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All her life, Claidi has endured hardship in the House, where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden stranger arrives, living proof of a world beyond the House walls. Claidi risks all to free the charming prisoner and accompanies him across the Waste toward his faraway home. It is a difficult yet marvelous journey, and all the while Claidi is at the side of a man she could come to love. That is, until they reach his home . . . and the Wolf Tower.

223 pages, Paperback

First published November 11, 1998

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About the author

Tanith Lee

647 books1,662 followers
Tanith Lee was a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She was the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She also wrote four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a waitress.

Her first short story, "Eustace," was published in 1968, and her first novel (for children) The Dragon Hoard was published in 1971.

Her career took off in 1975 with the acceptance by Daw Books USA of her adult fantasy epic The Birthgrave for publication as a mass-market paperback, and Lee has since maintained a prolific output in popular genre writing.

Lee twice won the World Fantasy Award: once in 1983 for best short fiction for “The Gorgon” and again in 1984 for best short fiction for “Elle Est Trois (La Mort).” She has been a Guest of Honour at numerous science fiction and fantasy conventions including the Boskone XVIII in Boston, USA in 1981, the 1984 World Fantasy Convention in Ottawa, Canada, and Orbital 2008 the British National Science Fiction convention (Eastercon) held in London, England in March 2008. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master of Horror.

Lee was the daughter of two ballroom dancers, Bernard and Hylda Lee. Despite a persistent rumour, she was not the daughter of the actor Bernard Lee who played "M" in the James Bond series of films of the 1960s.

Tanith Lee married author and artist John Kaiine in 1992.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 341 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
August 20, 2020
Wolf Tower (Claidi Journals #1), Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee was a British science fiction and fantasy writer. She wrote more than 90 novels and 300 short stories, and was the winner of multiple World Fantasy Society Derleth Awards, the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Horror.

Wolf Tower is the first book in The Claidi Journals. It was written in 1998. Claidi is a teen girl who has been raised as a maid within an isolated palace-city called "the House." The main buildings are surrounded by a manmade jungle called "the Garden." All this is cut off from the outside world by the giant "Wall."

Claidi steals a journal and begins to record her unhappy existence in the House, writing to the reader as if her journal was a long set of letters. Amongst the things Claidi notes is the House's residents' fear of the world beyond the safety of their Wall, as they believe outside is a poisonous land known as "the Waste."

Life changes for Claidi when a stranger crashes his hot air balloon into the Garden. Captured and imprisoned, he is revealed to be a handsome young man named Nemian who is clearly of foreign royal blood. The House's eldest princess calls upon Claidi and tells the girl that she is no ordinary slave, but a child born from a slave father and royal mother. The elderly princess requests that Claidi help Nemian escape. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آگوست سال 2002 میلادی

عنوان: برج گرگ؛ نویسنده تنیث لی؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 29/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for meredith.
240 reviews41 followers
August 15, 2016
Reread 08/15/16. If I ever stop rereading this series, my soul has died. I love my Claidi-baa-baa.


The Claidi Journals follows the life of Claidi, a servant living a harsh life in a house catering to the nobles. She doesn't know what life lies beyond this House, other than a desert that the nobles say is filled with death. But one day, Claidi gets a chance to find out for herself what really is out there. And she takes it. This is where her journal begins.

My absolute favorite thing about these books is the character of Claidi. She is just so different from any heroine that I have encountered before in a book, and I love Tanith Lee for that. While my favorite books include butt-kicking won't-stop-for-anything types of heroines that know exactly what they are doing and execute it amazingly, it's hard for me to connect with those types of girls. People like that don't really exist in the world (at least, no one I know). Claidi could be me; she could be my friends; she could realistically be a part of our world. Most of the time she has no idea what is happening to her. She doesn't come out with amazing karate chops that stun her attackers instantly when people are kidnapping her. She just goes along with it, panicking and trying (and failing) to find out what is happening to her. She attempts to fight back, but fails because she has no experience in fighting. The intricate plots of sinister people, even the people she loves who come up with plans to save her, baffle her. She humorously records all that is happening but is the last one to figure out what is going on. I love that because I am usually very slow on the uptake as well; I can relate.

