Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Wiki

In fact, though, I’d had the basic idea back at University, in the early 80s. I’d even written it: a story about an orphaned boy struggling to survive with his beloved wolf-cub. But I’d set the story in the ninth century, and the historical context kept getting in the way. So I put the manuscript in a box-file and shoved it to the back of a cupboard. For twenty years the idea of the boy and the wolf simmered away in my subconscious. It nagged me. I really wanted to write it. But I knew I hadn’t found the right context. Then, I unearthed the box-file and took another look at my twenty-year-old notes. The answer just leapt out at me. This isn’t a story about history. It’s about prehistory. As soon as I realised that, everything fell into place.
—Michelle Paver

Michelle Paver is the author of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.


Michelle Paver was born September 7th, 1960 in Nyasaland (now Malawi), Africa. Her family moved in 1963 to England, where Paver studied at Wimbledon High School and later at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford studying biochemistry. Though she had a passion for writing, Paver was unsure how she could create a career of it. She worked as a lawyer in London until 1996 when her father died. After, Paver took a one-year sabbatical where she traveled to Peru, Ecuador, South Africa, France, and the United States working on her first adult novel, Without Charity. After quitting her job and submitting her manuscript to a publisher, Paver found success when Without Charity was awarded the Fresh Talent accolade, and Paver became a full-time writer.
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness emerged after her third book, The Shadow Catcher, was completed. Since she was a child, Paver dreamed of running with wild wolves in the prehistoric forest. She began researching prehistoric culture and animal behavior, and she visited places such as Iceland and Norway to visualize how the ancient hunter-gatherers lived. Her original plan was for it to be a six book anthology, but Paver announced in 2019 her plans to revisit the series with a final three books.


For a full list of Michelle Paver's books, visit her website.

Michelle Paver 1


I sort of knew them when Torak walked into my head and Renn. But they are probably the things that change most because I get to know them most. I get to know them better. So, for example, in Spirit Walker, at the beginning I had planned, because I am a planner, that Renn would only be with Torak for the beginning of the book, and then he'd go off to the Seal Islands. But she's not like that. So that was quite inconvenient. I had to change my plan for Spirit Walker because that did involve some major changes. No spoilers, but I knew there was something odd about Fa's knife in chapter one of Wolf Brother that we'd only find out about in Outcast because you have to have those sort of details. And I knew roughly what was going to happen at the end of each book. But how you get there, that depends on the characters, and that's the journey I go on with them. And it's like, I always think it's like being two people as a writer. One hand when I'm planning, I'm like an eagle [...] looking down, moving them around. And then once I start to write, I'm on the ground with them, and I'm being Wolf or Torak or Renn. And that's when I think oh, because I thought in Oath Breaker, Wolf was going to be out vengeance against Thiazzi because he was kidnapped in Soul Eater. But once I was with Wolf in his head, wolves don't bear grudges because that's not a very evolutionarily clever thing to do. If someone's hurt them, they just avoid them. So that then led me to Wolf realising that Torak is not Wolf. So that was a lovely sort of example of, oh, wow. This is where the emotional focus of Wolf's story in this book is.
—Michelle about writing the series

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