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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 (Light Novel) cover art

Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 (Light Novel)

By: Isuna Hasekura
Narrated by: J. Michael Tatum
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Summary

The life of a traveling merchant is a lonely one, a fact with which Kraft Lawrence is well acquainted. Wandering from town to town with just his horse, cart, and whatever wares have come his way, the peddler has pretty well settled into his routine - that is, until the night Lawrence finds a wolf goddess asleep in his cart. Taking the form of a fetching girl with wolf ears and a tail, Holo has wearied of tending to harvests in the countryside and strikes up a bargain with the merchant to lend him the cunning of "Holo the Wisewolf" to increase his profits in exchange for taking her along on his travels. What kind of businessman could turn down such an offer? Lawrence soon learns, though, that having an ancient goddess as a traveling companion can be a bit of a mixed blessing. Will this wolf girl turn out to be too wild to tame?

©2006 Isuna Hasekura (P)2022 Yen Audio

What listeners say about Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 (Light Novel)

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Lacking Brina as Holo, but still a classic!

Little sad that Brina didnt reprise Holo for her dialogue but still a great listen. Loved the anime, loved the manga, and if I could bring myself to read the enormous omnibus of the LNs in my bookcase I am sure I'd love that too. Truly my go to feel-good romance story. We need more fantasy tales that just focus on the quiet life, it's so refreshing.

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By far the most fun I've had with a book in a bit

From performances of characters to story, there's nothing in this audiobook that's done poorly and it's just a shame I took so darn long to get into this one because the tale of a centuries old Wolf-God that can both be - and needs - protecting is fantastic in every shape and way imaginable.
The economics sections aren't boring or overplayed, detailing why and how certain things are happening is done to a flawless degree and nothing is badly done for it, I enjoyed listening to a lecture on the deprecation of coinage and controlling other economies.
and the inclusion of the rampant zealotry and fanaticism of various faiths while not actually naming any of them is a masterstroke, are they talking about X or Y or Z or whatever, doesn't matter as it's just there to be used as an explanation for why Holo is meant to be treated well.

it's amazing and I am SO getting all of this series

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So happy that these are coming out!

So I like anime and watched the series years ago and wanted more (it's a great story with loveable characters with a different spin to things I'd seen before). I then bought the books so I could read them all, being dyslexic this never happened, as with many other book series I own they just make a nice addition to my bookcase.

This is perfect it's well read and just as enjoyable as the anime, I can't wait for them all to be ready to listen too. As a dyslexic this is about as good news as you get, as I can now enjoy the books with out struggling and my inability to imagine while reading ruining the story (I eventually learned to read but cannot imagine the story and situation while reading, instead it's more like reading a list of something while the words move around the page and irritate me). So thank you for this, my only other option was to read it out loud my self and then listen to it back again, which would be aweful!

By the way, I feel like a review of this may put people off if you went into detail. So I'd say this is a clever story about two people who are lonely finding eachother, one is a competent merchant the other is the very smart wolf god of harvest. Character development is good and it's well written and read, I've been dieing to read the whole thing for years and now I don't have to lol :-)

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A beautiful story told by Kraft Lawrence himself

While Brina Palencia didn't co-narrate the story as Holo, I still think it is lovely hearing J. Michael Tatum reading the book as if it was told through Lawrence's perspective.

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A personal, early teen favourite of mine.

As I was going through secondary school (In the UK), I was going through a particularly rough time at English class, and could never bring myself to truly read. After a while, I had gotten into anime and manga and eventually stumbled upon what I thoroughly believe to be my favourite series.

After having watched the anime of Spice & Wolf, I found myself truly adoring setting, and surprisingly immersed within the complex political aspect of the show.

However watching both seasons of the anime, a deep, hopeless hole filled me as I pondered what to do after watching the show which unfortunately had quite the disappointing and abrupt ending.

Thats when I stumbled upon the fact that the anime was — like many other stories before it — had a series that it was sourcing it's material from.

so on my 15th birthday, and with some surprisingly generous birthday gifts of money, I bought the first three volumes of the Light Novel and was shocked to find that it was so much better than I could have possibly imagine.

The two main characters of Holo — Self-descrived "Wise Wolf" — and Craft Lawrence — a man struggling with his day to day life of being a traveling merchant being the driving force for my adorating of the series. Particularly Holo; Whom I felt was the shining start of the two. With her heart rending reasons for wanting to leave the village she had blessed for a better and more fulfilling life and to return to her home land up north. Along with her wit, Child-ish moments of bashfulness and so on, along with her infectious sass.

If i were to reccoment this book / Audiobook, it would be primarily recommend on characters alone.

However. To not draw out this already lengthy review on any longer, and not make this seem like a shameless attempt at a review on a particular video sharing website, I will summise my feelings thusly.

If you wish to read a story with characters whom come in many personalities both lovable and utterly despicable, a rich lore drip-fed through — admittedly lengthy — expositing, and a surprisingly complex depiction of socioeconomics, financial gain and loss, along with an interesting take on a semi-fictional mythos, Please, I urge you to give this Audiobook a listen, and if possible, the original books a read.

Yours sincerely, an overly devoted fan of a series that once passed this show off as a boring show about politics and weird-looking female lead.

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Great listen

Early on wasn't too sure about the narrator however that was quickly dispelled, a great read and listen.

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100% worth it for the fans and newcomers

Really enjoyable to hear Lawrence's VA doing this and does it really well. would really like to see Holo's VA do some too, maybe the volumes theatre told from her perspective? either way, I really look forward to the next volumes!