The Wolf books are filled with many twists and turns, which Claidi writes dutifully in her little journal but never fully understands until much later. Because confusing things happen constantly but the narrator can't explain them very well, you as a reader have a hard time understanding what actually is happening. Many times I didn't understand what has occured even after Claidi figures it out. And she is supposed to be the slow one! I had to go back and reread the passages to puzzle it out. Tanith Lee creates her own world, with its own people, laws, and religions within these books, and some of these are very strange and hard to imagine. Sometimes when someone gives an explaination to Claidi's questions, the explanation is too confusing for her to understand so she just gives up and writes a vague answer. This can leave a lot of Why?s left over in your head when you finish the books. Claidi is bailed out by the strangest thing, and when she gets an answer as to why, it really doesn't make sense. It just seems like the author made up something to save Claidi. The Whys are always followed by a Because, but sometimes the Becauses need to be explained as well and they aren't.

The Claidi Journals might possibly be my favorite books to reread. There are so many plot twists, that when I read them again I forget about so many little things. Almost everything surprises me again, even though I have already read it. I highly recommend these to fans of fantasy, who don't mind a crazy adventure in a made-up land which may or may not make complete sense all the time. Sometimes you just have to accept that something happened, and leave it at that.
Profile Image for Ashley.
44 reviews
May 9, 2017
I grew up reading these books, so to me they're kinda like a comforting old stuffed animal I revisit when I need something warm and nostalgic. Claidi, the main character, is fantastic - my favorite thing about her is that she could be described as "not like other girls," but she's never called that, and it never felt forced or superficial to me. She just felt like a very real, scared, sarcastic, funny person trying to figure out the world. Of course I'm totally biased because, as I said, I grew up with Claidi, and have secret plans to name my first born after her.
Profile Image for Kat Williams.
44 reviews19 followers
November 5, 2014
I cannot precisely recall when I first read this book. I was probably around 13 or 14 years old. I've been going through my bookshelves lately and re-reading old favorites. I hadn't picked up the Claidi Journals in years, but reading it again was like snuggling up with a warm blanket. The books are written in journal form from Claidi and you (the reader) are her trusted confidante. A very fresh take on YA Fantasy, you run along with Claidi's adventures from her great escape from The House to her journey to Wolf Tower. Claidi is very likeable and introspective, questioning the ideals and customs from the world she came from, and carving her own philosophies as she learns about the world without. The writing style is definitely geared toward a younger audience, but Tanith Lee is still able to captivate her older readers as well. The plot is a bit fast paced in parts, but overall this is a great easy read that leads you into a fantastical world very different from our own.
Profile Image for Erin.
54 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2015
I liked this book quite a bit. The journal style gives the story personality and feeling, as you go on this crazy adventure with Claidi. Only book 1 and I'm already wishing her a happy ending. Very easy, enjoyable read.
(Argul fo' LIFE)
Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
488 reviews99 followers
July 7, 2016
I’m a trifle mixed on this book… But on the whole, it was an enjoyable, unique fantasy adventure.

It’s the journal of the heroine, Claidi, and one of its high points is the conversational and often quite funny tone of the narrative. I really loved that!

Because of the journal setup, we get a very limited outlook on what’s going on, which makes for an interesting read. Claidi herself was an odd combination of feisty/daring and yet oddly naive about a lot of things. She starts out as a servant at a very proper House, which seems reminiscent of somewhere in Asia or India, perhaps?

This whole story, which takes place in a variety of places all different than each other, has none of the usual pseudo-English/European fantasy setting about it (which I love, incidentally, but this IS a change, I suppose). It’s very diverse in its settings/lands and peoples and cultures, so for anyone looking for a different sort of fantasy, this is definitely that!

