Growing up on the streets of Vallen, a land caught between the battles of two feared shapeshifting clans – the Ice Wolves and the Scorch Dragons – twelve-year-old twins Anders and Rayna survive by picking the pockets of the rich tourists who visit their town.
When their own, unexpected shapeshifting abilities reveal themselves, Anders becomes an Ice Wolf, and his sister, Rayna, transforms into a Scorch Dragon – something that should be impossible with blood-family. After Rayna is stolen away by other dragons for their own purposes, Anders is invited to attend the Ulfar Academy, a school dedicated to training Ice Wolves to guard their land against dragon attacks.
Attempting to just put his head down and learn what he needs in order to save his sister, Anders cannot help bonding with his classmates and exploring his newfound abilities. The longer he stays at Ulfar Academy, the more Anders questions if there’s more to this conflict of ice and fire that anyone will admit.
Amie Kaufman’s name might not be all that familiar to primary school readers, but as a multiple New York Times bestselling author for her previous two young adult series, she is no stranger to inventing and developing worlds layered in science-fiction and fantasy. Her love of research shines through in all her books, and the hierarchies and familial bonds developed in the wolf packs are one of the most interesting parts of Elementals.
Ander’s blossoming friendships with his classmates or ‘packmates’ were well drawn and a genuine pleasure to read. It takes great skill to write an ensemble cast of well-defined characters and Kaufman has succeeded wonderfully. Fans of Hermoine Granger will love loyal and dedicated Lisbet, and her commitment to doing the right thing in the face of great difficulty will resonate with readers.
The focus of this first book in the series is definitely on Anders, the young Ice Wolf. We learn about the twins’ bond through his experience and thoughts, Rayna plays a secondary role and no doubt we will spend more time with her as the series progresses.
Ice Wolves is rich with humour, imagination and loads of heart and readers are sure to embrace this world and these characters. You find yourself cheering for Anders as he bravely attempts to rescue his sister, all the while fearing for Rayna trapped in such an unfamiliar world. What a brilliant start to a new series with a gripping cliff-hanger ending.
Now to wait for part two.
Buy your copy here.
About the Author:
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult and middle grade fiction, including Unearthed and the Starbound trilogy with Meagan Spooner and the Illuminae Files with Jay Kristoff. Ice Wolves is her first solo novel, and her favourite part of the writing process was taking howling lessons from a wolf expert.
Her multi-award-winning work has been described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus Reviews). Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.