Sisters of the Wolf
- Author: Patricia Miller-Schroeder
- Genre: YA Historical Fiction
- Publication Date: September 21, 2021
- Publisher: Dundurn Press
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.
CONTENT WARNING: death of a child, death, violence, murder, gore
Can Shinoni and Keena, two Ice Age teens separated from their tribes, overcome their differences to outwit their pursuer and survive the unforgiving wilds?
The climate is changing, game is disappearing, and two peoples of the Ice Age compete for survival in a savage world. Keena, from a powerful band of Neanderthals, and Shinoni, daughter of a Cro-Magnon shaman, are torn from their families by Haken, a ruthless hunter. The girls dislike each other but soon discover they need each other to survive. Together they escape but are pursued by Haken across an Ice-Age landscape rumbling with advancing glaciers and teeming with mighty predators.
As Shinoni and Keena work to overcome disaster at every turn, they are joined by Tewa, a powerful she-wolf, who becomes their guardian and spirit guide. Can their growing friendship overcome cultural, racial, and even species differences? Will they ever be able to find their families? Only the spirits know.
This was a fresh and really interesting story that reminded me a lot of Clan of the Cave Bear, but for a younger audience. It also has more of a focus on action, rather than the long, drawn-out descriptions that Auel is so fond of. And while it’s a YA book, it often reads more as an MG book, making it ideal for younger readers.
Shinoni and Keena are easy characters to like, although they are vastly different in many ways. Keena is more cautious, while Shinoni is a lot more willing to break the rules and try new things. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the way that there was a little nuance that indicated that the Cro-Magnon people were “better” than the Neanderthals, although both were doing their best to survive in extremely harsh and difficult times.
Aside from that, the story was a great one. It was fast-moving and full of action. I read it quickly and struggled to put it down, always wanting to know what would happen next. The story of two young girls traveling through a landscape could easily have dragged, but the author’s skillful storytelling held my attention and kept me interested for the duration of the tale.
I loved seeing how the landscape could easily become a hazard, but the girls adapted quickly and learned to work together. It was fascinating to see elements of healing, hunting, and knowledge of their environment, as well as how highly developed their senses were, especially compared to how things are today, when we view ourselves as so much more evolved. It made me think that while we have clearly evolved in some ways, we’ve obviously lost some things along the way. This was quite an enjoyable read, and it’s definitely given me a strong urge to reread Clan of the Cave Bear.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 7
Categories: Book Review