I Want To Run Wild With Wolves - An Apprentice To Elves (Review)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

TITLE: An Apprentice to Elves (Iskryne World #3)
AUTHOR: Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
RELEASE DATE: October 13th 2015
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“Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear return with the third book in their Iskryne trilogy, An Apprentice to Elves. The trilogy began with A Companion to Wolves, and continued in The Tempering of Men. This novel picks up the story of Alfgyfa, a young woman who has been raised in the Wolfhall by her father, Isolfr.

The warrior culture of Iskryne forbids many things to women—and most especially it forbids them bonding to one of the giant telepathic trelwolves. But as her father was no ordinary boy, Alfgyfa is no ordinary girl. Her father has long planned to send his daughter to Tin, a matriarch among the elves who live nearby, to be both apprentice and ambassador, and now she is of age to go.”

3 1/2 Stars Rounded Up

*Received a copy for an honest review.*

'Did I want to run through the forest with wolves?' They asked.
Yes, yes I do.

Not having read the first two books in this series, I was not initially sure how suited I was going to be to reviewing An Apprentice To Elves. But I was assured that this book was geared towards new readers as well, so I gave it a shot.

When I first started this book, I was time dropped into this Norse fantasy world with words like konigenwolf and names like Alfgyfa. 

An Apprentice To Elves was like any other fantasy novel in that it require a learning curve.

Since this is book three in a series, I fully expect I am missing some plots and allusions that I would understand better had I read the other two books. 

However, I think that the authors did a great job bring in enough information that I didn't feel as if I was I was reading a third book, but rather a book that picked up at a crucial point in someone's life and went from there. 

When the book began, there were several chapters that I struggled with.

It wasn't that it was hard to absorb the information. Once I identified what the new terminology meant, I was okay. But rather, we sort of jumped off on tangents designed to let us better understand the characters. 

There were a few incidences where I was unsure if this was just the character thinking, a complete flashback, or if the event was occurring at present. Whatever it was is slowed down the beginning some when all I wanted to do was get to more action.

But thankfully it was only just in the beginning so the story moved faster after that.

There were so many characters in this book.

An Apprentice To Elves sounded like it is going to be about this young girl going off to become an apprentice. And while, yes, Alfgyfa does go off to become an apprentice, that happened prior to the story opening. Instead we follow several point of view characters, Alfgyfa included, as out heroes move through their lives and ultimately prepare for war.

We had the Svartalfs, the Aettrynalfas, wolves, and human all thrown into the mix. I got all the main characters down pat, but if you were to ask me to connect some of the wolves to their people or name some of the master-apprentice pairs, I would fail. This book would really benefit with a relationship chart in addition to the map at the beginning.

The world building was amazing.

There was never one minute in this book, only tiny detail, that I could not imaging. Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear did a spectacular job bringing this world to life without sounding overly verbose and bogging down the paragraphs with repetitive details.

I could feel the caverns, taste the forest, and hear the wolves. 

The whole community they created around the wolves and their bonds was fascinating. I loved the whole pack sense. Even those who were not bonded and those who couldn't hear the wolves were still apart of this pack. For someone who has always been fascinated by wolves, reading this book was a fun experience.


I enjoyed An Apprentice To Elves, and the later portion of the book I couldn't put down.

In the beginning, I wasn't sure it I would read more of this world or not, but now I'm pretty curious and plan to get a hold of the rest of these books. If the authors write a book in this world set after Apprentice, I'd be curious to see how the characters are doing and what messes they are making for themselves.

"'You lead the metal to become what it should. If you force it or rush it, the gate will warp, the nail will be brittle.'
'What about blades?'
'Most of what we smith is not blades, child. But yes, a blade that is rushed will be brittle, and it will shatter. If not in the quench, then when a life is at stake. You will find that this principle applies much more widely that just the forge.'" (pg 44)

"When they try to shame you, you wear their scorn like ribbons." (pg 54)

"Morale. You cannot win if you do not believe you can win." (pg 243)


  1. OOOHHH THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. I will definitely be checking it -- and the rest of the series -- out for sure! Great review and thanks for making me aware of this series. *happy dances because more fantasy and Norse mythology books for me to read*

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    1. Why is it so hard to find a good Norse mythology/fantasy story? The combination sounds like it should be more popular.

      Hope you enjoy the books and thank you for stopping by.


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