Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: The Red Wolf Conspiracy

Red Wolf Conspiracy
The Red Wolf Conspiracy was the fantasy book that inspired me to finish a significant number of the outstanding series I had started so that I could get around to reading and enjoying this book.  The premise is complex.  The Chathrand is an ancient, massive warship, the last of its kind.  It is sent on a mission of peace from the Arquali empire to the Mzithrin, carrying on-board an ambassador, his mistress and his daughter, Thasha, who is promised in marriage to the Mzithrin ruler.  Also aboard is Pazel, a teenaged boy with a magical ability to understand every language he hears.  Sometimes.  The captain of the ship sees ghosts everywhere, there are 8-inch tall warriors stowing away and one rat who is shocked to realize that he has a mind of his own.  All these characters (and more!) come warily together on-board the Chathrand, unsure of who is friend and who is foe and what may really happen on a ship of such massive proportions and on such a difficult journey.

If you don't like epic fantasy, it is very unlikely that you will enjoy this book.  It is exactly the sort of book I wanted to sink my teeth into, and perhaps it was one of those cases of the right book at the right time.  I loved the characters, I loved the intricate plotting, and I loved the detailed world created in the story.  Yes, there were flaws and the story at times dragged, but overall I was completely enamored with the book and really look forward to its sequel (this is the first book in a series of four).

The Red Wolf Conspiracy
Many people read epic fantasy for its battles and wars and magic.  And really, when people think of epic fantasy, this is usually what springs immediately to mind.  But fantasy has evolved over the past several years and epic fantasy has done the same.  Now, much of epic fiction deals with politics and etiquette and misunderstandings and intrigue much more reminiscent of an alternate version of the Middle Ages.  I love this.  I love the worlds created in successful fantasy fiction- not that I need to know the exact layout of a map or the capital of every country on it, but I do like to know about the history and culture of a place.  And I think Redick does very well with that in his first novel.   There is a depth in his writing, and I trust that he will only become better at his craft as the series continues.  Considering how many twists and complications he so masterfully dealt with in this book, I am really excited to see what he does in the future.  I hope that juggling so many characters and so many happenings doesn't get too complicated for him.  I'll be sure to check out the next book, The Rats and the Ruling Sea, as soon as possible!

PS- This is a book that takes place mostly on a ship, but luckily, there wasn't too much "ship-ish" language for me to wade through, and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting in this instance!


  1. I've been wanting to read this book for a while as I've heard great things about it. I love epic fantasies, even though I'm not a fan of the political elements, and I hope to get to this book soon.

  2. This sounds really good and I think the kind of things you mentioned are what make epic fantasy (and big historical series) so attractive to me. I like the details and the relationships that go with all the machinations. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

  3. I wouldn't say I didn't like epic fantasies, as I have never read any. I think I just haven't felt inclined to pick one up and read one. Maybe I need to try one.

  4. It's so nice that this was the perfect read at the right time for you!! I haven't read much epic fantasy, but this one sounds like something that I would really like. I especially like the part about the sentient rat!! Great review, Aarti! Your enthusiasm for the book shines through!

  5. Those things that you said epic fantasy used to be are just the things that makes me LOVE epic fantasy. So I shall mourn its demise cos it will never make me find another WOT.

    And here is to hoping the library hears my plea and gets this one

  6. Anonymous6/21/2010

    This looks great. I love fantasy with intricate plotting. I haven't heard of this one before so thanks for posting about it!

  7. I just picked this book up at the library yesterday. Glad to hear that you thought well of it and I am very happy to hear it's more machinations than magic.

  8. Mmmmmmmm, I promised myself I wasn't going to read anything here that I could get at home. I'm only going to read books that I can't get at home, and that way I will maximize the number of new books I can consume.

    I love boats and political intrigue...

    *tries to resist temptation*

  9. Thanks for lending me this book! I just finished it and really enjoyed it..up until the ending. I don't want to give up any spoilers, but those last few chapters did not measure up to the rest of a very well written and constructed plot.

    I also like that the Chathrand was more of a character rather than a vehicle to show off the author's nautical research. Good job, Mr. Redick!


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