If there is one pet peeve I have when reading, it is when an author has created so many different terms and names that you NEED a glossary just to keep track of everything. I much prefer when an author builds the world around you, rather than throwing you into the deep end without a flotation device.
That being said, I really enjoyed the story that Carole Cummings has written in Ghost, the first book in the Wolf’s-own series. It is a well planned and wonderfully executed fantasy novel. The world building happens from page one and is hyper-speed-paced, which is why you need the glossary, but it is also a vivid world with characters, locations, religions, and more that drew me right in!
Now, fantasy is one of my all-time favorite genres to read, but Ghost has a refreshing complexity to it that I just can’t get out of my mind. Even when I wasn’t actively reading about Malick and Fen, I found myself worrying about the events happening around them and how things would turn out in the end.
One of the Jin people, it was foretold that Fen would become an Untouchable (Ghost). As an Untouchable, Fen is able to hear the voices of his people’s Ancestors and can only wait for the day that those voices inevitably drive him insane.
Taken from his family as a child, Fen is trained as an assassin by Asai, the man who rules his life and who is also a powerful member of the Adan people (who keep the Jin). But Asai’s plans for Fen and his people are darker than anything he could ever have imagined. When he discovers just how far Asai is willing to go, Fen rushes to rescue and hide his twin brother and younger siblings, but is unable to save his mother. Soon afterwards, Fen is ambushed by Malick and the group of mercenaries/assassins that he leads.
Unable to escape, Fen is pulled into Malick’s scheming and will soon have to decide if he wants to forever be a pawn in the games of others or if he will choose his own path and embrace the power that only he can wield.
An interesting part of the story is that Fen has learned that he can ignore the voices of the Ancestors by cutting himself. As someone who lives with a diagnosis of self-injury, cutting in particular (though I’ve been SI free for years now), this was something that made Fen all the more real to me. I was able to connect with his character, because I know what it’s like to want the voices to stop.
Ghost pulled me right in and made me want desperately to know what would happen next and how Fen and Malick’s relationship would grow. However, be warned that this book ends in a cliffhanger and you’ll be dying to read book two. Make sure you have it on hand!