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For three summers, Torak had pursued his quest against the Soul-Eaters over Sea and Ice, Forest and Lake—and it had brought him here. In a flash, he perceived that on those far-off slopes, he would meet his destiny. And for him, nothing lay beyond. On the Mountain, he would die.
Torak's thoughts about defeating Eostra, Ghost Hunter

Ghost Hunter is the sixth book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver.

Blurb[]

In the sixth and last book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, Torak must face the evil Eagle Owl Mage to save the balance between good and evil in his world.
Winter is coming. Souls' Night draws near. Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage holds the clans in the grip of terror. Torak must leave the Forest and seek her lair in the Mountain of Ghosts, while Renn faces an agonizing decision. Wolf, their faithful pack-brother, must overcome wrenching grief. And in the final fight against the forces of darkness, Torak will make the most shattering choice of all.
Ghost Hunter draws you for the last time into the shadowy world of the deep past, and brings Torak to the end of his incredible journey.

Plot[]

Two moons later, Eostra the Soul-Eater has casted fear into the Forest by sending hoards of tiny gray moths and a mysterious sickness, growing stronger by the day. Torak dreams of his father's spirit calling for help, and Torak wonders if his spirit isn't at peace. Fin-Kedinn is skeptical, believing it to be a trick from Eostra, and the Raven Clan Leader wishes to unite the clans against Eostra. Torak leaves Raven Clan to search for Eostra in the High Mountains, though he stops to say good-bye to Wolf, Darkfur, and their two cubs, Pebble and Shadow, at their den. The third cub, Click, had died a moon prior from sickness. Meanwhile, Renn returns from Boar Clan after attempting to help their Mage with the sickness. She learns from Saeunn that Eostra is hiding in the the Mountain of Ghosts, though the Raven Mage's health is declining, and Saeunn declares that Renn will be her successor. Renn disagrees, but she has received visions of a white guardian and the Listener lying cold on the Mountain. Believing her dreams to predict Torak's death, Renn sets off to find him.
As Torak heads out for the High Mountains, Eostra's eagle owl attacks the wolf den, killing Shadow, causing Darkfur to fall and disappear in the nearby river, and flying off with Pebble. Wolf chases after the owl, but he is unable to save his son. Torak chases after Wolf, but he is caught in an ice storm. Nearby, Renn builds a shelter to escape the weather when Rek arrives. Believing her friends to be close, Renn braves the ice storm but encounters a tokoroth, who pins her underneath a holly tree. Torak rescues Renn, and they recuperate in her shelter. They find Wolf the next day, barely alive after the ice storm, though Renn fears their pack-brother has lost the will to live. Wolf recovers after saving Torak from a tokoroth. Elsewhere, Pebble, having survived from being dropped by the eagle owl, follows after Rip and Rek towards the High Mountains.
Renn, Torak, and Wolf head for the High Mountains, though they struggle finding food to eat. Days later, they finally find the reindeer, though they accidentally interrupt the Mountain Clans during their hunt. Torak recognizes Krukoslik, the Mountain Hare Clan Leader, who takes them to their camp in the High Mountains with the other Mountain Clans. Krukoslik explains how they believe Eostra's lair is in the Mountain of Ghosts, and Renn speculates she plans to strike during Souls' Night in a few days. Renn dreams of Eostra taunting her with Torak's death. Renn believes that Eostra wants to eat Torak's world-soul, leaving him Lost to wander. Juksakai, the Swan Clan Leader, guides Torak and Renn to the Gorge of the Hidden People. Renn is attacked by Eostra's dogs, causing her to sprain her ankle. Torak sets off on his own to find Eostra's lair, though not before kissing Renn good-bye. In the Forest, Fin-Kedinn searches for the Walker, the lost Soul-Eater.
Torak and Wolf navigate through the Gorge of the Hidden People, but they are attacked by the dog pack. They are saved by Dark, a lone alinbo boy formerly of Swan Clan living alone in the Mountain of Ghosts with his white raven, Ark. After convincing Dark to let him go, Dark guides Torak and Wolf to the entrance of Eostra's lair, but they are sealed in by tokoroths. Meanwhile, Renn searches for Torak, realizing that all Eostra needs is Torak's hair to capture his world-soul. She finds Darkfur, having survived the raging river, and she nurses the black she-wolf back to health. While navigating through the Gorge, Dark finds Renn and guides her through the Mountain to help Torak. Saeunn's spirit arrives to point Renn in the right direction. Inside the Mountain, Wolf and Torak are separated by tokoroths. In her cavern, Eostra summons the other Soul-Eaters' spirits with her fire-opal and Magecraft: Tenris, Thiazzi, Nef, Seshru, and Torak's father. However, the Walker arrives, claiming that Eostra's spell is flawed since he still lives.
Torak attempts to spirit walk inside Eostra to stop her, but her souls are too strong. He is shocked to see the spirit of his father and fears that if he defeats Eostra, his father will be lost forever. Upon Renn's encouragement, Torak destroys her staff with the fire-opal and the Walker summons the Hidden People to destroy the chasm. Eostra falls to her death, but not before taking Torak down with her. Before Torak's souls can join with the First Tree, Wolf finds his souls, the Breath-that-Walks, wandering and guides him back to his body. Elsewhere, Darkfur and Wolf reunite with their son, Pebble.
Three moons later, Torak, Renn, and Dark are recovering in Raven Clan, though Renn despises the thought of becoming the new Mage and Torak leaving Raven Clan. Fin-Kedinn takes Torak to see the Walker, and he thanks him for saving his life in the Mountain of Ghosts, though the Walker warns him that his souls are meant for wandering due to his spirit walking. Fin-Kedinn tells Torak how he swore the Walker's true identity to secrecy and that it was his young son, Narik, who perished during the great fire caused by Torak's father. The Raven Leader invites Dark to stay as their new Mage. Torak bids farewell to his foster father, knowing that he's meant to wander. Renn decides to join him, refusing to let Torak leave without her again, and Torak and Renn happily begin their new lives together.

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See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Blackwell
  2. Revealed on Amazon
The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series
Wolf Brother (2004)Spirit Walker (2005)Soul Eater (2006)Outcast (2007)Oath Breaker (2008)Ghost Hunter (2009)Viper's Daughter (2020)Skin Taker (2021)Wolfbane (2022)
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Omnibus (volume 1) (2008)Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Omnibus (volume 2) (2011)
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