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The Wolf of Tebron Review by Brandi TesreauBy C.S. Lakin
All Joran wants is "to live a simple, peaceful life, raise a family, work with his hands." But his reality is shattered when his wife suddenly disappears in a burst of magic, and a mysterious, old lady--known as The Goose Woman--reveals that he must travel to the house of the Moon in order to free her. Instead of enjoying the simple life of a blacksmith, Joran finds himself embarking on a treacherous journey "looking for a tricky Moon, a wayward wife, and a sea he only knew from his dreams."
The Wolf of Tebron is C.S. Lakin's first novel in The Gates of Heaven series. It's written in classic fairytale style, where magic, fantasy, and the forces of good and evil abound. Rich in vibrant language, adventure, personification, and more, this allegory offers the reader more than just a thrilling story. As Lakin says, "Joran's journey inspires and encourages readers to focus on our deep purpose and meaning in life."
Joran, the main character, faces many outward obstacles during his quest, but we learn it is the battle within that must be faced and conquered in order for him to truly succeed. This is a point, I believe, that all of us can identify with and apply to our own lives. Ruyah, the wolf, is also a very important character; he becomes Joran's constant encourager and companion--a true friend who shows sacrificial love. As they travel together, the wolf extends much wisdom by quoting Scripture and many famous people, such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Elliot, William Wordsworth, and more.
A discussion of The Wolf of Tebron is included at the end of the book. Lakin explains her motive for writing the book and including literary elements like allegory and metaphor. She also provides 15 thought-provoking questions designed for book club discussions, high school English classes, and the homeschool environment. As I was reading, I compiled a list of over 50 vocabulary words that I will add to these questions.
The novel itself is 246 pages long, and because of its profound and comprehensive themes, I will be waiting a couple of years to introduce it to my oldest, who is currently in sixth grade. Possibly, it would be a great read-aloud to a younger child who is mature for his/her age. Parents, though, may need to explain definitions of unfamiliar words and meanings of symbolic elements.
I really enjoyed reading The Wolf of Tebron and recommend it to teens and adults who love a good allegorical fairytale. For in-depth study, it would be great reading material for a high school English class. The website provides many links to stores where the book can be purchased for a decent, affordable price.