Large Print Reviews
By Tara K. Harper
Read by Karen White
By Tara K. Harper
Read by Karen White
Books on Tape, (2001)
An Unabridged Audio Recording
Book Number 5777 - 10 Cassettes
Genre: Science Fiction
Standard Print (Paperback)
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 10, 2002
Shadow Leader is the second installment in Tara K. Harper's saga about the Wolfwalker Ember Dion and the wolf Gray Hishn with whom she has a telepathic bond. This story picks up where Wolfwalker ended, just after Dion and her companions had escaped from their frozen mountain hideout where they were sickened by a mysterious, ancient disease. Dion, who is also a skilled healer, was able to heal her companions, thanks in part to Gray Hishn and a band of wolves that came to her aid. In Wolfwalker, Dion and her brother Rohm had joined up with a band of men who were determined to rescue two girls who had been taken captive by slavers. It was this rescue attempt and the resulting retreat that ensued after the girls were rescued that led to the band finding itself holed upon on a cold, barren mountain side.
In Shadow Leader, Dion and Gray Hishn are once again the center of attention. This volume centers upon the group of rescuers' journey home from their mountain hideout. While rescuing the girls, in Wolfwalker, the band of friends had uncovered a devious plot that could well lead to devastating war. Understandably, they were all anxious to get home in order to warn their respective communities of the dangers that lie ahead. The bad guys, however, are just as anxious to keep the stalwart band from warning anyone of their plans for war. To reach their homelands, the band must follow a serpentine and ofttimes dangerous route in order to, hopefully, avoid coming into contact with the numerous deadly foes who would see them dead. Consequently the journey home is one paved with untold perils, and with the certain knowledge that the price of failure is their lives.
Harper is an excellent story teller, whose prose is descriptive and vibrant. This unabridged audio recording of Shadow Leader is read by Karen White. Her reading is clear and compelling, and as riveting as the story itself. While I recommend that you read Wolfwalker first, you can read Shadow Leader out of sequence. However, if you have not read Wolfwalker, it may take you a couple of chapters to get a feel for story and its characters.
This story is partly a work of science fiction and partly a traditional thriller. It is violent with numerous well choreographed fight scenes, it is set in a distant world, and it is fast paced. It is also somewhat of a psychological drama in that it revolves around Dion and Gray Hishn's intricate bond with each other. This bond is very intimate, and it is on a level with that of a pair of lovers, complete with petty jealousies and a deep desire to ensure that the other partner is happy and healthy. This connection is explored as Dion and Gray Hishn both move off in different directions, seeking mates of their own, while at the same time their bond grows more complex.
This page-turner will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Dion and her hearty band of fellow travelers on their journey homewards. It is filled with a myriad of hair-raising adventures that they must endure in order to reach the safety of their homes. Did I say safety? Wait, I might have spoken too quickly. Book three in the continuing saga of the Wolfwalker Dion is called Storm Runner, and I've heard that in this volume, Dion finds that home is not quiet as safe as she thought it would be....
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- Wolfwalker, by Tara K. Harper.
Ember Dion is a healer and a wolfwalker. She is also a skilled woodsmen and sword fighter. But is it, perhaps, her skill as a wolfwalker that best defines her. A wolfwalker is an individual who can telepathically communicate with wolves. In this rollicking adventure tale, Dion and Hishn, her wolf, struggle to survive a series of challenges while on the trail of a band of raiders who have kidnaped three young girls, whom they intend to sell as harem slaves. (Audio)
- The 60 Greatest Old-Time Radio Shows From Science Fiction, Selected by Ray Bradbury.
This is a collection of 60 of the best science fiction radio shows that aired between 1938-1962.(Audio)
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