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Literature / The Yukon Wolf

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A young adult novel written by Brett Roehr and published in 2018. Set in the mountains of northwestern Canada, the story consists of The Exile, a young female wolf named Arnaaluk, who is banished from her family for wandering outside their territory and disobeying her father. She meets two brothers, Kanak and Tulok, who are involved in a Sibling Rivalry. She falls in love with the dominant sibling, Tulok and a Love Triangle erupts between the two brothers. The three wolves face threats from another wolf named Lycargus and from "tall dark figures" with guns who roam the mountains and forests.

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The Yukon Wolf provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Arnaaluk.
  • Adult Fear: Arnaaluk's father, Payuk is constantly concerned about her safety and the author never stops reminding us of this.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After Lycargus is killed by a hunter, Tulok feels sorry for him.
  • Animal Religion: Tulok apparently believes in the existence of life after death.
  • Babies Ever After: Arnaaluk gives birth to a litter of pups at the end.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals
  • Balloon Belly: Some of the wolves in the story, especially Tulok, love to gorge on caribou until their bellies are "full and swollen."
  • Berserk Button: Lycargus seems easily triggered when Kanak calls him an "idiot."
  • Big Bad: Lycargus and humans.
  • Big Eater: Tulok fits this description perfectly. Wolves are pretty much gluttons in real life.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tulok and his new family survive the harsh winter, but are forced to leave their home due to the threat of man. Tulok also loses his brother to a trapper.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
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    • Kanak calls Lycargus an idiot.
    • Arnaaluk carries out this trope later on in the story when Lycargus is threatening her brother.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: A fox emerges from its hole and snatches voles from Arnaaluk while she is starving. She then runs underneath Arnaaluk causing her to lose her balance and fall over.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • This is what happens to Payuk after the death of his mate, and again after he mistakenly believes that Lycargus killed his daughter.
    • This also happens to Nova after his brother dies of pneumonia.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The story is apparently about Canis lupus pampasileus.
  • The Exile: Arnaaluk.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Payuk.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: While some people see wolves as bloodthirsty beasts, the main characters see humans this way.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Arnaaluk's brother, Kiviaq does this as he is dying of pneumonia.
  • Kick the Dog: The hunter that poisons Lycargus' pups. Why did he do that? Why?
  • Little "No": Lusa says this when her brother, Payuk is killed by Lycargus.
  • Noble Wolf: Most of the wolves in the story are good. Even Lycargus is portrayed in a sympathetic light.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Caribou lose vast amounts of blood while being attacked by wolves.
  • Said Bookism: There is hardly anything to be "said." Most of the dialogue uses animal sounds such as "growled" or "snarled" whenever a character is angry. Sometimes dialogue tags are avoided altogether.
  • Savage Wolves: Lycargus and his brothers pretty much fit this description.
  • Scenery Porn: Plenty of it.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: After Arnaaluk escapes Lycargus a second time, Lycargus insinuates that Payuk is Kanak's father. Kanak calls him an idiot.
  • Talking Animal
  • Theme Naming: Many of the characters have Latin, Inuit, or native Alaskan names.
  • Time Skip: Happens several times throughout the story.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Lycargus is killed by a hunter, his brother, Amak is never mentioned again.
  • White Wolves Are Special: Lusa tries to cheer the main characters up, especially in a time of emotional crisis.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Tulok kills a caribou calf in front of its mother.
    • After Lycargus is killed and his mate is trapped, their pups die when a canister containing poison gas is tossed into their den.
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