Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Pick of the Week!

Spice & Wolf: Novel Series Volume One

In the Middle Ages, Europe is still haunted by pagan traditions... and even though the Catholic Church has mostly managed to banish the myths and stories and rituals with which the folk of the countryside have lived for centuries, some of those ancient powers still live on in the fields and the forests of old.

One such power is Holo, Wolf Goddess of the Harvest. Years ago, she entered into a bargain with the townsfolk of a tiny farming village, to help ensure a good wheat season... and now, ages later, she is still here - even though after countless generations the townsfolk have almost entirely forgotten about her, dismissing her as an ancient heathen superstition. Lonely and looking for a way to return to her ancestral lands in the faraway North, Holo stumbles upon Lawrence Kraft, a young traveling merchant just beginning to make a real success of his chosen career. Offering her unusual powers as a goddess in exchange for safe transport, the wild and tempermental Holo and the pragmatic and stable Lawrence join forces to travel across a changing Europe together - encountering religious intolerance, criminal conspiracies and strange adventures along the way!

Isuna Hasakura's Spice & Wolf is the latest triple threat coming out of the entertainment world of Japan, having racked up success and praise as a best-selling novel series, a hit anime, and a fan-favourite manga series before coming to English audiences. This week we see the arrival of the first volume in the novel series from Yen Press, with the release of the new lower-priced first season of the anime series on DVD expected later this month and the debut of the English language translation of the manga series some time next year.

Easily one of the most clever Japanese entertainment franchises in recent memory, Spice & Wolf delivers a complex and unique fantasy world that never once underestimates the intelligence or imagination of its audience. Highly recommended!

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