Forest of Wolves is the fourth book of the Return to the Wild arc. It is unknown who the bear on the cover is, but it could be Toklo, Aiyanna or Chogan. The title refers to the fact that the setting is in a forest, with the bears are pursued by a pack of wolves throughout the book. On the cover under the portrait, it shows Kallik, Yakone, Lusa, and Toklo climbing a mountain.
- In the mountains at last...
- After a harrowing journey toward Toklo's home in the mountains, the four bears finally arrive. Toklo is thrilled to be surrounded by familiar sights and warm memories of his cubhood.
- Yet Toklo's homecoming has come at a price. Yakone is dangerously ill, having lost part of his paw in a flat-face trap, and Kallik is wracked with guilt that Yakone's decision to join her on this quest might cost him his life.
- As the struggling polar bears feel the pull to return to the ice and Toklo begins thinking about a life in the mountains, Lusa is left to wonder where she belongs. Is she ready to find her own way if it means leaving her friends — the only family she has left?
- Coming Soon
Detailed Plot Summary
- The book begins immediately after the events of River of Lost Bears, where the Seekers have just narrowly escaped a pack of coyotes; they are on a firesnake full of `pebbles`, possibly coal. Yakone is still terribly weak and injured from the bear trap, with two toes missing and the wound still bleeding and carrying an infection. Lusa and Kallik are the most concerned about him, but Toklo is too focused on the fact that the firesnake is heading in the direction of his birthplace. After the firesnake stops, the bears have to rush to hide from flat-faces, who are examining the snakebeast. The four hastily get on, Yakone struggling to keep up due to his injury. On the next stop, they get off the firesnake as it is close enough to Toklo's birthplace for them to get off. Yakone begins to get progressively worse, and the bears learn from a grizzly called Maniitok of a pack of wolves and an old grizzly who are both terrorizing the woods. Lusa worries about Yakone and is also afraid that Kallik will make herself sick if she doesn't get rest.
- Toklo goes and meets a secretive she-bear who tells him to stay off her territory. Toklo is upset that he can't see Tobi's burial mound which is on the she-bear's territory. That night Kallik dreams of her mother and Nanuk. They tell her they can end Yakone's suffering. When Kallik realizes what they mean she tells them she will fight them for Yakone. In the morning Lusa wonders if she could find something stronger than the forest herbs for Yakone. She climbs a tree and sees a flat-face denning area; she thinks that their medicine will work much more than herbs, and cure Yakone. Lusa runs to Toklo and Kallik and tells them she saw a patch of herbs some way off and that she will be back in two days. Toklo and Kallik reluctantly let her go while she starts toward a healing den, to find out more.
- Lusa reaches the flat-face denning place and struggles to find a way into the healing den. When she tries all day and all night, Ujurak comes and tells her to sleep. Lusa returns a day late, bringing back a flat-face pouch instead of herbs. There she reveals that there was no herb valley and she was going to a flat-face denning area. The bears open the packet and find two containers of medicine: a bottle of pills, and a tube of ointment. They make Yakone eat some of the pills, and apply ointment to his infected wound.
- Toklo watches Lusa steal honey from a beehive and tastes it. He finds it sticky and wants to go on and hunt. They encounter the same she-bear who told Toklo to stay off her territory. Toklo tells her that he was born in the forest, but left to go on a long journey. The she-bear reveals that her name is Aiyanna and that she lost her mother, just like Toklo. Toklo wants to sneak onto her territory and find Tobi's burial mound, but he decides not to. On the way to look for prey, they find two brown bear cubs. The smaller one falls in a stream, and Toklo pulls her out.
- Yakone makes a speedy recovery but still refuses to leave the den. Kallik becomes frustrated and worries that he won't be fit to travel. When Lusa overhears Yakone talking in his sleep, she realizes that he's afraid he'll be too slow. Later, he refuses to eat because he thinks he doesn't deserve food if he can't hunt. Lusa tells Toklo to hide and tricks Yakone into thinking Kallik is trapped under a rock that fell on her. Yakone finally gets out of the den and goes to save Kallik, only to find that she was safe all the time.
- Now that Yakone knows he can walk, he starts to practice walking and jumping. Kallik encourages him when he feels he doesn't have enough time to get stronger. Kallik is thrilled to hear that there is snow on top of the mountain ridge. That night, they are attacked in their den by wolves. Yakone fights bravely in spite of his fear that he wouldn't get stronger. Kallik decides to leave Toklo and Lusa and take Yakone up the mountains to where the snow is.
