A Whisper of Wolves by Kris Humphery (10 Random Things Blog Tour Stop)

wolvesSummary from Goodreads

When a raven drops a white feather at the doorstep on the day of your birth, it is a symbol of your destiny. You are a Whisperer – a guardian of the wild. After many years of peace in the kingdom of Meridina, rumours are spreading of a planned invasion – could the demonic Narlaw be returning from the darklands? It is up to the Whisperers and their animal companions to defend Meridina, protect Princess Ona and stop the Narlaw from destroying their world.

When hunters from her village disappear without a trace, Alice suspects that something sinister is at work. With the help of Storm, her wolf companion, Alice fights to save her village. The Narlaw are on the attack and it’s up to the Whisperers to stop them…

Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 2nd 2015 by Stripes Publishing

10 Random Things about A Whisper of Wolves

1. When it came to choosing what kind of animal Alice’s companion would be I knew right away that a wolf was the perfect choice. They’re beautiful, elusive and a bit frightening, too – powerful symbols of wildness.

2. There are loads of great books with talking animals in them, but I wanted Alice and Storm to be different, connected by a special, secret bond that no one else could feel or hear. That’s why I chose to make the Whisperers use a kind of mental communication, part of their instinctive connection to the natural world.

3. When a Whisperer is born, a raven leaves a white feather at their door. It may seem strange that the feather is white when ravens have black feathers, but this strangeness is a reflection of how the Whisperers and their companions are different – they’re born with abilities that don’t usually exist in nature.

4. When I started work on The Guardians of the Wild series I wanted to create a world that my readers would want to spend time in. I wanted the kingdom of Meridina to feel real and magical at the same time – a place full of wilderness, with distinct regions, cultures and habitats. That’s why each book in the series will be set in a different part of the kingdom.

5. One of the first proper books I read as a child was Redwall by Brian Jacques. It’s the first in a brilliant series of fantasy novels set in a world where animals walk upright and do battle and eat enormous feasts. It set me on course towards becoming a writer and was a huge influence on the writing of A Whisper of Wolves.

6. Meridina has been at peace for over a hundred years, and many of the older generation have become complacent about the idea of another Narlaw invasion. So when the demons do invade, Alice and the younger Whisperers have to step up and do their duty. It’s a reminder that every new generation has to deal with the problems left behind by the last.

7. Whilst writing A Whisper of Wolves I drew a lot of inspiration from my real-life travels. I lived in Canada for a while and went hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The sounds and smells that I remember from that time helped me a great deal when I was writing about Alice and Storm’s adventures in the Great Forest.

8. I chose a bear for Soraya’s companion because I saw lots of bears in the wild in Canada and they became one of my very favourite animals. Mostly, I was safe inside a car or a tour bus, but once I came across a family of black bears while I was walking in the forest. It was quite scary, but an amazing privilege, too.

9. In A Whisper of Wolves, Alice’s mentor is called Moraine, whose name is a sneaky reference to a character in one of my favourite fantasy books – The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

10. The Narlaw demons in the Guardians of the Wild series are shape-shifters. They can take the form of any person or animal, but first they have to put that person into a kind of deep, dreamless trance called the ghost-sleep. This is how the Narlaw infiltrate the kingdom and gradually try to take it over. But a Whisperer can always tell demons from real people – to a Whisperer, a demon’s eyes glow an eerie grey colour.

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