PROMISE OF THE WOLVES launches The Wolf Chronicles trilogy, Dorothy Hearst’s arresting new series that blends imaginative storytelling with evolutionary science as it explores the ancient relationship between man and wolf. An anthropomorphic tale in the bestselling tradition of Watership Down and The Clan of the Cave Bear, Hearst’s thoroughly researched, beautifully told narrative is set 14,000 years ago, and follows the fate of the Swift River pack and the endearing, indomitable she-wolf, Kaala.

As a young pup, Kaala has no idea that her destiny is inextricably tied to the humans who arduously share the Wide Valley with the wolves. Sired by a wolf outside the pack, Kaala and her siblings are “half-bloods,” slated to be killed by Ruuqo, the Swift River leader, and so she is more concerned with survival. But unlike the others, Kaala’s life is spared at the last moment when the Greatwolves intervene on her behalf, catching a glimpse of the mark of the crescent on her chest and sensing that she is special and unique. Though she is allowed to live, she is resented by many in the pack, who label her an outsider and see the crescent mark she bears as an ill omen. With her own mother banished from the pack after vowing to her only surviving daughter that they will one day be reunited, Kaala is forced to fight for her place amongst her fellow pups who refuse to accept her as pack.

As the months pass, Kaala begins to develop into an astute young wolf. But she and her only friends in the pack, Marra and Ázzuen (the runt of her aunt Rissa’s litter), must scramble for attention and contend with the challenges and trials of gaining acceptance into their pack. Kaala proves a good hunter, with sharp instincts, yet even the pleasure of her first hunt is denied her by Ruuqo, who would like nothing better than to see her dead. In her anger and frustration, she wanders away from the pack, across the Tall Grass Plain, straying to the encampment of the humans. All wolves must abide the covenant to resist the preternatural attraction to humans, but Kaala’s is particularly strong, and despite the warnings of her elders, she befriends a human girl – a secret liaison that will have irreversible consequences for the future of wolves and humans.

Wolves and humans have been sometimes allies and sometimes enemies since the beginning of time, and as the human population grows, these canny hunters threaten to take more than their fair share of the available prey. Legend has it that long ago, in a time of famine, a wolf called Indru teamed with the humans to teach them the way of the wolf in order to help both species survive. What Kaala does not yet know is that she is the last in a bloodline charged with watching over the humans, and that the duty of keeping them from losing touch with nature and thus destroying the world lies upon her young shoulders. In the midst of a pending war between human and wolves, Kaala must face the challenge of fulfilling her destiny while remaining true to her pack and abiding by the promise of the wolf.

In writing PROMISE OF THE WOLVES, Dorothy Hearst has immersed herself in extensive study of these fascinating animals, and she subtly weaves what has been documented about wolf behavior and biology into her compelling tale. With its timely ecological message, this first volume of The Wolf Chronicles is an ageless evocation of our co-evolution with wolves and later dogs—a symbiotic relationship enjoyed the world over.

About the Author
Previously a senior editor at Jossey-Bass, where she published books for nonprofit, public, and social change leaders, Dorothy Hearst currently lives and writes in San Francisco. PROMISE OF THE WOLVES is her first novel.
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