Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last Words of Will Wolfkin by Steven Knight

The Last Words of Will Wolfkin

Author: Steven Knight

Publisher: Walden Pond Press

4 out of 5 stars

What would it be like to be paralyzed your entire life? To not be able to run, smile, play catch, or even speak. All you would be capable of would be to blink and breathe. And…think. Blink, breathe, and constantly think. Wouldn’t you have a lot of time to think if you were paralyzed from head to toe, and sat in a chair all your life? Well, that’s exactly what Toby Walsgrove did.

Young Toby was born paralyzed from head to toe, and has been for all fourteen and a half years of his life. His mother ran away just a few hours after giving birth to Toby in London, England. It was evident right away that Toby was paralyzed because he was completely still as he was born. No wriggling and crying. They called Toby’s condition static encephalopathy. Since there was no one to care for poor Toby, who was now an orphan, he was put into a convent. There were many nuns at the convent, and each had there own special quirks, but there was one in particular that Toby adored. That was Sister Mary. Sister Mary fed Toby white goop every day, taught him, and took him on walks and outings to places like the park. Ultimately, she cared for him like a mother would.

The other constant in Toby’s life is Shipley, the black cat, who has always been Toby’s best friend. Toby has a connection with Shipley, because it seemed as though Shipley would tell Toby things. Toby even thought that he could sometimes communicate with Shipley. But, you may ask, why are you going into so much detail about a cat? What importance does this Shipley have? I mean he’s just a cat, right? And that is where I would say you are mistaken. Shipley is where Toby’s real story begins. Shipley isn’t a cat at all, but is a Fel named Egil. Now, what might be a Fel? The Fellish people are a magical race. One night Egil takes away Toby’s immobility, and grants him the gift of movement. Now Toby can walk and talk, and do what everyone else has always taken for granted.

However, Egil needs Toby to take the first step, and come with him to Langjoskull, the Fellish land, in Iceland. Langjoskull is where Vela, Fels, and Thrulls all live, but not everything is peaceful in this magical land. The soon-to-be-king is a raging tyrant and is treating his subjects unfairly, while at the same time destroying long-standing traditions. It is up to Toby and a girl named Emma, who has also been brought to Langjoskull, to stop the evil Helva Gullkin before he becomes king. How are two young kids supposed to accomplish all of this in a strange, new world, where many of the Fels aren’t too happy to see them in the first place? Steven Knight reveals all in the enthralling new book The Last Words of Will Wolfkin!

Wow! Wasn’t that a lot to take in! However, even though there’s so much to absorb throughout this story, it is fantastic! To be able to explore Langjoskull with Toby and Emma, as they narrowly escape danger and somehow always slip out of trouble, is just so much fun. As I read this book I just loved how Toby and Emma grew on each other, and how they thrive as they learn the Fellish ways, and who they truly are.

One of the things I liked most was Toby and Emma’s backgrounds. I know that I talked a lot about how Toby was before he learned about the Fellish people and Langjoskull, but I didn’t really mention Emma. Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but Emma is a headstrong girl who speaks her mind. She is from a small village where life is hard and war is constantly going on. She feels that her people have no chance to change their lives, and that it will always be like this. They never have enough to eat and drink, and they must always watch where they step as land mines could kill you in an instant. Just like they did Emma’s little brother.

Toby and Emma never forget who they really are outside of this strange land, and are constantly thinking about it. One thing that I would have liked to have seen more of though, would be a little more magic. Yes, there is a good dose of it, including new creatures. However, I would have liked to see just a greater sense of magic throughout the whole land. Maybe seen things powered by magic, or as the Fellish people call it, Jerlamar. It would also have been nice to see how the regular, everyday inhabitants of Langjoskull use magic in their daily lives.

To put it simply, this is a compelling story of two young teens, finding out who they really are. Join Toby, Emma, and even Egil, as they save Langjoskull and its entire Fellish people from falling into the hands of the greedy, selfish “King,” Helva Gullkin, in The Last Words of Will Wolfkin!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Will Wolfkin website at http://www.willwolfkin.com/.
The Last Words of Will Wolfkin is available from Amazon here.


  1. Does the story mention a Will Wolfkin at all? Or is it just something for the title? When I read your review, I noticed that there was no references at all to any characters named Will Wolfkin. So, my question is, Who is this Will Wolfkin? If you can answer this, thank you, if you can't thank you anyways.

  2. -Masterhand

    Well, Will Wolfkin actually is a significant character in the story, but I don't want to give too much away...


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