The general feeling is like a usual semi-medieval fantasy tale, and yet it’s at times more advanced, more like Victorian? There are clocks and things, and a general touch of something almost steampunk, what with the hot air balloon near the start, and the city with clockwork soldiers later on, and some sort of surveillance thing mixed in, almost sci-fi? Near the end it even felt like a touch of dystopian. o.o Anyways, it was definitely an intriguing mix! I enjoyed the fresh, different feel of it. :)

Okay, so now we get to what I didn’t like as much, which… um… I really can’t talk about BECAUSE SPOILERS. But let’s just say that there was a character who I wanted to like and wished something had turned out differently and it DIDN’T but it’s probably all for the best (there was a sort of almost love triangle involved; cue more squirming) and it turned out as well as could be expected I suppose. BUT GAAHH I STILL WANTED SOMETHING DIFFERENT MAYBE? I don’t even know. All of this made me drop it from a potential five-star to 4 stars, because I really DID enjoy the book and liked it, but it just… gaahh, the stress. *flails*

For those who are wondering, a certain person named Argul is fantastic, and the-other-person-we-don’t-talk-about was sometimes and I wanted said person to be… um… something else, but then… THAT HAPPENED. *pouts* …But I was suspecting it early on and worried about it and then it WAS and just sllsjkdflj. Sorry, I’m a mite bit incoherent about this whole thing. BUT SPOILERS. (It might just be me, though. Don’t mind me all curled up in a corner rocking back and forth and babbling incoherent “BUT ALKSDJLK WHAT EVEN JUST WHY” sounds.)

I’ve heard that there are three books after this one, but I don’t think I’ll read them…? I really liked the ending of this one (for the most part), and I don’t really want to go through all of that again. -_-

Not a ginormously fabulous book, but by no means a bad one, either! Definitely fun and worth a read if it sounds interesting. And I’m very much looking forward to reading more by the author (since I happen to have “Piratica” on my shelf, watching me, waiting…).

All in all, Wolf Tower was an at times quite funny (I LOVE HUMOR!), unique fantasy read, which I enjoyed a good deal, except for that-thing-about-said-person-we-don’t-talk-about. AHEM.
Profile Image for MJ.
32 reviews3 followers
January 21, 2015
I enjoyed this book immensely when I was younger, and for a while after but, as an adult, (and not having read it for years) I’m not sure how much enjoyment I would get out of it these days. I believe I would still enjoy it, but just not as much as when I was still young. It was written for young adults, and therefore (probably) best enjoyed by them.

That being said…

I liked the way it was told through diary entries. I’ve noticed that this doesn’t always work in books, as sometimes the writing seems to jump and jump and jump through events that, sometimes, never get told. However, the Claidi Journals addressed this well and I rarely found myself wondering what the heck was going on. Though it was quite obvious it couldn’t be a real journal (though, of course, it is in the books) for the fact that it was all to well written and remembered, that was easy to ignore.

I enjoyed the writing and the plot. None of the characters particularly annoyed me, and I found Claidi’s naivety to be funny rather then bothersome. I remember laughing a little when she didn’t know what a skunk was.

She was also a very believable character. Having grown up in the House, she believes all the people’s outside of it to be savages. Therefore, when she meets people outside for the first time, that is how she reacts to them; like they are savage, or at least not trustworthy. Her character develops, and there are no real hops from her being distrustful of anyone to suddenly being welcoming to everyone. We see her change from being afraid of the outside world, to being more accepting of it (and not just through this book).

I liked the element of romance in the book, which wasn’t so heavy that it made the book unbearable, and it wasn’t so light that it was hard to catch onto. The couple was perfect and the way that got together made me (as a teen) sigh happily.

Even though back then I didn’t really know what dystopia novels were (and therefore don’t know if I would have liked them), I have since realized that, though this whole book is not dystopia, it does have dystopian elements in this. Mild ones, and only in small parts (The Tower City, etc.), but it’s still there. I’ve also since realized that I quite like dystopia, even mild, fleeting ones. As I said, not this whole book is centered on a dystopian society, or even world, but it’s there strongly enough to be enjoyed (perhaps) by those who like dystopia.

This series is also good for those who like bits and pieces of the entire story arc to be scattered through all four books. The reader picks up bits and pieces of what the whole Master Plot/Plan is, not just in one area or time in the book, but throughout all four books, until everything is tied together and shown to be related even if, sometimes, it seems they aren’t/shouldn���t be.

