The Wolf’s Tooth
J. Steven Lamperti
Lamprey Publishing (2020)
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (09/2021)
“The Wolf’s Tooth” is the second book in J. Steven Lamperti’s saga about the kingdom of Liamec. In this book, we meet Twee. Twee introduced as a young boy, barely past infancy, who we see running aimlessly, yet seemingly happily, through a forest. Eventually, he meets a group of wolf cubs, and before he knows it, he’s adopted into the pack. He lives with the wolves in relative harmony and happiness until he is about three or four years old, and then one night he is captured by a group of the king’s men. After being rescued by a group of outlaws, Twee spends the next several years growing up in the outlaw camp where he learns how to speak, where proper clothing, and be a human after his first few years essentially living as a wild animal. Pleased with the promise the young Twee shows, the leader of the outlaw band, Raven, invites the boy to take part in a mission as a scout. What should have been a routine night, however, goes gravely wrong, and Twee then finds himself captured a second time and sold as a slave. Just as he thinks maybe he has a hopeful future after meeting a local girl and developing feelings for her, fate strikes again and he finds himself in chains once more, this time in the king’s own dungeon. The king seems to have an interest in Twee, but Twee cannot seem to figure out what that might be. In order to survive in the harsh conditions and unpredictable kingdom, Twee will need to find his inner wolf’s courage, buckle down, and show the world just how fierce he can be.
“The Wolf’s Tooth” is told with a mystical, storyteller-type tone. It feels like a fairy tale that a parent would have once read a child before bedtime, but this is definitely not a kid’s story. Death. Crime. Blood. Lamperti’s world is a perfectly imagined piece of medieval fantasy, all the while filled with a certain spectrum of magic. The pacing of the book constantly keeps the reader on their toes, as they try to keep track of what conundrum Twee has found himself in this time.
Twee, the protagonist of “The Wolf’s Tooth” is a quite likable hero. He does not really understand what is happening to him sometimes, and even after years in the outlaw camp, some aspects of being “human” still seem strange to him. Still, Twee seems able to adapt to pretty much every situation he is thrown into. Alone, helpless and with no food, water or shelter, he finds himself a mother figure and a family as a mere baby. When that family is ripped away from him quite suddenly, he finds himself immersed with a ragtag group to humans and quickly becomes a trusted member of the community. And still, as a rather young boy forced into slavery, he seems to make the best of the situation by learning the trade his master needs him to. He becomes a valuable part of the household, even though not all members of the family see him as an equal. Wherever Twee goes, he always makes himself worthy in some way.
Twee’s adaptability and resilience is an admirable quality in any main character, especially considering how young he is. Instead of wallowing in his misfortunes, he takes them by the bootstraps and tries to figure them out so that he can live the best life he can. “The Wolf’s Tooth” is a wonderful, historical fantasy adventure that I think readers of most any age could enjoy. It might not be the most suitable for young children, but I can easily see this series being enjoyed by readers in junior high and up. The world Lamperti has created has a childlike curiosity about it that both young and old can appreciate and identify with. Altogether, Lamperti’s second installment in his world of Liamec only makes you yearn to know what else is still waiting to be discovered.