Harper sets the Tales of the Wolfwalkers on a world settled by humans who then lost most of their technology. One thing they do have, or at least some of them do have, is the ability to communicate telepathically with wolves. Something else some of them have is the ability to heal telepathically. The books are excellent reading, with adventure, intrigue, a little romance, and occasional technological gadgets sprinkled in for good measure. The Cat Tales are possibly set in the same "universe" as the Tales of the Wolfwalkers, but on a planet that is still in touch with the universe at large, and still in possession of a high level of technology. Also included is a possible explanation for the telepathy with animals found in the Tales of the Wolfwalkers. I highly recommend any book by this author, with the exception of Wolf’s Bane, which was okay, and worth reading, but not good enough for me to highly recommend it.
Books I've Read by TaraK. Harper
Lightwing (out of print)
Kiondili Wae considered herself lucky to land a job as a research assistant on Corson
Station. And not just any job, but the project of her dreams: the development of a faster-than-light ship drive.
Her special talents -- powerful telepathy and an uncanny flair for manipulating electromagnetic fields -- were
particularly suited to the work at hand. And if the goal was reached, the federation of alien races that peopled
the greater galaxy would finally accept humanity as a full member. But false accusations and misunderstandings
plagued Kiondili from the moment of her arrival. Even the mental talents that had won her the job seemed to work
against her, alienating her co-workers. Somehow she would have to show them -- that she could rise above it all,
that she could fit in with the group, and most of all, that only she could make the FTL effort a success! (from
an Amazon.com review)
Tales of the Wolfwalkers
Grey Wolf (Dion and Grey Hishn)
Wolfwalker (out of print)
Dion was a healer and a wolfwalker, and the unique telepathic bond that she shared with
the wolf Gray Hishn sometimes seemed to amplify her sensitivity to her patients. But she never guessed how strong
that bond could be, or what kind of power it could wield, until she found herself lost in the wilderness, with
angry slavers at her heels and war on the horizon. Suddenly she and her fellow travelers were fighting for their
lives in the snowy winter wastes, where the wolves were their only guides, the greatest secret of the ancients
their only salvation...and Dion their only hope to survive. (from an Amazon.com review)
Shadow Leader What began as a rite-of-passage journey for Healer/WolfWalker Ember Dion and her twin
brother Rhom becomes a desperate struggle for freedom as they and their companions stumble upon a madman's
designs for war and conquest. (from a BarnesAndNoble.com review)
Storm Runner (out of print)
As a wolfwalker, Dion made an ideal border scout. She could experience the woods and
mountains through the senses of her companion, the wolf Gray Hishn; even the wild wolves fed her their
impressions. And that was how she knew that in the beleaguered lands across the border, something unspeakable
was happening. The wolves were fleeing in droves. And those that remained behind had cut Dion off from their
packsong. Nothing but their terrible grief and despair leaked through. Dion knew that time was running out for
the people on the other side of the border -- and for wolves everywhere. Her only hope lay with an ancient rite
that had remained untested for generations -- the Calling of the wolves! (from an Amazon.com review)
She was Dion the Wolfwalker, and through her telepathic bond with the Gray Ones, she could hear the packsong and run with the wolves. And now, as fate ripped from her almost everything she held dear, her wolfbond became her only reason to live, for she could not deny the Call of the wolves to help them. Driven by the need of the Gray Ones, she would seek out and confront the mysterious beings of the sky—the ones who had once brought death to the world. In eight hundred years, no human had survived that contact. But Dion could not avoid it. Only by facing the aliens could she save herself . . . and the future of the wolves! (book description)
Personal note: While this book was worth reading, it was not nearly as good as the other books in this series. So if you want to read the entire series, by all means read it, but make sure it is not the first book in the series that you read or you might not read another one.