The ending of the book was great and I remember wanting to go out right away and buy the next book, just to seem how Claidi’s journey would continue.

All in all, I recommend this book to young adults who like very very mild dystopia, light LIGHT romance, a strong (if naïve) female lead, and a journey that you can’t wait to continue.
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,809 reviews165 followers
November 10, 2012
I read this years ago but this is what I remember.

This book, while there was definitely nothing wrong with it, just never grabbed my interest.

I was fairly bored with everyone and everything that went on.

Even though it was set up as a diary, which usually annoys me, this one was well done so I didn't really mind.

I liked Claidi to a point. At times she would have a funny quip or a good moment but I never really cared.

The romance was just...there? They could end up together or they could not. I didn't care whichever way they went.

The main problem, as you could probably tell, is that I didn't care.
I never went on to finish the series. I had no interest in doing so.
When I don't care, it means it was a flop.
At least when I hate something, I can rant and rage about why and what I didn't like but when you couldn't care less...there's nothing to be done.
554 reviews5 followers
January 10, 2023
I loved this book. It reminded me of my favorite books when I was a kid - The Ear, The Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer and The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick. Just stories of kids going on adventures through unusual lands. I really appreciate the creativity. The only thing different about this one is that though it reads like the same grade level as the others I mentioned above, the main character does fall in love and is betrothed ? by the end of the book.
Profile Image for Sandy.
330 reviews41 followers
October 24, 2009
I loved this book. I first picked it up because of the beautiful cover and then I loved the idea of a girl in a poor position escaping from the horrible place to be free and travel. But don't worry this is not a poor Cinderella who was rescued by a prince and lives happily ever after. No this is story is filled with adventure, surprises, betrayal and true love. In fact this isn't a Cinderella story at all but a world filled with wonder and magic :).
Profile Image for Andi.
231 reviews
November 16, 2022
Brauchbare Story, hat mich aber nicht begeistert. Kann aber nicht sagen, ob es vielleicht an der Übersetzung liegt.
Es gibt zwar weitere Teile, aber ich finde dieses Buch endet perfekt und braucht keine Fortsetzung.
Profile Image for Ана Хелс.
806 reviews80 followers
July 26, 2014
Имам един сън, естествено събуден от прекомерното фентъзи – четене , а именно че съм кралица в моя замък – библиотека ( отбележете кралица, преди беше принцеса, но с времето схванах в чии ръце е властта ) , и имам свой собствен не шут, или бард, ами писател. Задачата на придворния писач е разбира се да отгатва моите най-искрени кралски нужди и мечти, и да ги претворява по своя си начин в идеални романи, хем коренно различни в сравнение със всичко друго познато и написано под слънцето, хем ярко бляскави с онази магична светлина , която реагира най-вече на моето днк и това на събратята и сестрите ми по светоусещане. Та този сън получи своята почти физична форма в момента, в който открих за себе си магията на Танит Ли, в което дали ще ви убедя или не е отделен въпрос, но по-важна е страстта да споделя любовта си към точно този тип писано слово, по начина по който поетите възпяват любимите си в рими , или музикантите обясняват чувствата си с ноти. Е , това не е точно романтична история, а по-скоро епично – душевна такава, когато откриваш съществуването на някой познаващ душата ти и всичко , което свири по правилните и струни и казва винаги подходящите думи в най-добрия избран момент. Да речем, че Танит Ли е моя личен подарък от провидението, без да е нужно авторката да го знае , разбира се, иначе едва ли би и харесало да я подаряват насам – натам, я.

