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The Red Wolf Conspiracy

(The Chathrand Voyage #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  5,809 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Already a publishing sensation in England, The Red Wolf Conspiracy marks the debut of a remarkably gifted young writer. Robert V. S. Redick has been compared to Philip Pullman, George R. R. Martin, and China Miéville, among others, and like them he is a spellbinding storyteller, unafraid to sail his imagination into uncharted waters. With The Red Wolf Conspiracy he launche ...more
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by Del Rey Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Maryann Williams
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,809 ratings  ·  330 reviews

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Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2011
4.5 Stars

This was a very enjoyable novel and a fun read. It is a pirate type novel, but not in the swashbuckling typical way. Although I liked many of the characters, and Pazel is an interesting main protagonist, this is not a character study. This book works by giving us a riptide roaring fun adventure.

This book is filled with action, suspense, mystery, a bit of magic, and a whole lot of sea going fun. The world is painted vividly and it gives it a great fantastical feel. The book takes you awa
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
The first novel by a new fantasy author, The Red Wolf Conspiracy is both interesting and exasperating. Redick has woven together a complicated narrative with characters, plots, and intrigue coming from all directions. In some sense it's a fascinating world with a mad mix of unexpected elements. (Ships and pirates must be in vogue; I've read a number of fantasy/SF novels with a very large focus on ships and sailing in the last couple of years, yet have no memory of having read any with such focus ...more
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2009-reads
Normally I write reading impressions.
But this time I wrote a review. A new experience. And I'm proud to tell that the review has been post on a blog.

"The Red Wolf Conspiracy is like a gorgeous gown. Colorful, beads, frills, buttons, ribbons, feathers, hidden pockets, scented sachets, several layers of cloth. Every detail is like a person with her own history, thoughts and plans. All bent together by a golden thread whose stich is anything but random. So far, we have discovered the surface and t
Dirk Grobbelaar
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, fantasy
This novel does suffer a bit from debut-novel syndrome. Fortunately, much of what distinguishes this novel as a debut is also the very same that makes it so likeable. There is a feverish and impatient quality to the writing that keeps the reader on edge. Stylistically, The Red Wolf Conspiracy is as diverse as it gets; it’s a fantasy paella.

The novel is crammed with throwaway lines referencing the world and its imagined history. I found this quite enjoyable, as it reminded me of the pulps where
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The main problem of this book is telling not showing which affected the pacing of the book a lot.

Nearly all the interesting parts of the book happened off page and we were later told about them, almost as if the author didn't know how to handle the scene: details of action, fighting, organizing a counter conspiracy e.c.t., so he opted for eliminating it all together. I was very frustrated, he kept giving me the wrapping while telling me how yummy the chocolate was.

The first 130 pages crawled al
Doc Opp
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's an old trope in children's literature where the child protagonist has identified the villain, and the villains' scheme, and no adults will listen to them. Rather than helping solve the problem, the adults typically get in the way of resolution by grounding the children, or tipping off the villain, etc. This trope works really well in children's literature, but not nearly as well in adult fantasy novels, where it's just annoying.

Add to that a set of protagonists who are impulsive and not
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans of new worlds and sailing stories
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
I generally liked this book, although I am not a fan of fantasy novels that end mid story so you have to wait for the second book.

The main character is Pazel, a tarboy ,who gets aboard a mighty ship carrying the daughter of an Ambassador, who is supposed to marry the Prince of their mortal enemies to stop an ongoing war between their people. Pazel, has a magical gift of languages, which enables him to speak any language. The ancient ship is full of interesting characters, the Ambassador's beauti
Kelsey Hanson
What the heck did I just read? This could probably be one of the weirdest novels that I've ever read which is a pretty hard thing to achieve, I've read a lot of weird books. This review is going to be a little odd because I honestly am not sure what this book is about. If a teacher made me write a book report on this thing I would fail. This book has the following elements and I quote: a witch who casts a spell on her children using fruit juice, a ship that is a combination of the Black Pearl an ...more
Ranting Dragon
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caleigh

The Red Wolf Conspiracy is debut novelist Robert V. S. Redick’s first installment in The Chathrand Voyage series. Pazel Pathkendle is a lonesome tarboy hailing from one of Arqual’s many conquered territories. After a series of unfortunate events – perhaps, Pavel wonders, orchestrated by his mysterious friend Doctor Chadfellow – Pavel ends up on The Chathrand, a vast and ancient ship that is the pride of her country. The crew’s apparent mission is peaceful:
Mogsy (MMOGC)
The Good:

Love how this book started -- right away, the reader is informed through a "special notice" that the great ship has vanished at sea, along with the 800 souls she was carrying. (Souls...the choice of that word in the report had a chilling effect on me). Immediately, you're drawn into this mystery and you're flipping to the first page of the first chapter, eager to start the story which would tell you what happened.

