Orphan-slave Claidi knows only the mindless rituals and cruelties of the House and the Garden, where the ruling families wallow in lavish extravagance. Then a golden stranger promises freedom if she will journey with him through the savage Waste.
Mad tribes and strange cities, enemies and friends where she least expects them, above all the Wolf Tower that broods over the grim stone city of her destiny; nothing – and no one – is as it seems.
If she is to survive, Claidi must learn fast – hone her wits, sharpen her instinct for danger…
Freedom demands that she confront the Law – once and for all..
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 1998 by Hodder Children’s Books
Law of the Wolf Tower is a coming of age fantasy story which I’m sure my younger self would have embraced with much love too. Claidi’s journal carries asides and observations to the reader which are so fun, biting and unexpected with their wry humour. I did not expect to be so charmed by Claidi’s voice.
Tanith Lee’s poetic style paints this curious world. I love the original take and twist upon the servant-turned-princess-rescued-by-a-dashing-figure trope. I also enjoyed the realistic turns and revelations Claidi encounters while journeying through the desert.
This is the third story I’ve read by Tanith Lee where the heroines choose to leave these sheltered cities of privilege to explore a place that is both shunned and feared by society. Even though Claidi herself was a slave, she finds herself confronting her own assumptions about power as she meets more groups of people. (I should write up a post on speculative wastelands and surviving groups in the stories I’ve come across someday.) The desert also functions as a great metaphorical place for Claidi to find her feet and independence too.
If you enjoyed Tanith Lee’s YA Scifi coming of age story in The Silver Metal Lover, I’d definitely recommend the Wolf Tower because Claidi is just as flawed as Jane. Claidi is also perhaps, more likable in a way despite both going through similar character growth arcs. Thanks to Elizabeth for recommending Claidi’s journals to me. I have the sequel to read in my library book pile.