LSF home

In the Books Section:

Book Discussion
Group Archives

Book Review


Lambda Literary

Literary Links

Order Books

Reading List

*Other Books
of Note

A Companion to Wolves
By Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

Discussed June 2009

Buy A Companion to Wolves from
Buy A Companion to Wolves from Lambda Rising


Character List: (For a complete character list, please see the two
page list at the front of the book)

  • Isolfr (Njall Gunnarrson), brother to Viradechtis, konigenwolf
  • Frithulf (Brandr), brother to Kothran
  • Skjaldwulf (Sigmunder), wolfjarl, brother to Mar, mated with Viradechtis
  • Vethulf, wolfjarl, brother to Kjaran, mated with Viradechtis
  • Sokkolfr, brother to Hroi
  • Ulfrikr (Svanrikr), brother to Skefill
  • Aurulfr (Hlothvinr), brother to Griss
  • Eyjolfr, brother to Glaedir
  • Hrolleif, brother to Vigdis, konigenwolf
  • Grimolfr, wolfjarl, brother to Skald, mated with Vigdis
  • Kari, brother to Hrafn the wild wolf
  • Tin, svartalfar liaison
  • Gunnarr, Njall's father
  • Halfrid, Njall's mother
  • Hjordis Weaver
  • Trolls and Wyverns

General orientation

  1. How is this world organized? Nithogsfjoll Hall? Wolfmaegth? Wolfheall? What is a werthreat and a trellwolf and how are they related? What are the purpose of each?
  2. Is the naming structure of the geographical and functionalentities consistent? Does it make sense? How about the naming of people? Why would a boy change his name when bonded?
  3. How do the Wolfhealls grow? Is this logical?
  4. What is the principal threat on this world? What are the motivations behind each group? Is this compelling?
  5. What is Iskryne?  Where is it? What does the rest of the planet look like?

Pack questions

  1. There are many telepathic-animal-companion novels. What are a few and is this book different than the others in this specialized sub-genre?
  2. Discuss the sequence of Viradechtis growth to konigenwolf:
    • First heat: isolation
    • First mating: Sokkolfr and Hroi
    • First open mating: Mar, Glaedir, Ingjaldr, Guthleifr, Nagli, Egill,
    • Second open mating: Mar and Kjaran
    • Matings beyond
  3. Male-wolfness and stench-of-trolls. Does the pack-sense in this book make sense, and is it believable? How does it compare to other novel constructs such as McCaffrey's Dragon Rider series?

Sexual morality

  1. What is the role of Gunnarr?
  2. What is monogamy in this book and how is it treated? Isolfr ends up with two wolfjarls, but he has one woman only for a while. Comment! What is the role of Hjordis Weaver? Is it significant that Isolfr met her after the first mating? Is it significant that Hjordis gets married at the end?

Wolf world at war

  1. What is the principal threat from the trolls? What is their motivation? Do they have more than one motivation?
  2. Were the battles exciting? Better than sex? Did they parallel the sex in any way?
  3. What are the svartalfar? Why do they hate the trolls? Is this book about racism? Is it about sexism? Does this parallel or highlight anything in our society? What are Bear and Monette doing with this book?
  4. Why does Isolfr let a trellwich and kitten live at the end? How did he come to that decision, and was it well foreshadowed? What did this story thread add to the book? Take away?
  5. What is the role of Kari and his wild wolf?
  6. Was the ending fantastical a la deus ex machina, or did it seem logical and well-paced?
  7. Did you like the book? Enjoy it? Why or why not? Is this a "gay" book? Do you think straight guys read this book, and how do you think they would take it?
Club Activities Fandom Gaming Television Movies Books Help Site Search Contact Us Lambda Sci-Fi