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Empire of Wild

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,309 ratings  ·  864 reviews
From the author of the YA-crossover hit The Marrow Thieves, a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou - a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities. A messed-up, grown-up, Little Red Riding Hood.

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever sin
...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Penguin Random House Canada
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Abbie
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jalilah I hope so because the ending was certainly confusing!

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  5,309 ratings  ·  864 reviews


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Lala BooksandLala
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline 4⭐
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"For girls, he was the creature who kept you off the road or made you walk in packs. The old women never said "Don't go into town, it is not safe for us there. We go missing. We are hurt." Instead they leaned in and whispered a warning: "I wouldn't go out on the road tonight. Someone saw the rogarou just this Wednesday, leaning against the stop signs, sharpening his claws with the jawbone of a child.""
⠀⠀⠀⠀
Right out the gate this had such strong storytellin
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Will Byrnes
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
His narrow tie and pocket square were both daffodil yellow, a colour that brought out the gold hue of his eyes, deep-set below groomed brows.
As he came toward her he extended his right arm to check the time on a wide gold watch. In the shift of fabric, Joan saw dark hair dense on his too-white skin. He met her eyes and then smiled with so much sharp in it, something in Joan reacted like she’d taken a punch with the promise of more.
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“My, what big teeth
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AnnaLuce
Empire of Wild is one of those novels that doesn't live up to its intriguing premise. There were a few moments that I actually enjoyed, but these were far too few in between. We have a half-baked storyline, some painfully cartoonish villains, a thinly rendered main character, and an unsatisfying conclusion.

Empire of Wild follows Joan who has recently returned to her Métis community in northern Ontario. After a heated argument with her husband, over the land Joan has inherited from her father,
...more
Amy Imogene Reads
Watch out for the Rogarou. Speculative horror in small town Ontario with one Native woman's desperate quest to save her husband from the werewolf legend of their nightmares.

Characters: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★
Concept: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★

Joan has been looking for her husband for over 11 months. One night—after a pretty intense verbal fight—he left her to walk in the woods near their home. He never came back. Joan's never stopped looking.

Almost a year later she sees Victor in a Walmart parking lot. He's leadi
...more
NILTON TEIXEIRA
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This one was not for me.
I hate when I purchase a book that does not please me in any way.
The only reason I bought it was because Indigo (for those who never heard, it is a big retailer in Canada) picked this as number one of the year. And the premise really sounded fantastic. Werewolf? Aboriginal culture? What is not to like?
And all of the 224 five stars rating that I read are terrific.
Perhaps I did not read the same book.
I did struggle with this one.
Although the writing is good with beautifu
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Dani
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What. A. Ride! I read Empire of Wild by Métis author Cherie Dimaline and I was completely consumed by the storyline and atmosphere. Dimaline has given us a fresh novel that manages to be thrilling, comforting, scary and sexy while remaining rooted in Métis culture.

As we follow Joan on her journey to save her missing husband Victor we are given insight into Métis stories and traditions, specifically the figure of the Rougarou. We are able to see the strength of the Métis people and how those stor
...more
Brandon
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, fiction, oh-canada
Victor has disappeared.

Joan has been searching for her missing husband for months.  Consumed by guilt, Joan’s life is in shambles.  Following a night of heavy drinking, Joan makes her way to the local big box store for some much needed hangover supplies when she spots a tent in the parking lot.  Curiosity gets the better of her as she wanders over to check out what is happening inside.  Her heart stops when she spots her husband leading the service.  Only.. it isn’t her husband.  This man goes b
...more
Boston
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Krista
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: can-con, 2019, indigenous
These lands were given to us by the Lord Himself. They are ours to live on and prosper from. This entire wilderness is ours for the very purpose of celebrating and honouring the glory of God. He is the answer to our poverty, for how can we know poverty in His love? And in return we need to dedicate our success and wellbeing to His holy light. This entire empire of wild is ours in order that we may rejoice in His name.

In Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian, he describes Christianity as “the gat
...more
jo
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to go over every 5 star rating I have given recently and dock them all one star to say how much this particular 5 star rating means. This book is incredible.

