So… I’m a reader…
As long as I can remember I have loved being read to, reading on my own and choosing my next books to read. Over the years I have found that I generally buy books quicker than I can read them. Hence why about three years ago I made the decision not to buy any more books until my TBR (to-be-read) list had drastically reduced, as the number of physical books left unread on my shelves was in the hundreds. Not too long ago, I started the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series again – the first time being around the age of eleven, having picked up the first three books in the airport on the way to a family holiday in Dubai. The first book starts with the death of Torak’s father and this straight away put me off as I do not like reading sad stories — I can’t even watch sad films. However, the series was on my TBR list so I carried on reading anyway.
I have yet to dislike any books that were on my list, even if I had previously decided they were not for me. The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness were no exception. They are unlike any books I have read before. Set six thousand years ago, they follow the teenage years of a boy (Torak) in a difficult situation — no parents and clan-less, which is unheard of. His only friend a wolf, the sole survivor of a litter whom he shared a den with as a young child when his own mother was no longer around to nurse him. The scenery of the environment around him is so beautifully described it is the book equivalent of walks around the most stunning of landscapes.
Michelle Paver, the author, has clearly done extensive research into the flora and fauna of the area, as well as into the everyday lives of people from that era in time, essentially transporting the reader into the unspoilt natural world.
I chose an extract from Outcast, the fourth book in the series, as this is when Torak is exiled from the Raven clan in which he had been living with. His time alone highlights how people of the Stone Age really depended on one another for survival, and just how many skills you would have to know to be able to live alone, especially without modern equipment or even books for recording which plants are safe to eat.
I have now finished the books, which are now one of my all-time favourite series. I can also gladly report that my TBR list is now only around fifteen books. I average around finishing forty books a year and so I should be able to start treating myself to new books shortly — making sure to read them before purchasing the next lot of course!