Soul Eater by Michelle Paver is the third book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series which feature the prehistoric world and adventures of Torak and Renn and their companion Wolf.
My seven year old son, Oscar and I are slowly reading our way through them, not because we are bored of them, but because we are also reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Percy Jackson at the same time, so progress is slow.
Soul Eater tells the story of how Wolf is kidnapped by the evil Soul Eaters that are threatening to tear the world that Renn and Torak know apart by unleashing demons from the ‘other world’ across the land.
Torak and Renn break away from the Raven Clan where they make their home and follow Wolf’s tracks to the far north and a world of snow and ice, learning how to survive in alien conditions and forging bonds with other clans as they go.
The story, like the others in Paver’s series, is gripping and enthralling. The chapters are short and full of cliff hangers and twists and turns which had my son begging for just one more chapter. The characters are strong and likeable, complex and easy to empathise with. I like the fact that even though the book is ostensibly about Torak, Renn, his friend and apprentice mage is interesting in her own right and doesn’t play second fiddle in terms of character development.
The books are quite violent in content, although it is not mindless violence, and always adds to the plot. Because they can be quite tense and frightening I would hesitate to recommend them to children younger than seven. I am thoroughly enjoying them, and I would suggest they would be viable to recommend to the teen/YA market as well as younger readers. They are suitable for both boys and girls.
We have already started volume four, Outcast, and there are two more after that. We will be very sad when they end.