Mar 20, 2013

Book Review: The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick

Book Cover: The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick

The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick

#1 in Chathrand Voyages series

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Ebook, 526 pages
Published On: January 26, 2010 by Del Rey
Source: Requested for review from Netgalley.

Read an ExcerptWatch Series Trailer

AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

I first noticed The Red Wolf Conspiracy on Top 25 Best Fantasy Books and immediately added it to my tbr. Sadly, it stayed there forgotten until I spotted review copy on Netgalley and remembered all the praise about it. So, with renewed interested, I sailed into an epic adventure.

To be honest, the start was a bit rough. Don't get me wrong - book is beautifully written from start to finish. But chapters jump from one character to another and it is hard to connect: Who is the main character here? At whom should I pay closer attention? But after some time I just got engrossed into a story and all I could think was was either: "WOW" or "I am so glad I didn't give up".

So, who is the main character of the story? I will help you out and tell you a secret, it's not a person. It's a ship: Imperial Mercantile Ship Extraordinaire Chathrand. But Chathrand is not just any other ship.

"Chathrand, mightiest ship in all the world, with a mainmast so huge that three sailors could scarce link arms around it, and stern lamps tall as men, and square sails larger than the Queen's Park in Etherhorde."

Some call it "living relic", others "a marvel to shame all others", what I can tell you about Chathrand - he is definitely going to leave an impression on you. I was awed with the grandness of Chathrand and impressed with a race that could create such a masterpiece.

Chathrand from The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
Chathrand on different editions of The Red Wolf Conspiracy [image source] & [image source]

In The Red Wolf Conspiracy, Chartrand is sent to transport an array of people on diplomatic mission. But as always, not all fractions in government want peace and there are multiple conspiracies cooking on-board. Trough multiple points of view: ship captain, spies, magicians, doctors, ambassadors, assassins, ordinary sailors, boys helping on deck, rats, ixchels (similar to gremlins in our culture)... we glimpse some of the ship's secrets.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy will not let you get bored, not only view points shift constantly but also the way story is presented to us. Not all chapters are in classic narrative form: some are also letters or journal entries. There is always something happening and even if you think you got everything figured out, you will probably be surprised with some plot twists.

I read The Red Wolf Conspiracy in January and deliberately didn't write a review immediately because I wanted to 'cool down', but the pause didn't help. Just reading my notes about the book got me all excited again and full of eagerness to read The Ruling Sea. So, expect the review of the next book in series soon, and if you like fantasy full of adventures and intrigue set on ship, hop on board and read The Red Wolf Conspiracy - you won't be sorry.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

I recommend this book to fans of: epic fantasy set of ship, adventures, intrigues and conspiracies.

Let's Talk:

Did you read The Red Wolf Conspiracy? Did you like it?

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. Another one of those series I keep intending to read, but haven't quite gotten around to. Hoping to do a back-to-back read later this year in anticipation of the next book coming out.

    1. Yes I know, the same here, I have a huge pile of epic fantasy series on my tbr: The Dagger and the Coin, Acacia, The Broken Empire, Lightbringer, Demon Cycle, Long Price Quartet, The Stormlight Archive, Gentleman Bastard, The First Law, ... it's a never-ending list.
      I thought that last 4th part in Chathrand Voyages series was published early this year (The Night of the Swarm), is there going to be another book?

    2. Hahah My unread Fantasy list has most of those titles on there as well, except I've read Lightbringer and Stormlight Archive, and have started The Demon Cycle.

      I just bought Dagger and Coin #1, and have all the books in The First Law and The Broken Empire, but all unread.

      Also in To Read are Fiest's Magician series, Mazalan Book of the Fallen, all of Glenda Larke, some Jennifer Fallon, and The Godspeaker series.

    3. Yes I have Magician, Mazalan Book of the Fallen also on my tbr.
      And let's not forget: The Black Company, Liveship Traders, Cold Fire Trilogy, Sevenwaters, Chalion, Study, The Inheritance Trilogy, Abhorsen, Symphony of Ages, ... I could do this all day. :DDD

  2. Is the start of epic fantasy ever NOT rough? I can think of maybe one epic fantasy I loved immediately. Generally it's 2-300 pages before it really takes off, due to the need to set up a huge cast and the world. Generally, the pay off is worth it, though not always.

    I'm not sure that this one would be my thing, because it sounds a bit more focused on the politics than the people, but I'm glad you loved it!

    1. Hmmm... good point. Although this book definitely had extra of that 'what the hell is happening and who are all these people' vibe. :D I liked Game of Thrones immediately... oh and Mistborn. But you are right, books like that are rare.

      The Red Wolf Conspiracy is a little bit more focused on the politics, although there are a couple of good and interesting characterizations (I especially liked the other side of ruthless and evil ship-captain when we get to read letters to his parents), but since there is a great array of characters they can not be all described into details.

    2. I haven't read either of those yet, but I loved A Blight of Mages right off. She writes these sassy, funny characters that had me in from the first page.

      I started one epic fantasy where it was about a bunch of soldiers and I had NO IDEA what was happening. I couldn't keep anyone straight as the POV went around, so I had to DNF. A name is not enough to make a large cast distinct!

    3. I didn't read 'A Blight of Mages'. You should read Mistborn! I am tempted to add it to yours Sadie Hawkins request list. LOL Mistborn is my favorite fantasy novel with very original magic system and great characters.

      Yes, I hate it when they make us remember ALL the names at once. o.O The Red Wolf Conspiracy had distinctive characters but I could not figure out WTF is happening. One second pov is hawk at the top of ship mast, then hawk is flying over the city, then you are a girl sitting in a garden watching that hawk, then you are spy-master training his students, then you are in carriage an old lady traveling somewhere, then you are deck boy on fishing ship... It just jumped all over the place and the characters started repeating well after 10%... very confusing.

    4. Isn't Mistborn Brandon Sanderson? I really like him! He's so nice and both of his books have been fun. You should check out A Blight of Mages. Miller's so funny!

      Wow. That's WAY too much. I could not handle that. I am impressed that you made it through and enjoyed it so much. I probably would have DNFed. Then again, the review schedule has made me impatient.

    5. Yep Mistborn is Brandon Sanderson. :)
      I added 'A Blight of Mages' to my tbr, so theoretically I will read it sometime. ;)

      I have a rule to read at least 10% of a book before I DNF it. So 'The Red Wolf Conspiracy' managed to get me interested until then although at the beginning I was sure I will not be able to keep it up.

  3. I really liked this book too!! I have the rest of the series, from NG, hopefully I get around to them soon. :D

    Happy Reading,
    Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic.

    1. I hope we both read them soon. But, knowing you and your fabulous reading speed. you will probably get to it sooner than me. :D


Design by | SweetElectric