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Michelle Paver was born in Malawi; her father was South African and her mother is Belgian. They moved to England when she was small and she was brought up in Wimbledon, where she still lives. After gaining a first in biochemistry at Oxford she became a lawyer and was until recently a partner of a large City law firm, specialising in patent litigation. She has now given up the law to write full-time. She is the author of Without Charity, A Place in the Hills, The Shadow Catcher and Fever Hill all published by Corgi.
Wakenhyrst is a glorious darkly gothic feast of a read, and I really had no option other than to choose it as one of my picks of the month. Folklore and superstition are bound up in the Fens, Maud Steame has grown up there, surrounded by gossip, rumours and terrible secrets, will releasing her story set her free? Michelle Paver excels in quietly setting fear loose and disquiet scurrying free. Simply and beautifully descriptive, words leave the page and settle together to gradually create an entire picture. I found myself hooked, then completely snared as Maud’s life unfolds over 60 years revealing the very essence of her being. I feel deeply connected to Maud, and she continues to exist in my thoughts. Wakenhyrst is a fascinating, deeply emotional, and surprisingly beautiful read, I highly recommend stepping inside and setting your feelings free to explore.
November 2017 Book of the Month A chilling ghostly tale set in 1935 on Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas. Five men attempt to climb to the summit of the worlds third highest mountain, they take the same path as a failed climb in 1907 and soon find local superstitions and eerie sightings affect their thoughts and nerves. Michelle Paver embeds a sense of complete reality, Dr Stephen Pearce tells the story and it feels as though it could be a documented historic account. Yet as I read, small unnerving suggestions began to affect my reasoning. Thoughts and feelings, trapped and hemmed in by fear, transferred from the pages. Michelle Paver explains at the end of the book that in reality, the actual peak of the mountain remained untouched until 1980, so as not to upset ‘whatever’ lived up there. Was the altitude affecting the climb in the novel, or a more supernatural presence? ‘Thin Air’, set in a world unknown to most, is an unsettling, gripping, and oh so readable tale. ~ liz Robinson
A Special Edition of Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver to celebrate Orion's 20th anniversary. Rich in detail which brings the past to life and makes the forest background vivid to all readers, Wolf Brother tells how orphaned Torak must set out on a terrible mission. Tricked, trapped and betrayed at almost every turn, it’s a lonely quest but Torak finds comfort in the support of a wolf cub. Relying on their quick wits, the two journey through danger until Torak must make the final sacrifice. Titles in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series: 1. Wolf Brother 2. Spirit Walker 3. Soul-eater 4. Outcast 5. Oathbreaker 6. Ghost Hunter
October 2011 Book of the Month. One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. A classic, good old fashioned ghost story set in the Arctic in 1937. Evocative, chilling and superbly unsettling, it tells of a meteorological expedition that goes horribly wrong. A Richard and Judy Autumn Read 2011.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 11 November 2010. A terrifying 1930s ghost story set in the haunting wilderness of the far north. Evocative, chilling and superbly unsettling.
I have been a fan of Michelleâ€™s since her first, Without Charity, and rejoice in her wonderful success with the beginning of her childrenâ€™s series, Wolf Brother. This absorbing, evocative trilogy, set in Jamaica at the turn of the century, is passionate stuff, true old-fashioned story-telling at its best. Following The Shadow Catcher we are now in 1903 with old secrets reappearing, friendships reuniting and the Jamaican country, people and history brilliantly depicted. Sheâ€™s great.Comparison: Judith Lennox, Sarah Harrison, Jojo Moyes.Similar this month: None, but try Maeve Binchy or Deborah Lawrenson.
With his father's dying words ringing in his ears, Torak knows that time is running out. Soon, the demon bear will kill again - its evil power strengthened with each slaughter. Nothing is safe. But Torak won't be alone in the Forest for long. Strangers lurk between the whispering trees, eyes watching his every move. With only an orphaned wolf cub for company, Torak must keep his promise to find the Mountain.
Thousands of years ago an orphan boy and his wolf cub companion challenge a demon bear that threatens to destroy their world forever. With the help of the World Spirit, Torak destroys the bear, but his beloved Wolf is lost in the ensuing avalanche. And Torak's quest is far from over. A strange, creeping sickness, silent and deadly, is threatening the Ravens. Word arrives that the Seal Clan have the cure and Torak must face a lonely journey to find it. On the Seal's Island he stumbles into a world utterly unlike his own. Here life moves to the rhythms of the sea, the Seals build shelters from whale bones and skim the waves in fast, beautiful kayaks. And here Torak is welcomed by the kindly Seal Mage, Teneris, and kinsman, Bale. But all is not as it seems - Torak must keep his wits about him to judge who might be friend or foe. As in 'Wolf Brother' Michelle Paver's sheer passion for her story set in a world of myth and natural magic, shines through in this skilfully woven, exciting and brilliantly satisfying second instalment of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.
The first, bestselling novel in the million-copy-selling CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS series, WOLF BROTHER is a compelling page-turner like no other written by renowned author Michelle Paver. Thousands of years ago, the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it - 12-year-old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak's father tells his son of his burden. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit's help to overcome it. A terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life. Audio edition also available, read by Ian McKellen.
'If an Outsider wields the blade, the House of Koronos burns...' Hylas is only a boy but he knows three things: The Gods exist. Magic is real. Somebody wants him dead. Hunted and alone, Hylas is desperate to find his missing sister. His quest takes him across the hostile mountains and treacherous seas of Ancient Greece. His only friend is a girl on the run. His only guide is a wild dolphin. And his murderous enemies are closing in... This action-packed adventure story is perfect for kids aged 9-12. 'Electrifying' - Independent on Sunday 'The reader's attention is caught from the first line...spellbinding' - Telegraph 'Set to become another children's classic' - Books for Keeps