I was going to post this here, then I didn't, but now I am. I know I'm not the only one here to have read and enjoyed the series, so some might find this useful.


I enjoy Jane Lindskold's Firekeeper Saga, and highly recommend the books. It's a fairly decent series about a young woman who's literally raised by wolves (albeit it intelligent wolves), and so ends up rather wolf-like in general behavior. She's accompanied by a member of her family and a counselor of the monarchy and they have adventures. Her books are heavy on intrigue and have a certain amount of mysticism--in some of the first books in the series, you're not really sure if a character can actually use magic or not (and neither are the characters). So I'd consider them to be in the top tier of fantasy. Firekeeper is a sympathetic character with believable vices, people are portrayed as reacting in a realistic manner to the existence of an intelligent wolf (who can't speak to humans other than Firekeeper), there are always several plot threads that intertwine, and while she has a tendency to write completely unsympathetic antagonists they still tend to be well done.

Until this year, the last book had been published in 2007. So when I saw that she'd published a book in the series this year, I purchased it on the spot even though it was self-published. I'm not sure if it being self-published is why, but there's a noticeable drop in quality.

The prose was as good as it always is--as far as I can remember, anyway, perhaps someone with a more critical eye might perceive a difference. But the book is half the length of a normal Firekeeper novel, and that means that some of what makes the books good got cut. As far as I can remember, the book stays with Firekeeper as the POV for almost the entire novel (there is a brief period where the group splits up for a mission, and we follow someone else in the other group), and that means that there are no other plot threads than Blind Seer's attempt to learn magic.

But there are other plot threads that could be there, and the book is weaker for not having them. Yes, I'm interested in Blind Seer's quest. I'm also interested in the trade negotiations Derian is undergoing, and how the fact that in the society Derian is part of by the time of Wolf's Search, the yarimaimalom (intelligent animals that cannot speak to humans) are thoroughly integrated as equals. We never get a sense of how the North reacts to them, beyond mild disbelief on behalf of one ambassador.

The plot we do get feels incomplete, because it is. The characters go on a quest to a mountain in exchange for getting Blind Seer a teacher. They do this and find that something has changed and they have to go find someone. The end. Granted, this was a deliberate choice on Jane Lindskold's part (as I recall, she had to split the book in two), but it does weaken the novel. Previous books set up future plot threads but were stand-alone.

As a work it's still good, but I'd no longer consider it one of the best fantasy novels.