Monday, December 5, 2011



Volume Two of the Wolfchild Saga

by Karen E. Hoover

Karen Hoover continues her intriguing fantasy series, The Wolfchild Saga, with volume two, The Armor of Light, and I’m delighted to say that the pace never lags, Hoover’s creativity never slacks, and her characters continue to take readers on a journey that captivates.

Ladies rule the day in The Armor of Light. All of Hoover’s leads, the good and the evil, are females, providing a unique twist to the series. Ember Shandae, and Kayla Kalandra Felandian, are young women on the cusp of adulthood when the burden of saving their endangered world falls onerously and unexpectedly upon their shoulders.

Like volume one, The Sapphire Flute, The Armor of Light reads like two books within one, as each heroine’s story runs separately but parallel to the other in succeeding chapters. Ember and Kayla are unknown to one another except in dreams, yet they each know they must meet and form an alliance in order to preserve their world from the soulless sorceress, C’Tan. (Even the names of her characters are little puzzles that delight when the hidden meaning is realized.)

Ember is a long-awaited White Mage, possessor of all seven colors of magic. Kayla is the guardian of one of seven keystones—the Sapphire Flute. Though each of the young women possesses powerful magic, they struggle to control and master it.

But they are not left alone. Guardians are assigned to protect them, valiant men, some of whom come from strange origins. Ember enters the Mage Academy to learn how to master her magic in time to stand up to the devastating forces threatening her world. She does so under the protection of the mute, DeMunth, for whom she feels an instinctive attraction, but DeMunth is rendered ill as his own keystone, the armor of light, transitions into a power unto itself.

Kayla is caught between her beloved Brant and a prince from another realm. As tensions mount Kayla’s moral agency is tested, exposing the boundaries under which her powers function. As a result, all three are endangered, endangering everyone and everything.

The book is fast-paced and layered with tension, consequence and betrayal. Each chapter places these two heroines in a struggle to master their gifts sufficiently to hold C’Tan at bay while protecting the people and world they love.

Hoover has a seemingly limitless imagination. Armor of Light’s diverse cast of magical beings are well developed and their mystical elements boggle readers’ minds. Her writing style has a literary bent producing vivid detail to the story in a voice that draws her readers into this ancient world. She does this so well that one becomes aware of the occasional instances where her characters’ dialogue shifts into more modern slang, pulling one from the story for a moment.

The settings, and the action are beautifully handled, placing the reader smack in the middle of these curious realms, expecting some incredible new creature, demon, threat, or power at each corner, and Hoover does not disappoint.

Elements in the story may make the Wolfchild series too intense for young readers, but the series will satisfy fantasy lovers from YA to adult. Hoover’s The Sapphire Flute, and The Armor of Light need to be read in order to fully appreciate and understand the storyline. Even reading one immediately after the other required some back-reading to keep the large cast straight and to capture small details that matter later on.

The series is complex, but these books are worth the effort. And there are more to come in this marvelous saga.


  1. Wow, what a great review! Thank you so much, Laurie! Glad you liked it! And yeah, I have to work hard at not putting the modern lingo in there. lol. But, holy cow, this is one of the best reviews I've had yet! Thanks a ton!!!

  2. Awesome review! I can't wait to read this.

  3. It's so very well-deserved, Karen. My mind isn't wired to write fantasy, but I so appeciate a great fantasy read, and your books are just that. Best of luck with the series!