Author: Isuna Hasekura
Illustrator: Jyuu Ayakura
My rating: 4.5 of 5
As the old gods are forgotten or driven away by the church and more modern ways of life, Holo, the wolf god of the harvest, quietly slips from the fields she has watched for centuries . . . into the cart and life of the lonely merchant traveler Kraft Lawrence. Usually a cunning and successful man, Lawrence is, frankly, baffled by this capricious, wolf-eared girl. As Lawrence and Holo travel, bargain, and survive incredible danger together, they develop a friendship that is truly a pleasure to watch grow.
Spice & Wolf is a delightful light novel, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel volumes in the series. I admit that the beginning is a bit difficult to get into, but it’s well worth the effort to push through the first chapter to the point where Holo and Lawrence meet. From that point, the story (not to mention Lawrence’s life) is dramatically altered. Holo is such a fun character to read–precocious child one moment, wise ancient the next, but all fitting together like a multifaceted gemstone. The storyline itself is well-written also, a nice blend of intrigue, action, and character development that takes place in a well-realized world perched on the brink between ancient paganism and the age of exploration and commerce. This is definitely a recommended read, particularly to those who like stories involving the careful barter and gamble of political intrigue.