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Publisher's Summary

“Deftly written, gripping and informative. Empire of Wild is a rip-roaring read!” (Margaret Atwood, from Instagram)

Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive - all the while telling a story that needs to be told by a person who needs to be telling it.” (Tommy Orange, author of There There)

A bold and brilliant new indigenous voice in contemporary literature makes her American debut with this kinetic, imaginative, and sensuous fable inspired by the traditional Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou - a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of native people’s communities.

Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year - ever since that terrible night they’d had their first serious argument hours before he mysteriously vanished. Her Métis family has lived in their tightly knit rural community for generations, but no one keeps the old ways...until they have to. That moment has arrived for Joan. 

One morning, grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears a shocking sound coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. It is the unmistakable voice of Victor. Drawn inside, she sees him. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands, though his hair is much shorter and he's wearing a suit. But he doesn't seem to recognize Joan at all. He insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and grow His flock. Yet Joan suspects there is something dark and terrifying within this charismatic preacher who professes to be a man of God...something old and very dangerous. 

Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among her community steeped in the traditions of her people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. With the help of the old Métis and her peculiar Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan must find a way to uncover the truth and remind Reverend Wolff who he really is...if he really is. Her life, and those of everyone she loves, depends upon it. 

©2020 Cherie Dimaline (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: Our Favorite Native American Authors to Listen to Right Now


You know that Native American voices are important, and you want to hear their stories. But where to begin? Here are eight of the best contemporary Native American authors you can listen to right now. Some of these authors have several books to choose from and some are new to the scene. But whether they’re famous for memoir, literary fiction, horror, fantasy, or something else, all of these authors are worth a listen.

What listeners say about Empire of Wild

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Ends strong, worth finishing

Beginning was slow, but it picks up and then I couldnt wait till the next time I was in the car to listen. Filled with cultural references which was perfect because I'm trying to learn of other literature and cultural markers for my literature classes. I'm reading literature from First nation writers. I know mostly African American literature and want to expand. The story was riveting. more of an adult read.

2 people found this helpful

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great storytelling

I really, really enjoyed this book. The narrator is really good, and the story really engaging and keeps drawing you in. I also liked the chapters that gave more context and personality to the other characters, which on a whole drove the story really well and helped make connections for the reader/listener.

1 person found this helpful

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Ending was open ended and disappointing

I like the writer- the end bothered me after such a great story! I am reading the Marrow Thieves now and it made me want to quit in case the ending of that book is just as disappointing! I guess you could say its the journey not the destination??

1 person found this helpful

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Really wanted to love this book

The narrator was great, the story left much to be desired... okay read, if you are looking for a short adventure.

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting, scary, funny, and beautifully told

Wow! I don’t even know where to start! The dialogue made me feel like I was sitting and listening to my own aunties. The story was so unique and beautifully woven together. It was scary, funny and exciting to listen to. Please tell me there are more to come. I appreciate that it represented native story Michelle St John did an awesome job narrating. Bravo

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I loved it!

I couldn't stop listening to it. I can't wait for more. please let there be more.

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Gorgeous poetic writing, excellent story

Bought this on a whim and so enjoyed it on many levels. The writing was just beautiful - truly poetic at turns. The characters were unique and flawed and strong and vulnerable. Downloading Marrow thieves now.

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Amazing

Empire of Wild is a fast paced thrilling book. I love that the author used indigenous terms without over explaining them. I loved it and can’t wait to see if there’s a follow up!

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Fascinating Perspective

Well worth reading. Look forward to the next which may be a bit more polished.

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Not my cup of tea

I appreciated the story being set in a unique locale and a unique culture but overall wish I had the hours back that I spent listening to it.
I didn’t like the storyline and just wasn’t invested in many of the characters.