I was also impressed with just how much is in this book. There's so much
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's one of those great things about books--you can stumble across one at just the right time, all the stars align, and the book turns out to be exactly what you wanted and needed.

That's how I reacted upon reading Robert Redick's The Red Wolf Conspiracy. A debut novel, I'd heard very little buzz about the book when I picked it up. I believe I'd seen a couple blurbs on various websites touting it's potential, so I put it on my "check it out" list. When I stumbled across a very nice copy of the U.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fantasy (not great) set on a mythical medieval sea-faring world (maps at author's website). The tale is told in 3rd person perspective, and occasionally through letters and journal entries written in 1st person. It is an epic fantasy primarily featuring sorcery, humans, and sentient "woken" animals that can speak, and humanoids (glowing electrical Flickermen, tiny Lilliputian "Ixchel").

The main protagonists are young adults, but adults and woken animals also play major roles. There is a ve
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I don’t think I’ve been so frustrated with a lost opportunity to this extent since I left the Thousand Names series. After reading past the midway mark, I finally realized that there is no hope for the souls on board and abandoned ship.

The book seems to have a lot of good reviews which really surprised me as this book is a mess of epic proportions. Everything that can go wrong went wrong. It’s never a good sign when you can’t think of a single reason to continue reading a book. This book should
♥ Unaeve ♥
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Red Wolf Conspiracy the first book of a trilogy destined to take its place on my all time favorite shelve:)

Robert V. S. Redick has been compared to Philip Pullman, George R. R. Martin, and China Miéville, among others and indeed if you liked them - you will like him as well!

Sort synopsis:
Many years after a terrible war that shook empires, a 600-year-old ship sails for enemy lands and must deal with deadly assassins, treacherous mermaids, and monstrous slavers.

Talking animals,magic gifts,gir
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
3.5-3.75 stars

Although I didn't come to love many or any one character in this tale, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the world building, the creatures and Pazel's gift of languages. While epic in scope, I wasn't sickened by the political intrigue and appreciated the efforts of the counter conspiracy.

Most of the action takes place on the high seas and there are some pirates, but not in the traditional sense. Following the exploits of Pazel as a 'tarboy' made the sailing jargon more palatable.

Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book for the young adult audience. I have no idea why it's not marketed that way and I hate it when I feel tricked into reading YA. It was interesting and entertaining but juvenile and I don't know why other reviewers aren't warning of the same.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Death is the moment when everything loses value except the truth.”

Competent fantasy series opener. Ensemble cast of introduces themselves by their choices. Engaging people and plot in an adventure road trip by water on the greatest ship in the world. The concept of waking is well-developed, and a fresh way to introduce sentient beings in “lesser” animals.

“No animal, no man, no thousand year old sage is perfectly awake. True waking is … emerging from one cage into a larger, brighter, less lonel
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Did Not Finish

The premise of the book, a giant sailing ship, made me excited to try it as it brought a new and interesting idea to the fantasy genre. As well as the fact that this was primarily a maritime-fantasy. It has sat on my to-read shelf for quite some time, and I just recently had the opportunity to try the audiobook.

What a disappointment. The plot of the story crawls at a snail's pace, and any time something interesting starts to happen, the author dumps a bunch of back story that brin
Jan 31, 2009 rated it liked it
The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick
Published by Gollancz UK
Published February 2008
539 pages (ARC); 384 pages (Hardback) (ARC copy received for review.)
ISBN: 978- 0575081765 (Hardback) 9780575081772 (Trade Paperback)


Or should that be ‘Arrrgh’?

For The Red Wolf Conspiracy is an enthusiastic novel that combines tales of pirates with legends of imprisoned Lovecraftian gods, hidden treasure and general skulduggery. Part Master and Commander, part On Stranger Tides, this fantasy debut
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An enthralling and entertaining first novel by this author, it tells the story of a disparate group of characters on board an ancient huge sailing ship that is leading them all to their destiny. Whilst the idea of a fellowship on a quest is straight out of Tolkien, this story reminded me more of Game of Thrones at times, especially with the varied point of view chapters from the main characters, not to mention a young lady who has a "dancing master" who teaches her a few other skills. There are ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but I wanted to like it more. This is apparently Redick's first published novel, and it shows. The world he builds is imaginative, and the story has potential, even if it does fall into a lot of the well-worn plucky-band-of-somewhat-unlikely-heroes-does-battle-against-great-evil-attempting-to-retrieve-object-of-unspeakable-evil-power tropes. The characters are likable, and some are quite interesting and creatively drawn. The biggest problem is in the plotting, where a number o ...more
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY by Robert Redick is a intricate fantasy revolving around a young cabin boy aboard a ship named Pavel who has the ability to 'understand' different languages. The attention to detail almost slows the story down, especially when trying to remember different kingdoms, peoples, characters, customs, and whose on who's side at what time!