Та Дневниците на Клайди е привидно от по-леките за възприемане книги на Ли, с по-малко фантасмагоричност и откаченост, по-опростен език и лесно проследима и разбираема романтична история с млади хора, почти тийнове. Но когато най-великият вълшебник започне да прави фокуси с карти, магията винаги прелива и завладява тъй неочаквано, че часовникът и дневният ритъм не могат да те спрат да четеш уж привидно простичката история до първите лъчи на слънцето в работен ден. Героинята ни Клайди е робиня на една от най-невъзможните разглезени принцеси в отделено от света общество, наречено Къщата, където господари и роби следват безумни ритуали и чакат непрекъснато нападение от някъде неясно откъде . Нападението идва в крайна сметка под формата на млад красавец в балон, който се оказва с по-черна мисия, отколкото някой е способен и да предположи, отвеждайки Клайди през един безумен свят на откачени мини общества – псевдо секти, достигайки до Вълчата кула, източник на злокобни интриги, датиращи от векове. И тук започва истинският бунт на малкото момиче, порастващо въпреки себе си и търсещо неясна справедливост, за която дори не е чело, но усеща, че е вероятно по-добрия вариант за съществувание. Личната история на твърде младата ни, но приятно силна героиня прелива в почти епична класика , изучаваща необяснимите закони на странния световен ред в един напълно несъществуващ утопичен свят. И те приковава към страниците като древно проклятие, от което хич и не ти се иска да се оттърваваш.

Макар че жанрът на Клайди може да се определи като фентъзи, и даже тийн или янг адълт такова, за мен то спада по-скоро към лекия стиймпънк, където магията и технологията вървят ръка за ръка, но ни биват благородно спестесни каквито и да е досадни опити да бъде обяснено онова или това творение на ума. Настройте се просто да възприемате и да отдавате нужното възхищение към величието на създателите , сред чиито творения се нареждат супер биороботи, наречени кротичко кукли; въртящи се стаи със собствено съзнание, закотвени ��з замъци на непристъпни върхари; мини космически кораби с неограничени възможности за самоусъвършенстване и личностно развитие; скъпоценни камъни, съхраняващи заряд на сила за летене, илюзии, четене на мисли и контрол на съзнания, и цели масиви от суров талант, готов да заеме формата на каквото ума е способен да създаде като мисъл. Псевдо науката среща почти пост апокалипсиса на неясния си домейн , и от любовта им се ражда бунтарката Клайдиса, импонираща у всяко умно подрастващо съзнание, и по-зрялото такова, спомнящо си дивите дни на желание да променя света из основи. Очарователно и завладяващо, както винаги. Моят тип книга. Може би и вашата. Опитайте.
Profile Image for Veronika Turner.
10 reviews5 followers
February 23, 2013
I was at the library a week ago and I saw this book, remembering that I had read a it couple years back, and decided to give it a try once again.


I like the beginning, and how the author beautifully describes Nemian, the Prince who changes Claidi's seemingly doomed life and whisks her away on an adventure that would change her life forever. "...his hair looked like golden flames itself..he had a gleam to him...life had polished the man. Being alive. Living. And he glowed." I also loved the rich descriptions of Claidi's travels, the scenery, and all the different types of people and creatures she meets. Nemian's progression from a lighthearted witty young man to a traitor and antagonist was very fascinating to read and an interesting plot twist that people usually don't expect.

BUT no matter how hard I've tried to understand her, I find Claidi annoying, naive, and just plain pathetic. I found it hard to relate to her and I feel like the author didn't develop her character enough. She just didn't have enough PERSONALITY.She wasn't very interesting other than the fact that she sometimes was a bit sarcastic/stubborn but never the less it wasn't substantial. Sometimes the book was just too cutesy and wholesome, like when she stays with the Hulta, having her little "bonding moments" with the Hulta women. I find books hard to read when I don't even like the main character...

I know...I don't make much sense...but give it a try, who knows. You might like it :)

Profile Image for Brooke Davis.
Author 2 books166 followers
March 23, 2022
Childhood favorite that still holds up <3 The first time I read this book, I was eleven. I remember reading it in the lobby of a movie theater, and I was so engrossed, I spilled nacho cheese all over myself. (Is that a convincing endorsement? I think so!)
Profile Image for Josie.
1,485 reviews31 followers
March 9, 2007
Claidi is the funniest, most adorable heroine I've ever met. (Well, read about.) I love this series to pieces, but this book is my favourite because there's actually a happy ending.
Profile Image for Ursula.
553 reviews
September 2, 2021
26 August 2021. Finished Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee.

Rating - 4 stars
Genre - Fantasy / Romance
Audience - Teen

Claudi is a maid living in a secluded walled structure. She doesn't know what's outside the walls, except that it's the Waste and that people who get sent out there die in the desert.

