The Silver Wolf
by J.C. Harvey
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 3 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 7 Feb 2022
Atlantic Books, Allen & Unwin
The extraordinarily rich, dark, panoramic tale of an orphaned boy's quest for truth and then for vengeance as war rages across 17th-century Europe.
Amidst the chaos of the Thirty Years' War, Jack Fiskardo embarks upon a quest that will carry him inexorably from France to Amsterdam and then onto the battlefields of Germany. As he grows to manhood will he be able to unravel the mystery of his father's death? Or will his father's killers find him first?
The Silver Wolf is a tale of secrets and treachery and the relentlessness of fate - but it is also a story of courage and compassion, of love and loyalty and ultimately of salvation too.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 28 members
Jack, a young boy, is found. No one knows where he has come from, but he seems to have a talent for controlling horses - and for getting into and out of trouble.
The story follows Jack (or Jag as he is sometimes known), as he tries to find the men who killed his parents. Everyone he meets feels that there is something special/unusual about him.
The book starts fairly slowly, but the pace picks up during Jack's journey. He encounters many people who shape him, ending up as a soldier.
This is a compelling read - quite a long book, but I was kept gripped by the story. It would be better read in hard copy than on kindle as there are a lot of characters to remember and it would be easier if you could refer back (something I find difficult on a kindle).
I was surprised at the end to find that it was the first in a series, but am keen to read the sequels!
This book is an historical novel based in early 17th century Europe.
Jack is born of a French father and English mother in rural France. An idyllic childhood apart from a father who is away a lot as a professional soldier.
The story starts with Jag (jack) at the age of 12 being handed over to a Jewish merchant by a kindly sea captain in Sweden.
Jag is quite a handful and finds himself outcast but being very resourceful survives by his wits.
The story follows him through his teenage years.
Without giving anything away I loved reading this book once I'd got past the beginning.
Action with a tiny bit of love thrown in.
A breathtaking and sweeping tale that takes the reader back to the dangerous uncertainties prevalent throughout Europe during the Thirty Years' War. A tumultuous & colorful fictional tapestry of a violent century cleverly plotted and teeming with a glorious & unforgettable cast of characters. The first volume of a planned trilogy, this riveting and entertaining novel reminded me of "Tyll", a German novel by Daniel Kehlman and published in 2020, where we follow the many adventures and misadventures of a smart and resilient hero as he tries to cunningly and skillfully navigate the treacherous waters of a tempestuous Europe.
A captivating piece of historical fiction that deserves to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Allen & Unwin for this terrific ARC.
I loved this book. It's an amazing achievement for a frst novel with plenty of great characters, plenty of action and set in a very interesting time in Eurpoean history. I really enjoyed the choppy writing style which keeps the reader on their toes. Some reviews mention too many characters and too much flitting about but it is a book in three parts. each covering ten years. Starting in the middle decade, then back to the first ten years and finishing with the last ten years. Not flitting at all but well structured. I am already looking forward to the sequel. With thanks to NetGalley. the publishers and the author for the opportunity to read and review and e-ARC of this title.
Jack Fiskardo is on a mission: to find the man responsible for the death of his parents. Jack (sometimes Jacques, sometimes Jag) is a mysterious character and in this book we follow his progress from young boy to young man.
I loved this book. The writing is exquisite and the playful style is just enchanting. Yes, there are lots of characters but they are well drawn and vivid. The setting too is very well done. This is a period of history that I knew almost nothing about. I knew that there was a Thirty Years war but that was about it. The author details what it was like on the battlefields of Germany and we get a real insight into what it must have been like to live in those times. For me, historical fiction which tells us about the lives of ordinary people is by far the best and this is one of those rare books. A great read.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC.
The best way I can describe this book, is that it is a banquet of a story. A feast of a read. Regardless of whether you are interested or even know anything about the 30 years war, or history, you will be carried along by the momentum of Jack’s story. From childhood and adolescence, back to early childhood and onwards to manhood as he seeks out the men responsible for the fate of his parents. He is all that we could want in a hero, perfect but flawed, honourable, strong, moral but with humour, a little bit mischievous sometimes and an idealist. The man other men follow and emulate and a man that women can both love and respect regardless of age or status. What more could we want in a time when heroes are so thin on the ground in our lives?
I’m not going to recount the story, but I defy anyone not to pick this book up and not be carried away into another world and another time. J.C Harvey writes with energy and precision, she paints a world with the expert hand of a craftsman, there is depth and heart on every page, phrases you want to twirl around in your mouth for the taste and feel of them. I’m no historian so I don’t know how accurate the research is but my god it’s believable and written with such confidence and fluency, that I am there, I can taste, see, smell every street, or dockside, every battlefield, every tang of blood and every blade of grass.
I cannot wait for the next instalment. Five stars all the way.
Historical fiction taking place during the Thirty Years' War - very good.
This story revolves around Jacques (aka Jack or Jag), a boy moving around Europe on a mission of vengeance as he grows up and learns new useful skills. All of this takes place within the 17th century context of the complicated Thirty Years' War (luckily explained at the start of the book). He encounters a whole range of characters among the bloodshed of this war. The plot moves along at a good steady pace and the characters are well-defined and interesting, even unexpectedly so. I found it to be very engaging and enjoyable and I might pursue this series further to see how Jacques gets his revenge!