The author's imagination is amazing as he weaves his tale. The twists and turns, number of characters, places and events-astounding! We have ti
Shari  Mulluane
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it
It did not work for me. Straight away, I was annoyed by the amount of telling and the slow start. I tend to really enjoy books where I can live in the story. It is not the characters experiencing events; it is me experiencing things through them. I never got that degree of immersion from this tale. Now telling can work, I have seen it done, but this time it kept me on the outside of things instead of pulling me in. I felt that the novel could have been so much more then it was. However, there ar ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a super first novel, up in my top 5 favorites for the year so far. I love discovering new authors, especially since one or two of my favorites have not been delivering the goods lately (George RR Martin-write the book already and stop messing around and taunting your readers! Robin Hobb, write something else, preferably set in the Six Duchies!) Anyway, Robert V.S. Redick has satisfied my hunger for a fantasy world to match that of Martin's or Hobb's and it's populated with wonderful cha ...more
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copy, audiobooks
An absolutely glorious adventure. Had minor politics, some ships, magic, talking animals and...wait, this sounds like a kids book.

Luckily, it's not. Red Wolf Conspiracy was very well written, with enjoyable characters and really intense dramatic situations. Only low point of the entire novel was the ending, in my opinion. And I mean the very ending - because the final 1/3 of the book is nonstop action that comes to a really satisfying crescendo. The very last chapter, however, was basically a C
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adulthood
This was impressive.

I am not normally a fan of books that take place on ships. There's not a lot of setting to work with and I get kind of clausterphobic. That did not happen during The Red Wolf Conspiracy.

There is a LOT going on in this story, a lot of characters to keep up with and it seems like multiple conspiracies to try to figure out. Thankfully, it's easy for the reader to know the good guys from the bad and to get behind the good guys. The author is great at giving us innocent characters
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A wild and wonderful ride of an adventure. Immersed in sea life, schemes within schemes and the wonder (or curse?) of language. Glad to have come here from reading Redick's most recent book 'Master Assassins'.
Got the rest of the series already lined up and my fingers are wandering to pick up the next one. As good a sign of an intriguing story if ever I've known one..

'As sure as disease grows where filth lies unburied, so every war in history sprang from someone's carelessness or neglect.'
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
The Abibliophobic  Guy
This book was like the Chathrand was to other fantasy books. Massive, impressive and epic. Looking back I don't know why I didn't give this five stars, everything that I remembered about it was pitch perfect. But, when I finished it, it felt like something was lacking to make it worthy of five stars - in short, when comparing it five star fantasy books I have read, as amazing as this is, I just felt like it wasn't as good as, say, Fallon's Harshini trilogy of Goodkind's sprawling epics. Still, a ...more
Kristi Schumacher
Personal Response
I think that The Red Wolf Conspiracy was pretty dull at first and confusing, but it got easier to understand as I read more. My favorite character was Thasha because she wasn't scared to say no to people. I am also glad that they were able to find a way out of the marriage for Thasha.

Plot Summary
In the beginning, it switches back and forth between Thasha's point of view and Pazel's. Thasha was a high-born lady, and wanted to get out of the school she was forced to go to. Pazel
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What's the Name o...: fantasy book with a boy who can speak any language [s] 4 31 Sep 08, 2014 06:21PM  

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Robert V.S. Redick is in his thirties and works as the editor for the Spanish and French websites of Oxfam America and as an instructor in the International Development and Social Change program at Clark University. Born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, he lives in rural western Massachusetts. While his unpublished novel Conquistadors was a finalist for the 2002 AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Awar ...more

Other books in the series

The Chathrand Voyage (4 books)
  • The Rats and the Ruling Sea (The Chathrand Voyage, #2)
  • The River of Shadows (The Chathrand Voyage, #3)
  • The Night of the Swarm (The Chathrand Voyages #4)
“Be silent, and sit down, for you are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof. —RUMI” 1 likes
“Be silent, and sit down, for you are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof. RUMI” 0 likes
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