Saturday, September 15, 2007

Book Review: The Sight


The Sight
David Clement-Davies

In a cave in Transylvania, two wolf cubs are born, one white, one black. Could the white cub, Larka, be the white wolf that heralds the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy? Larka's mother's sister, a powerful and evil wolf named Morgra, thinks so, and in her anger and her hunger for power, she curses Larka and her family. Morgra has the power of the Sight, an ability to see far things and to see through the eyes of animals, but she seeks the ultimate power foretold in the prophecy.

As Larka's family flees, trying to escape both Morgra and the prophecy, they encounter danger after danger as the prophecy, and Morgra's curse, seem to be coming true. They are also pursued by a pack of rebel wolves forming a greater wolf pack under a harsh leader named Slavka. Slavka seeks to wipe out belief in the Sight, the prophecy, and all superstition, and Larka's family is caught in the middle between Slavka and Morgra. As Morgra calls forth the power of Wolfbane, the evil one, can the love of the family overcome Morgra's ambitions and the prophecy itself?

This is an incredibly rich, detailed and complex book. The story is deep and moving, drawing on many sources including Christianity, history, folklore, and fairy tales. Clement-Davies brings to life the wilderness of the Carpathian mountains and the lives of the animals with beautifully expressive language and metaphor. There are some interesting plot twists that caught me by surprise, and that's not easy to do.

This is not an easy book to read; with its complicated plot and detailed language, it may be challenging for some young people. I was a little put off by the message, which seems a little heavy in the last part of the book. But in general, teens who are good readers and who enjoy a richly imagined animal fantasy will find a lot to like about this book.

A sequel to The Sight, Fell, will be published this month by Amulet Books.
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