Dion—Healer and Wolfwalker—dared to try to unlock the secrets of the aliens who lived to the north. Her courage was rewarded with their fury, and she was nearly destroyed. Now, desperate to put distance between herself and the fate that awaits her, Dion rages against the wolves as much as she rages against the world.
But she cannot elude those who seek her: the Gray Ones who grow restless with her absence; the brother searching the wilderness for his Wolfwalker twin; and the people of her homeland, who are relying on her to secure their future with her new knowlege. And there is one other: a distant warrior unable to resist the mysterious force that summons him to find a woman whose face he has never seen, whose name he has never heard.
As the forces of destiny converge, Dion must fight to keep her secrets safe—secrets that could change Wolfwalker, warrior, and even their world forever. (book description)
Raised on a foreign world where telepathic wolves hunt in the mountains and mysterious aliens guard against the encroachment of humanity, Nori has grown up scouting in the wilderness. Like her mother before her, she searches for dangers that could devastate the isolated towns scattered across the countryside.
But the wolves have already encountered those forces. Now, disturbed by the sense of death along the broken cliffs of Ariye, they reach out to one who can help them. Unsuspecting, Nori answers the Grey Ones’ call—only to find herself mentally bonded to a half-grown, ferocious wolf.
Spies and assassins stalk the scouts and wolfwalkers while a deadly threat, once thought to be contained, spreads across the land. Caught between the wolves and the horror of plague, and with hired hunters at her heels, Nori is hounded deep into the wilderness to begin a journey that must end in victory . . . or death. (book description)
Personal note: This book definitely left me wanting more. It is the start of a new story line that in no way concluded at the end of this book. If anything, this first book in the new series is just the introduction to the new characters, and opens up a whole new adventure.
Other Wolfwalker Novels
Grayheart Rezsia was a city girl, unequipped to face the dangers of the wilderness. Although she
was a wolfwalker, her telepathic link with the wolves was too new to give her the strength and experience she
needed to survive in the forest. Then the elders asked her to investigate a series of strange deaths, and what
started out as a straightforward task became a desperate struggle between a hidden evil and the fledgling bond
between one wolf cub and a woman. The odd, older wolfwalker, Coale, could teach Rezsia to join in the packsong
and run with the wolves. The scouts assigned to escort her could instruct her in forest survival skills. But
when even the packsong held secrets, there was no one she dared trust fully. If she hoped to survive, she would
ultimately have to search her soul, sift through the memories of the wolves, and bet her life on an inner
strength she had never tested . . . (from an Amazon.com review)
Tales of Tsia and the Cats
Cat Scratch Fever (out of print)
Tsia had dreamed all her life of becoming a guide, attuned to her world through a
telepathic gate to another lifeform. At last, she took the guide virus that would mutate her body to create the
gate she so desperately craved. But the lifeform her body took was the one lifeform forbidden--the felines, who
had scouted the planet for the First Droppers and, in exchange, been promised their freedom forever from human
domination. By laws of the Guide Guild and the First-Landing Pact, she could never call to the cats, never speak
with them, never approach them. But then capture and imprisonment, torture and slavery took the place of an empty
future. Suddenly Tsia's only hope lay with her gate--and once she had touched the cats, there would be no turning
back... (from an Amazon.com review)
Cataract On Risthmus, the Landing Pact was law: felines were off limits. And for ten years Tsia,
the rogue guide, had tried to honor that Pact and ignore the irresistible pull of her forbidden link to the cats.
For ten years, she had hidden among the mercenaries. But now her latest mission was going awry. A crash landing
was followed by one deadly mishap after another. The cougar cub Tsia had rescued from a storm refused to leave
her -- even when she tried to send it away. Tsia could save the mission -- if she deliberately broke the Landing
Pact to enter the mind of the cat and command his help. But if she was found out, punishment would be the loss of
her biogate, her telepathic link with the felines. Her past was about to catch up with her, and only if she faced
it -- and used it -- could she hope to forge a new future...with the cats! (from an Amazon.com review)