Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver is the sixth and final volume of her series: The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, which began with Wolf Brother. My son, Oscar and I have been reading this series together since last summer, and it has been a long and satisfying journey, not let down at all by this last book.
The books are set in a pre-historic time in which tribes, ruled by shamans and wise men, and who take clan creatures as their totems, inhabit a wild and dangerous world. Torak is an outcast boy, raised with wolves, who upon the death of his father, finds himself a prisoner of the Raven clan, along with his wolf, who is more than a pet. Wolf is his pack brother, and Torak and Wolf can communicate with each other.
Torak leaves the Raven clan with a girl called Renn, a reluctant mage and also, like Torak, an orphan. Together, over the series of books they battle to defeat an evil partnership of powerful mages who have gone over to the dark world of demons and who have become Soul Eaters.
If they succeed in their plan, the world that Renn and Torak know and love will be altered forever.
Each book sees them tackling another of the terrible mages and trying to undo the damage the Soul Eaters have unleashed upon their land. In this final book, they try to conquer the most evil Soul Eater of all, Eostra, the Eagle Owl mage.
The books are fairly formulaic in terms of plot, but the characters are well drawn and very sympathetic, the story is strong, and the pace of the adventures are relentless. The magical elements have enthralled my son, and he loves the relationship between Torak and Wolf. In this final chapter of the story, the strands of all the other narratives which have developed through the books are woven together skilfully and you are not left unsatisfied by the ending.
An excellent series, which would be brilliant for independent readers aged 8-12, and which make great bed time stories for months for younger readers.