Skip to main content

Ghost Hunter: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book Six

Review

Ghost Hunter: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book Six

Look behind you, Torak.
He spun around.
Two paces away, an arrow had been thrust into the earth.
Torak recognized the fletching at once. He knew the one who had made this arrow.  He wanted desperately to touch it.
He tried to lick his lips, but his mouth was dry.
“Is it you?” he called, his voice rough with fear and longing.
“Is it you?…Fa?” 

The dreams are coming fast and furious now. It’s hard for Torak to tell what’s real.  He desperately misses Fa (his father) but knows he’s dead. Still, when he hears his father’s voice and occasionally sees him, he’s shaken. Perhaps his father is trying to tell him something, like he is in danger and needs him. He is sure his father’s spirit is not at peace, and now must do something to ease the journey into the spirit world. 

The Raven leader Fin-Kedinn is full of misgivings. He warns Torak that these things can easily be the work of the Soul-Eaters. Their old enemy and powerful Mage, Eostra, is once more working her magic. She is determined to kill Torak and create a world only for the Soul-Eaters. Torak is in her way and has been much too long, and she will stop at nothing to get to the Spirit Walker. Fin-Kedinn warns the boy of Eostra’s ability to twist reality and that he will walk into danger, but Torak replies: “You can’t stop me.”

Now 15 years old, Torak has grown stronger and tall. He leaves the Raven camp on his own, fearful that staying behind will endanger them all. He chooses not to take Renn or Wolf for these very reasons, so the danger will be upon him alone. The Eagle Owl Mage is after him, and he will meet her on his terms but cannot even begin to imagine the horrors and sacrifices awaiting him. He is set to discover that he cannot do this on his own and that tragedy will stalk him and those he loves along the way

Wolf and his mate, Darkfur, now have two cubs, Shadow and Pebble. The wolves are happy and content in their safe shelter. Torak must say his goodbyes and be on his way. Wolf is sad to let the boy go on his own, but respects his wishes and knows also that he must stay with his family. At the same time, Rinn is not accepting being left behind. Despite warnings from Fin-Kedinn and the old Mage, Saeunn, Rinn begins following Torak.

The evil that is growing more powerful has pervaded the forests and affected the animals and the weather. Torak does not get far when he knows that the eagle owl, possessed by the Soul-Eaters, has circled back and is going to attack the wolves. The ravens (Rip and Rek), traveling with him, have screamed their warnings and flown ahead, but when the boy gets to the wolves’ lair, one cub is beyond his help. Darkfur is in a desperate battle with the owl trying to save her last cub. Despite Torak’s attempts, he watches in horror as the brave mother falls from the cliff into churning waters below and the giant owl carries off the squealing cub. 

This is only the beginning of a journey that brings heartbreak and near death to Torak and others. The unexpected ice storms, the madness of the Soul-Eater Madge, and the tokoroths who work with her create unspeakable horrors in a nightmare that cannot end. How can Torak save what is left against these so powerful forces? Have any of the sacrifices been worth it?

GHOST HUNTER is the final installment in Michelle Paver’s wonderful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. These books should definitely be in every school library as they offer fantastic insights and terrific storytelling of a time long gone. There’s no question that they would also lend themselves to reading aloud. 

Renn is a powerful female character who is respected and forceful. Torak is a boy thrown into the turmoil of a life that is hard beyond words, but whose spirituality is able to bring him through the darkness. The series combines the three “e’s”: educational, entertaining and enlightening. Along with Paver’s stories, artist Geoff Taylor’s beautiful drawings and maps help the ancient world truly come alive. Parents, teachers, librarians and, of course, young adults will definitely want to add this series to their reading list.

Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on February 8, 2011

Ghost Hunter: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book Six
by Michelle Paver

  • Publication Date: February 8, 2011
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0060728426
  • ISBN-13: 9780060728427