One day, an air balloon passes by and is shot down by the guards. On the balloon is a mysterious prince. Claudi has an opportunity in front of her. She can run away with the prince and find out what lies beyond the walls, or she can let him be killed and spend her days where she is at.

My thoughts: The story is told in diary format. Normally, I don't like diary-format. It's just a very tunnel-vision way of writing that focuses on the character's personality rather than the world around the character. Normally, I'm more interested in the world around the character than the character themselves. That's just personal tastes.

However, I think the author did a really good job with the diary-format narration. Claudi's voice is strong and there's a clear vision of her and enough of the world around her to keep me interested.

I have mixed feelings about the world-building. The author did a good job of immersing the reader, but the world-building feels very randomized. There's a sheep village that likes sheep and their culture is based off sheep. The book immerses the reader into the sheep village. It feels realistic, but there's no explanation of why this village likes sheep. Much of the world-building is like that. There's a village that likes birds. Why do they like birds? I have no idea, but they do, a lot.

I feel like to enjoy this book, you have to accept that there's certain things that just are the way they are. No explanation. No reasoning. If you can do that, it's a pretty enjoyable book.


pg. 9 - From a couple of the highest towers of the House, if you're willing to climb hundreds and hundreds of stairs---I have---you can just glimpse something beyond the edges of the fortressed Garden walls. That must be the Waste. But you can't see much---only a sort of threatening, shimmering vagueness. A pale shadow.

pg. 11-12 - Aside from maintenance, the Garden is also very artistic, to please the royalty. Here and there, areas may even look a little overgrown, or there might be a pavilion a bit ruined. But the overgrowings are always carefully clipped to just the right amount of wilderness, and the ruin will be clean and gleaming, with ivy trained up on wires. Even decay is planned here, and controlled.

pg. 46 - It's all tumbling through me. Not just love---I feel I'm made of racing water and drums, and fired up by lightning.

pg. 59 - Dawn bloomed honey and rose against the high walls I had left forever. Birds were flying over them. It looked safe and gentle and beautiful. But it was a dream, and I'd woken up.

pg. 62 - The ground was so hard. That sounds stupid. But it was as if, every time you took a step, the ground whacked your feet, and the jolt shot right up your back. The sun thumped down on your head from the other direction.

pg. 96 - He seemed happy, enchanted by these Featherers, some of whom were now trailing him in a merry group. Was he drunk, or just being tactful? Or is he... is he useless? When the bandits were there, I never felt for one moment Nemian could save me, as in the old stories the hero always does the heroine, but am I even a heroine?

pg. 101 - The hills... are like a place where something intense, perhaps heavy, had been, which now was blown away. They had a weird beauty in the moon-and-torchlight. Where the grass is thick, the hillsides seem covered with velvet, and then bare pieces strike through, harsh and hard. Also there are bits that are worn thin, translucent, and you seem to see through them, down into darkness.

pg. 133 - That awful face stared down. You know, it was a wise face, too, but not wise in any way I'd ever understand or want to.
Profile Image for Amrita Goswami.
282 reviews32 followers
May 13, 2021
I was pleasantly surprised by the vivid imagery. It reminded me a little of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. There was a mildly tiresome romantic triangle, but I enjoyed the prose enough to excuse it (mostly). I would have loved this as a teenager fifteen years ago. Wolf Tower was a random Goodreads suggestion I picked up for light bedtime reading and it exceeded my expectations, so I guess I'll check those out more often now.
Profile Image for Samantha Jones.
10 reviews3 followers
May 24, 2014
I am going to write this review for the entire series instead of writing a review for each one. This series will always be so close to my heart. I don't remember how or where I discovered it when I was younger (early teens probably) but I loved this series so much, I read the entire thing again not long after first reading it. Being so young it was my first taste of the Dystopian novel, and I was fascinated. Looking back, I am still awed by what an impact these books made in my life and in my own writing as an adult now.

