Skin Taker by Michelle Paver, a book review by an avid Wolf Brother fan

It was in primary school that as a class read I was introduced to the first title in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, that of Wolf Brother. Within this book I became familiar with the main antagonists Torak and Renn, a boy and girl looking for justice for the death of Torak’s dad. The pair would go around fighting the unfightable that others feared, all with the intention of making the forest they live in a safer place.

Throughout high school I continued to read the titles that followed from book one, immensely enjoying that the story built further and further with each new book, and I would ask my mum to help me get the next book that followed, over and over, often finding they had been ordered for me, and I often would have read the one I was currently reading longer before they arrived, and that I would have to wait – it wasn’t easy, but it did encourage me to try other series while I waited. Whenever the next title by Michelle Paver arrived I would drop everything just to be able to read what comes next for Torak and Renn, often staying up late into the night reading.

The titles to date are –

  • Wolf Brother
  • Spirit Walker
  • Soul Eater
  • Outcast
  • Oath Breaker
  • Ghost hunter
  • Viper’s Daughter

The most recent book, Skin Taker, is the eighth title in this fabulous series by Michelle Paver, which to date has hands down become my all time favourite book ever. Skin Taker continues on from book seven in the series so well that it doesn’t lose track of where it started, with the same flame kindled inside me continuing to burn, as I was once again follow Torak and Renn as they adventure together. The book is so well written that I felt immediately immersed amongst the forest and the tribes living amongst the trees once again, like returning to familiar territory.

Faced with the main villain from Viper’s Daughter, Renn’s brother that has an ice demon soul, rumours are spread amongst the tribe that there are a group of skin takers roaming the forest, and these rumours originate from Renn’s brother who is looking to take souls from those he kills, looking to set his own soul free. The tribe people living in fear of these skin takers they have been told about gives plenty of opportunities to seek out individuals that are inadvertently endangering themselves by allowing their fear to determine poor choices. It falls upon Torak and Renn to make the tribes people see the truth, dispel the rumours, and return the forest that they have always called home to the peace and calm that is so desperately needed.

Without any spoilers, I concluded Skin Taker and felt there was a definite cliff hanger type ending to this book, and am absolutely delighted to realise that book nine in the series Wolfbane is due for publication next year. To say that I am counting down the days and months would give you an understanding as to just how captivating and compelling the titles are to date, and just how much enjoyment there is for readers that embark on the journey that awaits them through choosing these books.

My preference to read a book series is because of the continuity with the characters and plot that is on offer, and I have read lots of incredible series of books including The Hunger Games, Alex Rider, and Mortal Engines, and I highly recommend introducing readers to this beautifully written series that has all the adventure, attention to detail, and storylines that will captivate even the most reluctant of readers, and as these books are suitable to children in the final years of primary school, as well as those in high school, this is a series that can be found in school libraries either side of transitioning from one to the other, and as such offers a comfortable familiarity in being able to seek them out, and grow up alongside Torak and Renn.

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