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Worth The Wait

As a blind fan of Anime I've always felt detatched from the source material. I love the 'Spice & Wolf' series, however due to accesability issues I was never able to appreciate the light novels that inspired the show and so was unable to continue following the characters journeys. So when I learned that they were making audiobooks of the light novels to say i was excited was an understatement!!

This audiobook was great. The delivery of the narrator was on point, seemlesly witching from dramatic tones to humours breaks without any pause between. It was also a nice touch to have the orginal voice actor reprise the role of Laurence to narrate the book. Would have liekd the voice of Holo too but not going to complain too much.

The story at times was a bit clogged with buisness terms and explanations of financial structures, however it is all seemlesly fed into the narrative and does actually give you a deeper understanding of the story and the high stake involved. With the arching stroy focusing on the character development rather than action or high fantasy this layering of world building really increased my enjoyment of the stroy.

So yeah, loved the book would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good character driven drama but also with a hint of the fantastical about it....Holo is a shapeshifting wolf who's existance is simply accepted as normal. Definately one to read and a great place to start for people who may not have read light novels before.

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  • Josh
  • 17-03-22

Like others have voiced

9.5/10 it's a fantastic story that Tatum does well to bring excitedly back to life. My only complaint is without a voice for holo the banter just feels more.. Flat. Nothing against Tatum he is spot on with his role but there is only so much you can do as a single person. I would GLADLY pay extra to get Brina Palencia or even another female talent to join in.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Eric M. Ortiz
  • 27-03-22

Good to hear Lawrence again.

Thoroughly entertaining listen. I have loved S&W since the anime first came out. Michael easily falls into Lawrence with ease.

Too bad there is not a proper Holo or even female actress to play her part. I do wish they had put two books together. The length and price are a bit off.

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  • Mason Hall
  • 20-03-22

Excellent story and production, too short for how expensive it is.

Gratifying to finally be able to enjoy this story in its original form. Spice and Wolf is a story I first found in anime form, but I always regretted that the story didn’t proceed past the first few volumes, as it is a fascinating exploration of medieval economics, mixed with a subtle and engaging romance.

Extremely pleased that the VA behind the anime’s protagonist, Craft Lawrence, graciously returned to narrate. His performance is superb, and though I wish the anime’s VA for Holo had been tapped to provide her dialogue, I am satisfied with Tatum’s characterization.

As for production, it is, overall, excellent. The one complaint I have is that the audio mixing seems unbalanced and inconsistent. The majority of the runtime is clear as a bell, but sometimes the audio will suddenly sound distant, or subtly muted, particularly in moments where the narrator is speaking above his normal volume. These instances are usually brief, and aren’t a major detriment to the experience, but they do mar an otherwise stellar production.

The book is, however, too short to justify its outrageous $30 price tag. If you are considering getting this, my advice is to use a credit, and even then, that’s pushing it. The book clocks in at just over 4 hours, and you’re really not getting more than an evening’s entertainment. If you’re looking for your next month’s read, I recommend looking elsewhere. As good as this story is, you are not getting your money’s worth by buying this outright. Maybe in future they will adapt multiple volumes in each production. This is a long running series (23 volume’s, I believe), and they could make a decent 12 hour production out of adapting, say, a set of 3 volumes from the light novel series, rather than just one.

Glad to see the series is already set to continue with another audio adaption. Here’s hoping that this production actually reaches the end of the light novel series, a feat the anime, sadly, never accomplished.

6 people found this helpful

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  • RuXuS
  • 01-05-22

Simply amazing.

best anime/ novel/ manga I have ever experienced, hands down. After chapter 2 I immediately purchased the first 5 volumes of both the manga and light novel. I also watched season one if the anime in one sitting.
It's such an original and compelling story, and so endearing, witty, mature, funny and makes you fall in love with the 2 main characters. It's not a typical romance. It's like neither are hardly ever willing to really show any affection but instead give each other shit all the time. But when there is any affection it makes it so much better because its rare.

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  • Alan
  • 24-07-22

A pleasure

I first read the manga, then watched the anime. I enjoyed them both greatly, but I was very excited to see this audio book. It is every bit as good as either the manga or anime, and I recommend it highly.

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  • Alexis P.
  • 12-07-22

We love that Tatum voiced these novels!!

We're huge Spice and Wolf fans, I even go by Holo. Everyone calls me that. The fact that Lawrence is reading the books makes me love the series even more!!! Thank you for reading them!!!

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  • Marty Preslar
  • 12-07-22

A true classic!

This first volume of the Spice & Wolf series is truly on of the most iconic light novels ever written. Having an audio version of it narrated by the English localization voice of Lawrence makes it all the more enjoyable!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Antonio Valdez
  • 11-06-22

Narrated to perfection

I was really excited to see this title here, but was completely wowed and addicted to every minute after seeing J. Michael Tatum would be the person to bring this story back to life. (Clapping) oh how I longed to hear Holo (Brina Palencia) but Mr. Tatum was absolutely fantastic! I wonder if it would be to difficult to get Brina on board with this??

Can’t wait to for the next Vol.

1 person found this helpful

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  • pachi
  • 08-06-22

Wow! Same Narrator as The Voice Actor!

The only thing that would have been better if they brought the voice actor for Holo for her lines!

It's so cool that this has the same narrator as the MC from the anime. it's funny to compare this to the anime, since Lorance is so young here, like 25 XD he looked so old in the anime, with his silver hair and wrinkles haha

Its so weird how the anime changed the gender of a certain character (he is male in the book, but female in the anime)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anime Hunter
  • 03-06-22

I want more! But I know I shouldn’t…

This was the first light novel I have had the pleasure of experiencing. It did NOT disappoint.

The narration was excellent! The world building and story were very gripping (if a little convoluted), and the romance was great.

5/5 - would listen again!!

1 person found this helpful