wants to help him redeem himself and the very last scene of the book shows us that yes, even murdering r ...more
Rachel Houston
Jan 13, 2017 Rachel Houston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The bromance is so much better than the romance in this book.
Ana
Jan 20, 2017 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite book of hers so far. :)
Dani
So first I just wanted to randomly point out some of the surprising similarities between this book and the Marvel Thor movies.

Eyvind/Thor: Blond, blue eyes, beefcake, lovable, main character, friends with everybody, not all that bright, tries to do the right thing most of the time but sometimes acts before he thinks, is a talented warrior, has a special named weapon, finds himself separated from his people in land of foreigners, falls for foreign woman, changes into a better person because of fo
...more
Kathryn
Feb 05, 2015 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Sheree
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier, my first book read in 2016 and the first time I have ever read a book by this author. I wish to thank Sheree from The Eclectic Reader for suggesting this author to me when I was searching around for New Zealand authors in early 2015.

What a saga, eventually I was swept up into the magic of storytelling. It took me a little while to be immersed in it, but once I was, I was reading into the night and picking it up as I ate breakfast!

Eyvind was a character that I just
...more
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
This is my first time reading Juliet Marillier, and overall I really enjoyed the experience. There was only one time that I really, really got annoyed with the story and characters, and it was close to the beginning, so I got over it pretty quickly. The writing was just beautiful.
- The story itself is wonderfully crafted and simple at its core: two friends who share a deep bond grow older and embark down very different paths: one good, one evil and destructive. Rooted in the story are issues o
...more
Brecht Denijs
May 19, 2012 Brecht Denijs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of romance, fantasy and history. People that don't mind a bit of corny and small scale
Recommended to Brecht by: Picked it out myself
Originally read in 2004

2017 reread: A personal favourite. I know this isn't the greatest book ever written but it checks a lot of mark for me and I love it dearly. It was one of the first books I started reading when first exploring the Fantasy genre (the fourth in fact) and it aided in anchoring my love for the genre even though this is relatively light on the Fantasy and has a good dose of History in it, which is something I also happen to like.
It's a great escapist read with good and kindhear
...more
Sweetp-1
Jan 22, 2011 Sweetp-1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marillier is near the top of my favourite authors list. I love the way she weaves fantasy and magic together and creates compelling stories that hint at fairytale and mythology. Again, Marillier takes an Olde Worlde setting for Wolfskin - this time in the Orkney Islands. (My geographical/historical knowlegdge of this area is zilch so if like me you're thinking 'where is that exactly?....' They are the islands north of Scotland. Surprisingly close to the Norwegian Coast in fact.) The story begins ...more
Lígia Bellini
I'm a huuuuge fan of Juliet Marillier! She is one of the best writers, in my opinion! But sadly, Wolfskin isn't one of her best book! The story is very interesting! Norsemen, magic and mysterious people creating a new bond! It's great! And I like the way, she always start to tell a story of a character since he/she was a child. It makes me understand more the character and also create my own opinion about the personality! I really like that! But i thought that Wolfskin is too draggy! And i got s ...more
Gaile
This novel surprised me!!!! I have read two other books written by this author which did not particularly impress but this one was outstanding and I read it with great enjoyment and anticipation as to what would happen next.
It begins in Ancient Norway. Eyvind's ambition is to become a Wolfskin, a select group of warriors that go A Viking and guard the jarl Magnus. He is instructed to teach Somerled, a strange boy that Eyvind finds hard to understand. Somerled's brother Ulf wants to build a grea
...more
Violet
Jul 26, 2011 Violet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully rendered tale. I am sure there are a few other storytellers as good as Marillier but right now, I can't recall any. There is great imagination in her fictional world. Also, intelligence and discipline, integrity and truth. And, patience too.
I loved 'Wolfskin'. It started a little slowly but gathered momentum and strength with every line and by the time I reached the end, I was entirely and wonderfully lost.
Initially, I was a little vexed with Eyvind. Like Somerled, I thought him to
...more
Mingki
Sep 18, 2013 Mingki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read
“A boy learning to find his place in the world while balancing the sense of right or wrong and of loyalty.”

Hmm, although there are a lot of same ingredients from JM for me, it does not really suit my liking. The setting - grim setting of the Northern Europe and reality of Viking warriors. The male lead – a bit too simple boy who is hampered by his ‘so-called’ brother/ friend and yet burden/bad influence. The villain – too cruel a man is already disheartened, but how about too cruel a man with am
...more
Meredith
Feb 17, 2008 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
I appear to be on a Juliet Marillier binge, which isn't a bad thing.

In Wolfskin, Marillier turns from the Medieval Ireland of her first novels to early Norway and the Orkney Islands. She does return to a fairy-tale retelling a la her first novel, Daughter of the Forest, though the tale of the bone harp in this novel is likely less familiar to readers than the tale of the wild swans. (There's a really neat folk song that pertains to this tale, called The Wind and the Rain, sung by Gillian Welch.
...more
Jennifer
Mar 01, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy book. Quick read, especially comparing the last few books I have read. Story about a young Viking warrior who travels to the Orkney Islands with a band of his countrymen. Things go awry with the locals, etc. I enjoyed it but then I like historical fiction with a touch of the fantasy involved (ie Druid lore, etc). Obviously not historical as in this was about real people but what might have happened when the Vikings encountered local peoples on their travels. Also, a story about courage, ...more
Amy
Dec 23, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
When I left Boston on my way to my brother's funeral in California, I forgot to bring an extra pair of pants. I also forgot to bring a book to read. This book was the only one at the newsstand at BWI Airport that I found even remotely interesting. So I bought it, and thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful story. Vikings settle in the Orkney Islands with (not surprisingly) tragic results for the natives.
Kristen
Dec 28, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juliet Marillier is a master of weaving a story infused with mythology and Wolfskin is no different. Populated with very diverse and fully believable characters, as well as a fully realized landscape, the story pulled me in from the very beginning. For me, none of Marillier's books can compare with the Sevenwaters trilogy but this one comes awfully close. Can't wait to see what's in store in the second in the Light Isles series.
Nadine Jones
The first chapter draaaaaaaaaaaaaaags, but it seems to be picking up now.

*

It appears that I don't really like Vikings that much. Too much macho posturing and blood brother oaths and evil scheming blah blah blah. I'm quite possibly just at the part that gets good, but I've had it with this book for now and I'm setting it aside for a while.
Jellybelly
Aug 09, 2013 Jellybelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wonderful
Just read this for a second time because I didn't feel like investing in something unfamiliar. This book just crept under my skin as easily as it did the first time, and I found myself living inside it again. Marillier is such a talent!
Liz
Jan 31, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series. The only thing I didn't like was that she was a little redundant with some the fantasy stuff and it got a little long. I did like the characters and story and would recommend it.
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8649
Juliet Marillier was born July 27, 1948 in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and a B Mus (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a ...more
More about Juliet Marillier...

Other Books in the Series

The Light Isles (2 books)
  • Foxmask (The Light Isles, #2)

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“I wonder how it takes you, that moment when everything turns to shadows. - Somerled.” 7 likes
“Now he understood what it was to be a man: that it was to be weak as well as strong, to be foolish sometimes and wise sometimes, to know love as well as to kill. And he had learned that there were other paths for him, other gods who called in the deep places of the earth, in the lap of wavelets on the shore, in the breath of the wind. He had learned that there were other kinds of courage. He knew, with deep certainty, that the islands held a new path for him. He need only move forward and find it.” 2 likes
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