Law of the Wolf Tower

Law of the Wolf Tower

infobox Book |
name = Law of the Wolf Tower
author = Tanith Lee
country = England
language = English
series = The Claidi Journals
genre = Fantasy
publisher = Hodder Children's Books
pub_date = 18 May 2006
media_type = Print ()
isbn = 0340918128
followed_by = Wolf Star Rise

"Law of the Wolf Tower" (US title: Wolf Tower) is the first book in The Claidi Journals series by Tanith Lee. It was written in 1998.


Claidi grows up as a lowly maid in the House, where she serves her cruel and infantile mistress Lady Jade Leaf with her fellow maids Daisy, Pattoo, and Dengwi. A hot air balloon flies over the House one day, and the panicked xenophobic guards shoot it down. The balloon holds a handsome young man named Nemian. Jizania Tiger, the Oldest Lady and the only one who can (and does) get away with almost everything, summons Claidi and orders her to free Nemian by drugging the guards and taking him back to his City in the Waste. Jizania also tells Claidi that the latter is really a princess, and her real name is Claidissa. Her parents were banished to the Waste long ago for an unknown reason, and her mother's name is Twilight Star. Claidi and Nemian escape, and travel through the Waste together. Claidi finds him dashingly handsome and extremely irritating. They eventually come upon a group of Sheepers, and are taken back to the Sheeper town to much fanfare. Sheepers are a tribe that prctically worships their sheep and only speak Sheep. They call Claidi 'Claidi-baa-baa'. The Sheepers take Claidi and Nemian to the Featherers, but on the way, they are stopped by a group of bandits, including Argul, Mem, Blurn, and Ro. When Argul, who is the leader of the band, sees Claidi, he looks briefly at a charm hanging around his neck, which causes a great stir among the bandits. Claidi is terrified and says if they so much as touch her she will bite their noses off; the bandits laugh and leave. Nemian, Claidi, and the Sheepers continue to the Featherers, who are similar to the Sheepers except they are obsessed with birds instead of sheep. That night, the Featherers hold a festival, and Claidi is forced to wear a hot, itchy dress made out of wool and feathers. Claidi finds out too late that the wearer of the dress has the honor of being tossed over the mountain to honor the bird god, and Nemian is too drunk to do anything. Just before she is tossed over the edge, Claidi is rescued by the bandits and taken back to their caravan.Claidi soon finds that they are not bandits at all. They are called the Hulta, and are a nomadic group that wanders around wherever they please. In fact, they help a group they come across, giving them food and supplies. Nemian begins a fling with a Hulta girl, and Claidi decides to forget him. She makes friends with other Hulta girls and even some of the men, although Argul is slightly frosty towards her. Claidi first rides a mule, but finds it so annoying, she soon switches to a horse, a beautiful black mare called Sirree. The Hulta love to call Claidi 'Claidi-baa' or 'Claidi-baa-baa', which she dislikes at first because it reminds her of the traitorous Sheepers who had sold her as a sacrifice to the Featherers, but later comes to like.The Hulta soon reach Peshamba, a beautiful city guarded by large machanical Dolls. The Dolls stop anyone from causing harm, but otherwise let everyone go about their business. The Peshambans are peaceful, carefree, happy people who worship the CLOCK, a large clock that performs a little mechanical show every night. The Hulta attend a dance at the inn they are staying at, and Claidi and Argul dance almost every dance together. Later, the two go out to see the CLOCK, and Argul asks Claidi to stay with the Hulta. Before Claidi can reply, it begins to snow, and they rush indoors. Argul tells her to meet him at the same spot tomorrow, where she can tell him her reply. Claidi wants to say yes, but that night, she is cornered by Nemian, who begs her to come with him to his City. He tells her he loves her, and she finally agrees to go. Argul is very angry when Claidi tells him she will go with Nemian, and she later learns he had brought a diamond ring with him. She wonders sadly if it was meant for her, and begins to doubt her decision.Claidi and Nemian continue on, and Claidi comes to strongly dislike Nemian, who insists on calling her Claidissa now and has slaves dress her in a hideously fancy outfit. Claidi does not like having slaves, as it reminds her of the House, but Nemian merely laughs her off. They finally reach his City, which is large and grey and wet and ugly. In the center of the City is the Wolf Tower, a tall tower in the shape of a wolf. Claidi meets Ironel, Nemian's grandmother, and Moon Silk, Nemian's wife. Nemian admits that he tricked Claidi.Ironel tells Claidi that she is the Wolf Paw; it is her duty to read the Law four times a day. The Law is based on two octagonal dice; depending on how they fall, different people must do different things, some truly horrible. Nemian was commanded by the Law to mary Moon Silk, and also to find Claidi. Claidi will replace Ironel as the Wolf Paw when the time comes. Claidi is disgusted by the Law and goes for a walk, where she finds the Hulta in disguise. She tells Argul about the Law and the two plan her escape. She finds out that the charm he looked at when they first met was given to him by his mother, who died when she was ten. She told him it would show him his true love, and that it was Claidi. He also gives her the diamond ring. She returns to the Wolf Tower and tells Ironel she will take over as Wolf Paw now. Claidi makes up a bunch of stuff at the reading of the Law, then sends everyone away. She burns the dice, the books on interpreting the dice, and all the cards with everyone's name on it. She leaves the Wolf Tower and escapes with Argul and the Hulta. After them are outside the City walls, Claidi flips when she sees the sky explode with color; she thinks the City has exploded. Mehmed tells her the City is fine- the people are merely letting off 2,000 pounds of fireworks (presumably left behind by the Hulta) in celebration.


Main Characters

Claidi was raised as a slave in the House, she left with Nemian when his hot air balloon crashed. They crossed the Waste together, and after having stayed with Argul's Hulta tribe for a time, they reached Nemian's home, called the Wolf Tower.
Prince Nemian is a prince whose hot air balloon was shot down by the House Guards. He takes Claidi back with him to the Wolf Tower.
Argul is the leader of the Hulta tribe Claidi and Nemian stay with on their way to the Wolf Tower.

Residents of the House

Old Ladies

Princess Jizania Tiger
Princess Corris
Princess Armingat


Lady Jade Leaf
Princess Shimra
Princess Flara
Prince Shawb
Lady Iris
Prince Eagle



Inhabitants of the Waste





Residents of the Wolf Tower

Old Lady

Princess Ironel Novendot


Prince Nemian
Moon Silk


The House and The Garden
The Waste
The Sheeper Town
The Featherer Town
Rain Gardens
The City of The Towers
*Wolf Tower
*Pig Tower
*Vulture Tower
*Tiger Tower
Raven Tower

External links

* [ Tanith Lee's Official Site]

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