From this very first book, where we are introduced to this whole new world, it was just nothing like anything I had ever read...I have been reading many of the reviews on here, hoping to find other people who have read the series and felt the same about it. I have read many mixed reviews, and I think perhaps that is why I love this series so much - because it is not for everyone, it is so unique and different, almost to the point of being creepy, almost like you are watching the Twilight Zone, is how I can best describe it. It's like a giant mind-fu**.

Being told in first person, in diary entries is really the best way to do this kind of story, it was done perfectly, it makes the reader feel like we are Claidi's secret friend, the reader feels like she is whispering in your ear all the crazy secrets of her world and you can't help being excited and facsinated, because her world is a million times crazier than ours. In her world, she is brought up in "The House" which is a fascinating concept in itself. A place that she is told, is literally THE ONLY habitable place left on this earth. Imagine that, imagine being told your whole life that this giant house you live in with all these rich, royal families, is the only place anyone lives, you are the only people, this is the whole universe, this one house. They tell them this, I believe, so that the servants - who are treated badly - will never attempt to escape, which is brilliant really. They are terrorized with stories about the outside world, that everything is poisonous, that there are wild animals that will kill you. The only safe place is The House. The end all be all.

Then the golden haired stranger comes and proves everything Claidi has ever been told is a lie.

These books reminded me of when I read, "A Wrinkle in Time." because for a lot of people, they are confusing because they are so different, and they can sometimes make the reader feel uneasy because of the creepy aspect. But it's so fascinating, and I cannot believe one woman could create such a world that seems so very real...it makes you feel as if such a place does exist somewhere, and it is scary as hell. The whole concept of the towers and the government where they roll DICE and pick random things for people to do if they are chosen? Just crazy shit!! But in our world things don't always make sense either, it's easy to relate to in that way...you read about their government and laws and you think, "well yeah, life is random like that. It's not so far fetched if you think about it..."

This review probably made little sense, but basically I would recommend this book to everyone. It's amazing, I would even go as far as to say life changing because it makes you think, and it's something so very different from what you have ever or will ever read. Such an amazing world. I will be re reading this soon just so I can go back. Prince Venn is my dream man...always will be ;)
Profile Image for Chelsie.
87 reviews2 followers
July 7, 2008
I had to push myself to finish this book, and then the following books, simply to find out what happens. Worse, I think the ending of the first book was better than the ending of the series. So unless you absolutely adore it, don't go beyond the first book.

Wolf Tower is a very odd, confusing read. While the storyline is very good, and also very creative, the different cultures and towns she comes to are so bizarre that you are left wondering where in the world the author came up with it all. I suppose it can be likened to Alice in Wonderland in that sense.

Further, the books seemed to drag on and on with a lot of repetition. She is kidnapped, escapes, finds her way, is kidnapped again, etc.

However, I do like Claudi's character, as well as many others. And the author gets bonus points for creativity and thinking outside of the box, but that's basically all it has going for it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,501 followers
June 9, 2014
Claidi is trapped. Her life--as the maid of a selfish daughter of a selfish lady in the sealed community of the Garden--promises nothing but looming punishment and eternal drudgery.

Until He arrives. When a balloon is shot down over the garden, the balloonist--a young man named Nemian--is taken prisoner. How dare he enter the Garden’s sacred space! His future appears likely to be short-lived.

Unless Claidi helps him escape.

Wolf Tower is a fast-paced initial installment in a fantasy series by Tanith Lee. I am delighted to report that there are no werewolves--or actually any distinctly wolf-like creatures of any kind--in this book. There are, however, lions that roam the Garden, clockwork dolls that serve as guards, giant panther-like creatures that haunt the Waste, and a wonderful myriad of other creatures that stalk Tanith Lee’s--and Claidi’s--fantastical realm.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,678 followers
October 5, 2015
I know I read this book in about 2005, because I remember discovering this whole trilogy by Tanith Lee, author of my beloved BLACK UNICORN, while I was strolling my firstborn around the library. But what I remember stops there. I liked the look of the book, but I never read any of the others because . . . meh. I don't even remember anything about this book. I think it was . . . fine? I didn't hate it. But I felt no impetus to continue the series, and now I can't remember anything that happened except that it was the diary of a servant named Claidi, and then she . . . goes on a journey? So, anyway. It's fine.
Profile Image for Natalie.
152 reviews
May 28, 2017
*check marks another book off my huge tbr pile, courtesy of too many library book sales*