ACTUAL REVIEW

there is a history to my love of this book. a few years ago i read Eden Robinson's Son of a Trickster and it blew my world right open. westerners are used to thinking of non-monotheistic religions traditions, especially the non-transcendent ones, as mythologies. i'm sure religious scholars have poured rivers of ink on thi
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Lata
Joan is utterly devastated when her husband Victor leaves one night after an argument, and disappears. When she stumbles across him working as a preacher many months later her, life is again turned upside down, as she tries to get him back.
Cherie Dimaline does it again. I loved her Marrow Thieves, and this was another great book. The plot moved at a good pace and the characterizations were great. Joan is messy, deeply hurt, and utterly, completely focused on one thing, to the exclusion of pretty
...more
Justine
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fantastically rendered and raw account of a woman's search for her missing husband. The story embeds itself in an exploration and uncovering of culture and identity politics, and the constant edges indigenous people find themselves running up against. This is a multilayered book with horror elements both obvious and subtle, supernatural and real.

Ajean was not accustomed to dealing with fear. Not anymore. She’d spent years pruning and nurturing herself so that there was nothing left for her to
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Michelle
Goodreads Giveaway!

I first saw this book on Thunderbird Woman Reads's Instagram page. She was so excited about this novel and its representation.

Cherie Dimaline is a recognized Metis author. Her novel The Marrow Thieves won her the Governor General's Literary Award in 2017.

Now with Empire of Wild she is again lending her pen to a supernatural story that pulls the reader in from the first page. Joan is looking for her husband Victor who disappeared after an argument. Although some think he took o
...more
Catie
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020, horror
To those of you who love your Stephen King but prefer your twisty/supernatural horror without the lingering aftertaste of misogyny and racism, this one is for you!
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A Rogarou comes from Métis legend and is close to part werewolf, part body-snatcher. But this story is about Joan and the husband that has been missing almost a year, and how she tries to get him back. (This review is short because this is one of those books that the joy is in the gradual reveal.)
A. H. Reaume
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I very rarely rate books 5 stars. This book more than deserves this rating. It was the book I was most anticipating this fall. It lives up to the hype.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Almost an entire year has passed since Joan’s husband Victor disappeared after the first serious argument of their marriage. Her family and tight knit community helped her search in the beginning but everyone has given up hope at this point, except for Joan. Victor is out there somewhere and she continues to search and simultaneously fall into the darkness of her grief.

On an early morning trip to Walmart while hungover, Joan finds a revival tent set up in the parking lot …and hears the voice of
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I'm really struggling with audiobooks lately (though there's nothing wrong with this narrator at all!), and I only have the audio format, so I'm putting this on hold until my ebook hold comes in. ...more
Lollita
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Something a little different kinda strange, I liked it.
❤️
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Empire Of Wild was one of, if not my most, anticipated novel of 2019, and I couldn't have asked for a more engaging, thrilling read. Simply put, it exceeded all my expectations. This is the sort of book, the kind of storytelling, I adore. I loved absolutely everything about it - the characters, the pacing, the symbolism, the atmosphere. Not a moment was wasted within the plot and, just as I found myself while reading The Marrow Thieves, I fell deeply into the lives of the characters immediately ...more
Jessica Doyle
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, deeply felt, and unique book set in Canada and written by a Canadian author. I loved the writing - blunt, straightforward, and perfectly suited to the storyline and the characters. Empire of Wild has a thriller-like feel, grounded in Métis folklore. I have never read anything quite like this and couldn't put it down. ...more
Courtney Jones
Excellent book! So well written and thought-provoking.
Jordan
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, favorites
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

To those who have read and loved The Only Good Indians, I have your next read right here! Empire of Wild is a haunting tale from an indigenous voice that packs a punch and will leave you in awe of both the story and the message that comes with it.

Empire of Wild centers around Joan, a Canadian Métis woman who has been desperately searching for husband since he went missing almost a year ago. Things really start to get weird and take off when an on-t
...more
Wesley Wilson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison Hardtmann
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Parties were held in kitchens. Euchre was a sport. And fiddles made the only sound worth dancing to. Any other music was just background noise for storytelling and beer drinking and flirting. Or for providing the cadence for fight choreography when you just had to beat the shit out of your cousin.

