It is hugely exciting to be hosting today’s stop on the Viper Daughter’s blog tour, the brand new story in the Wolf Brother series by award-winning author Michelle Paver published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus. Today I’m sharing an exclusive extract from the book to give you a glimpse into the story!
Viper’s Daughter is the seventh book in the series which began with the award-winning and million-copy selling title, Wolf Brother. The story continues the adventures of a fantastic cast of characters against the backdrop of the Stone-Age complete with ancient clans, mystic magic and woolly mammoths! Constantly in demand in the school libraries I worked in, I can imagine a whole legion of fans will be delighted to see Torak, Renn and Wolf in print again. Not only this, but readers will also be excited to hear that Wolf Brother is to be made into a T.V series too – see here for more details.
For two summers, Torak and Renn have been living in the Forest with their faithful pack-brother, Wolf. But their happiness is shattered when Renn realises Torak is in danger – and she’s the threat….
Returning to the ancient Stone-Age world that is Torak, Renn and Wolf’s home, you can almost hear the calls of the wild, feel the ice-cold wintry landscapes and taste the danger! Introducing faces old and new, adventure quickly takes over as Renn disappears and Torak finds himself in a race against all manner of evils to find her. Torak and Wolf’s powerful bond has never been more needed and they are tested to the limit. Renn must master her Magecraft and battle her own demons – as well as a few real ones, in order to survive. The world conjured creates a powerful image of clan life and what living in those ancient times might have been like – from what they wore, to what they ate and their belief in folklore and magic. References to previous events and characters and the use of descriptive terminology add to the authenticity – and give you a very good excuse to read the whole series again! Weaving an enthralling narrative, full of thrills and heart-stopping action, Viper’s Daughter transports you to a place where the bonds of friendship are key to survival and life can change on the tip of an arrow!
Read the extract below for an insight into this gripping adventure:
Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver – An Extract
Strangers meeting Dark saw an odd-looking boy with long white hair and eyes like a sky full of snow. They mistook his gentleness for weakness, but soon realised their error. He’d been born without colour and abandoned by his father when he was eight. For seven winters he’d survived on his own in the Mountains, his only companions a white raven he’d rescued from crows, and his sister’s ghost. Two summers ago the Raven Clan had taken him in and made him their Mage. He was still getting used to living with people in the Forest, and sometimes he went off for a few days alone to clear his head.
Torak flung away the stick and glared at the fire. ‘Tell me why she left.’
With his knife Dark speared a salmon eye and offered it. Torak scowled, so Dark ate it himself. ‘She said things kept happening that she couldn’t explain.’
‘A spring-trap she forgot to warn you about. And that time she nearly shot you when you were hunting.’
‘Those were accidents.’
‘She didn’t think so. She said, “There’s something inside me that wants to hurt Torak.”’
‘What? Renn would never hurt me!’
‘I know. But she’s terrified that she might. She said she has to find out what it is and make it stop. She thinks – ’ his voice dropped – ‘it might have something to do with her mother.’
The birch trees whispered in alarm. The white raven crested her head-feathers and croaked. Torak met Dark’s eyes. ‘But the Viper Mage is dead.’
‘I know, but that’s what Renn told me.’
Torak rubbed his hand across his mouth. ‘And you’ve no idea where she’s gone?’
‘She said the signs all point one way but she wouldn’t say where. I’ve been seeing signs too. And just now my drum told me something weird: The demon that is not demon—’
‘I don’t have time for Mage’s riddles.’
‘And I keep seeing tusks.’ He pointed at a tree where he’d left a small slate weasel as an offering. Shadows of twigs had given it horns. ‘I see them in clouds, in eddies in the river: huge twisted tusks, much bigger than a boar’s—’
‘I don’t care about tusks, I need to find Renn!’
‘But, Torak, they’re linked! The tusks have something to do with her, I can feel it.’
‘Do a finding charm, do it now.’
‘She doesn’t want you to find her. That’s why she left without telling you, because you’d insist on going too and she couldn’t take that risk!’
‘Just do the charm!’
Dark opened his mouth – then shut it. ‘I don’t need to. Look at the sky.’
Above their heads the First Tree glowed luminous green. Its shimmering branches held the moon and the stars, and its unseen roots trapped demons in the Otherworld. Torak felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. The First Tree shone brightest on dark winter nights and rarely showed itself in summer. It had appeared for a reason. He saw from Dark’s rapt expression that he thought so too.As they watched, the green lights faded till all that remained was a single shining bough arching like a vast arrow across the deep blue sky.
‘North,’ said Torak. ‘It’s telling us she’s gone north.’
‘A long way north.’
Torak glanced at him. ‘You don’t mean the Far North? She’d never try that on her own.’
‘Even further. I can feel it.’
‘But what could be further than the Far North?’
Ark cawed a greeting, and they saw Fin-Kedinn at the edge of the glade. Leaning on his staff, the Leader of the Raven Clan limped towards them. Silver glinted in his dark-red hair and his short straight beard. Firelight carved his features in shadow and flame.
‘Beyond the Far North,’ he said, ‘is the Edge of the World.’
Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver is out now, published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus, priced £12.99 in hardback.