Well. This was....different.
This book is really hard to describe. The writing style was very unique and fun. It's written as a diary, but I actually enjoyed it because it was so relaxed and felt like a real journal. Things this (!!) and (??) would be inserted throughout the text, along with questions and other such ramblings. It was fun. :) And I love the description. So many odd expressions were used for describing ordinary things and it worked SO well. I may keep this book just because of the inspiration to be gleaned from the description.
The fantasy world was....interesting. A map would have been handy, though. Things felt kind of vague sometimes. :P
The plot was okay-ish, but it felt really rambling and reactionary. Things happened to the heroine, but she rarely DID something herself till the very end.

Other than that okay/good stuff, I found the characters kind of hard to relate to, especially when I THOUGHT the heroine's love interest was thing one guy, then he *spoilers* turns out to be a bad guy and she finds herself falling for this other guy that I didn't even realize was on the radar till she was like "Oh, HE'S the best, not this jerk I've been all swoony over until he betrayed me." (??) *end spoilers*

So I don't know. This was an odd book, but there were things I liked about it.

PS. Oh yeah. One other "little" thing. There's kind of a lot of language, for a middle grade book! Nothing much worse than the d-word and h-e-double-hockey-sticks, but still. AUTHORS. Come on. Write for your audience, please. Write appropriately for your audience. :P
Profile Image for Lesley.
173 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2020
This was purely a nostalgic read. I read this when I was a kid, and about a year ago would remember it from time to time, but could never remember what it was called, who it was by, or really verbalize what it was about. I always though it was written by Tamora Pierce, so I went to one of her book's pages on Goodreads and by pure luck found this again by searching through similar items. I was so happy to find it!

I thought my enjoyment of it would just be nostalgic, but I genuinely think this is a good YA book, so much so that I now want to read the remaining 3 books (though I *really* don't remember what happens in those). There is a bit of tropey YA love story in this, though it doesn't really start until about 2/3 of the way through the book and it's not too heavy handed or really the focus of the story. I like the main character and her adventures, and appreciate that that is the main focus. I was pleasantly surprised to genuinely enjoy this at 30 years old.
Profile Image for C..
Author 2 books57 followers
July 25, 2018
Claidi is a maid-slave in an awful place called The House, where she is forced to serve the horrible princess Jade Leaf. The servants, maids and slaves are told that the outside world beyond The House is a horrible, hellish place called the Waste. One day, a traveler named Nemain arrives at The House, surprising them all with his manner. Claidi helps him escape and he leads her on an adventure unlike anything she's ever experienced.

I read this book for the first time when I was 16. I fell in love with the series and now they sit on my bookshelf, worn, the spines broken and pages falling out. I haven't read the series since then, and wanted to pick it back up.

I love the wonderment Claidi has when she discovers new things. Because of her isolated, miserable life, she didn't know about so many things. She had no idea what horses were, or sheep, or crocodiles, or religion. There was no religion in The House - just rituals. The way she described these new things was bizarre because she didn't know how to describe them.

I didn't trust Nemain from the start. There was always something unsettling about him, and my gut was right. When he betrays her and brings her to the Wolf Tower City, to keep the Law, I wanted to kill him. I loved when she spilled wine on the floor, making them all surprised for once.

I think my favorite part has to be the chapters in Peshemba, when she's getting to know Argul, and how she could really live. Of course the most satisfying was the ending, and the escape, with her first real experience of fireworks.

5/5 stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Emma Joy.
124 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2022
Re-Read. I haven’t read these books in probably eight years (though I’ve read them multiple times), and they are certainly a comfort read for me. The second one is my favorite so I’m excited to start it next!
Profile Image for Emily.
Author 1 book2 followers
January 12, 2021
Definitely intriguing, and I enjoyed the evidence of Lee's folkloristics. Planning to read the rest of the quartet!
Profile Image for B Sarv.
255 reviews13 followers
February 12, 2022
Tanith Lee does it again. I can’t wait to get to book 2
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