Joan has been looking for her husband for almost a year when she finds him preaching in a giant tent in a Walmart parking lot. He looks different, and clearly doesn't know her, but she's sure it's him.
...more
Robyn
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I mostly just wish I'd read this with my book club because I feel like I need to talk to someone about this story. I grabbed it off the library Hot Titles with zero prior knowledge of it or the author, because I think it's good to mix it up every once in a while and just take a chance on a book. It's near impossible categorize it into a genre or describe the plot succinctly. I wouldn't say I loved it but I liked it (I think?) and perhaps most importantly I have spent much of the time I wasn't re ...more
Andi 앤디
Apr 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Nope.
Heidi
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5. I’m not sure that listening to the audiobook was the correct choice for me to consume this story, because I feel like I missed some nuance that would have improved my experience. I want to revisit it via physical copy someday soon, because I did enjoy this story for the most part and Cherie Dimaline is clearly a brilliant writer and storyteller.

I confess myself to be ignorant on indigenous culture, and I am holding myself accountable to read more books by indigenous authors moving forward s
...more
Christine
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

Dimaline’s novel centers on Joan, a Metis woman, whose husband has been missing for roughly a year. Victor, Joan’s husband, left one night after a fight and didn’t return. This, understandably, has thrown Joan though a loop. Then she thinks she see him. Perhaps, just perhaps, he is that Reverend who’s born again Christian church has shown up. Thus, Joan’s quest starts.

Dimaline’s novel, part supernatural thriller, part mystery, works brilliantly because Joan’s confu
...more
Jessie
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cherie Dimaline’s Empire of Wild was a spooky little sexy little suspenseful little thriller about a woman, Joan, whose partner disappears following an argument, and who finds herself trailing the scent of a Rogarou, the dog man who has claimed lives and bodies in her Ontario Métis community for generations, in an effort to save him. Well. I enjoyed this book so much. I think Dimaline, as in her previous work The Marrow Thieves, creates relatable characters with relationships I become profoundly ...more
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Cherie Dimaline wins her first Governor General's Literary Award in 2017 with The Marrow Thieves. She is an author and editor from the Georgian Bay Métis community whose award-winning fiction has been published and anthologized internationally. In 2014, she was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and became the first Aboriginal Writer in ...more

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“his red bow tie the colour of shock and murder.” 1 likes
“On these lands, in both the occupied places and those left to grow wild, alongside the community and the dwindling wildlife, there lived another creature. At night, he roamed the roads that connected Arcand to the larger town across the Bay where Native people were still unwelcome two centuries on. His name was spoken in the low tones saved for swear words and prayer. He was the threat from a hundred stories told by those old enough to remember the tales.
Broke Lent?
The rogarou will come for you.
Slept with a married woman?
Rogarou will find you.
Talked back to your mom in the heat of the moment?
Don't walk home. Rogarou will snatch you up.
Hit a woman under any circumstance?
Rogarou will call you family, soon.
Shot too many deer, so your freezer is overflowing but the herd thin?
If I were you, I'd stay indoors at night. Rogarou knows by now.
He was a dog, a man, a wolf. He was clothed, he was naked in his fur, he wore moccasins to jig. He was whatever made you shiver but he was always there, standing by the road, whistling to the stars so that they pulsed bright in the navy sky, as close and as distant as ancestors.
For girls, he was the creature who kept you off the road or made you walk in packs. The old women never said, "Don't go into town, it is not safe for us there. We go missing. We are hurt." Instead, they leaned in and whispered a warning: "I wouldn't go out on the road tonight. Someone saw the rogarou just this Wednesday, leaning against the stop sign, sharpening his claws with the jawbone of a child."
For boys, he was the worst thing you could ever be. "You remember to ask first and follow her lead. You don't want to turn into Rogarou. You'll wake up with blood in your teeth, not knowing and no way to know what you've done."
Long after that bone salt, carried all the way from the Red River, was ground to dust, after the words it was laid down with were not even a whisper and the dialect they were spoken in was rubbed from the original language into common French, the stories of the rogarou kept the community in its circle, behind the line. When the people forgot what they had asked for in the beginning - a place to live, and for the community to grow in a good way - he remembered, and he returned on padded feet, light as stardust on the newly paved road. And that rogarou, heart full of his own stories but his belly empty, he came home not just to haunt. He also came to hunt.”
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