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Wolfskin

(Saga of the Light Isles #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,312 ratings  ·  274 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
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published June 1st 2003)
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Meredith McGhan The Light Isles are what Marillier has called Orkney in her book. Whaleback is the Brough of Birsay.

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4.01  · 
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 ·  6,312 ratings  ·  274 reviews


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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
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
Lela
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
One of the few books of Marillier's that I had yet to read, and it did not disappoint. Marillier again weaves a beautiful and fantastical tail of strength, coming of age, betrayal and love. The blends of folklore and different religions worked together beautifully. I enjoyed the characters and found them all perfectly layered and most importantly, filled with real flaws. I believe that is one of the best things about a Marillier novel. She created deep characters who are so easy to fall for and ...more
Ângela
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witches-magic

“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
...more
Melissa
I read half of this. I actually listened to it on audio and the reader was very good. I like the way Marillier writes but it's been a long time since I have read anything by her. I found this wonderfully worded and deeply characterized. It's like she studies people and writes their differences into stories.I am having trouble tho with wanting to finish it. It is just one sad tale after another with very little happiness or adventure happening. It really is not my style of book at all. I went ahe ...more
Kathryn
Feb 05, 2015 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
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I absolutely love this author. I have read every book she has written other than the sequel to this one within the last two months. I tend to compare one to the other or this probably would be a five stars. The first half I would give a three but the second half is definitely at least five. I admit to not being real interested in Vikings and they are a big part of this story. It is the story of Eyvind who becomes part of the elite Viking fighters and of his relationship with his childhood friend ...more
Sarah
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Kassi
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
Veronica
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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!
Holly
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Danielle
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
Jessica Sayers
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Geri Winney
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I almost quit this book pretty early on. I thought to myself that life is too short to feel this kind of anxiety and hopelessness while reading for pleasure. The sense of dread was almost unbearable. I was beating myself up for pushing thru, and stressing myself out needlessly. The villain in this was a special kind of vile, and I seriously didn't know how he would be stopped. At least not in time to save my frazzled nerves.

However, the bad guy was balanced out by the sweetness of the good guy.
...more
Wendy Gordon
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-for-mum
Wow what an absolutely amazing tale. I can't believe the imagination of this author she is brilliant. This is my third book by Juliet Marillier, I am addicted! 23 hours of wonderful listening to audio of this book. I've been in heaven or imaginary lands for days.
Valerie
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This fantasy novel kept my attention, but I probably won't read the others.
Kaye
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was my least favorite Juliet Marillier book. The story was decent, but her prose was excessively cliche at times, and it seemed to go on and on and on. It took a long time to find its rhythm, but I stuck with it because I've loved so many of her other books. It seems like huge chunks of unnecessary and long-winded detail could be taken out without impacting the story. This is the first time I won't be reading the second of a Marillier series.
Mary23nm
Very well written, but the first half was difficult to get into. It is a rather dark and sometimes disturbing tale. The second half was very engrossing, but the ending left me somewhat unsatisfied.
Stanneisha
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm an fan of Juliet Marillier Heir to Sevenwaters series. What I should say I loved her first book in the Heirs to Sevenwaters series Daughter of the forest. The rest were just okay for me not a bad read but not something I'm going to rave about to friends.

I started this book with medium expectations and got what I was expecting. So lets start off with what I like: the beginning was great introducing you to the life in Norway around time actually explaining things ie jobs, seasons ( I know tha
...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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Violet
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Meredith
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Mingki
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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8,782 followers
Juliet Marillier was born 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 Bachelor of Music (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a majo ...more

Other books in the series

Saga of the Light Isles (2 books)
  • Foxmask (Saga of the Light Isles, #2)
“I wonder how it takes you, that moment when everything turns to shadows. - Somerled.” 8 likes
“The error was not yours, Somerled," Eyvind said quietly, moving to the doorway. "It was mine. I failed to teach you the one lesson you could not do without: how to be a man.” 2 likes
More quotes…