GenreChildren's historical fantasy, horror Notable worksChronicles of Ancient Darkness EducationLady Margaret Hall, Oxford, University of Oxford AwardsGuardian Children's Fiction Prize BooksWolf Brother, Spirit Walker, Soul Eater, Ghost Hunter, Oath Breaker
Notable awardsGuardian Prize
Richard and judy talk to michelle paver author of dark matter a ghost story
Michelle Paver (born 1960) is a British novelist and children's writer, known for the fantasy series Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, set in pre-agricultural Stone Age Europe. For the concluding book Ghost Hunter (2009) she won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a book award judged by a panel of British children's writers.
Michelle Paver was born in Nyasaland (now Malawi) in central Africa. Her mother was Belgian (Flemish) and her South African father ran a newspaper, the Nyasaland Times. Her family settled in Wimbledon, England when she was three. She was educated at The Study and Wimbledon High School. After reading biochemistry at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, where she attained a first-class degree, she became a partner in a City of London law firm.
Her father's death in 1996 prompted her to take a one-year sabbatical, during which she travelled around France and America and wrote her first book, Without Charity. She resigned from legal practice soon after her return, to concentrate on writing. Her 2010 ghost novel Dark Matter was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for best novel.
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness tell the story of Torak, a twelve-year-old boy who is clanless, and his friends Renn and Wolf. The first book is called "Wolf Brother". The main story arc revolves around Torak and his quest to defeat the Soul Eaters, a group of evil clan mages who seek out to destroy all life in the forest in which they live. The books are set in prehistoric Europe during the New Stone Age.
The first of the series, Wolf Brother was published in 2004 and as a whole the books have sold over 1 million copies in the UK. Paver was paid a reported £2.8 million advance for the first book. The sixth and last in the series, Ghost Hunter won the 2010 Guardian Prize.
Gods and Warriors
Michelle Paver's new series of books for children is titled Gods and Warriors, set during the Bronze Age. It tells the story of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt, and Pirra, the daughter of a high priestess with a crescent shaped scar on her cheek. The story crucially features animals in the plot – a lion, a falcon and a dolphin. The dolphin from the first book, the lion from the second book onwards and the Falcon from the 3rd book onwards.
The second book from Gods and Warriors was published in August 2013. The 4th book (Crocodile Tomb) was released in 2015 and the story took place in Bronze Age Egypt. The 5th and final book from the series was published in August 2016.
Without Charity (2000)
A Place in the Hills (2001)
The Shadow Catcher (2002)
Fever Hill (2004)
The Serpent's Tooth (2005)
Dark Matter (2010)
Thin Air (2016)
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series
Wolf Brother (2004)
Spirit Walker (2005)
Soul Eater (2006)
Oath Breaker (2008)
Ghost Hunter (2009)
Gods and Warriors series
The Outsiders (2013)/Gods and Warriors (2012 – Only first print carries this name.)