- Unbeknownst to the white bears, Lusa follows them a short way out of the forest, not feeling ready to let them go yet. Kallik feels they did the right thing coming up to the peaks.
- Lusa and Toklo hear wolves one night, attacking another bear. They rush to help and find out it's Old Grizzly. They try to fight off the wolves, but Toklo is forced to put Lusa into a tree. Aiyanna comes to help, showing Toklo that they need to attack the leader of the wolf pack. The bears successfully chase off the wolves, but Old Grizzly refuses to be grateful, believing Toklo and Lusa are stupid for entering his territory. Old Grizzly is revealed to be named Chogan, and Toklo has a dream the next night, realizing that it was Chogan who chased him, Oka, and Tobi off his territory.
- Yakone's paw has stopped hurting, and as he and Kallik chase a mountain goat, they run into a brown bear and her cubs. She stops them from following the goat into her territory.
- Lusa watches the two cubs she met by the stream, Fala and Flo, learn to stalk prey and avoid wolves from their mother, Makya. She bumps into Aiyanna and tells her about how Chogan drove Toklo and Tobi away and reveals that Tobi's burial mound is on Aiyanna's territory. Aiyanna gives Lusa three eggs to share with Toklo, to prove her friendship.
- Toklo decides to confront Chogan about driving him and Tobi away. He enters Chogan's territory, spurring a battle with him, and wins. Chogan then tells Toklo that he is his father. Toklo leaves his father's territory, horrified that his father was the one who drove him, Tobi, and Oka away.
- Kallik remembers the mountain goat she and Yakone chased, and they return to hunt it again, but the brown bear from before accuses them of stealing prey. An avalanche stops the white bears and has also trapped the brown bear and her daughter, Yas. Her son, Wapi, is terrified that his family is caught in the avalanche. Kallik and Yakone have to dig them out, but the mother bear has to rest before climbing out. She thanks the white bears for saving her and Yas, and introduces herself as Lusa.
- Toklo tells Lusa about his father, and Lusa, who grew up with her parents in the Bear Bowl, is shocked that his kin attacked him and previously drove him away, and Toklo is left hating him. While hunting a squirrel on a cloudy day, Lusa scents wolves sneaking up on Fala and Flo. Lusa warns the cubs and shows them how to climb a tree to escape. Makya appears in time to help Lusa fight off the wolves and helps her cubs down from the tree. Once the brown bear family leaves, Lusa decides to go back to Great Bear Lake and find black bears to make her own home with.
- Yakone is well enough to travel back to the ice, but Kallik is resistant to going back to the Melting Sea. They decide to help Toklo and Lusa find their homes and then go back to Star Island. Once they enter the forest, they find evidence of a battle and spot the same wolves that stalked Fala and Flo. Lusa appears from behind a tree, overjoyed that the white bears want to help her and Toklo settle, and telling them her plan to go to Great Bear Lake, but first, she thinks they must get rid of the wolves.
- Toklo encounters the white bears, telling them he doesn't feel at home in the forest. Kallik starts the plan to chase away the wolves, by sending them up a shaft up the mountains and blocking it. Lusa gets the idea to trap the wolves first, in a ravine, and recruit Makya, Aiyanna, and Maniitok to help chase them up the mountain. All three of the brown bears agree to help.
- Kallik suddenly realizes that when she and Yakone set off an avalanche to block the shaft, they will be trapped in the mountains with the wolves. Yakone remembers Izusa and how she lives in the mountains and wants to ask her to help. Kallik goes alone to Izusa's territory, and the brown bear agrees to try the Seekers' plan. Kallik teaches her to prepare the avalanche, and how to set it falling.
- The plan works, with the wolves entering the ravine and being scared by Toklo and Yakone roaring, and Makya's cubs throwing stones at them from above. Lusa leaves to run up the mountain and see if the bears are in a position to chase the wolves. Once they reach the shaft, a few wolves break away and run back toward the forest, but Ujurak appears and scares them back. Izusa sets off the avalanche, successfully trapping the wolves out of the forest.
- Toklo returns to Chogan's territory to make him see that he's now stronger than him. He battles the hostile bear once again and wins, promising to go to Great Bear Lake with the others, and then come to take over his father's territory. Chogan is bitter until the end, refusing to give up the territory his son rightfully won. Aiyanna gives Toklo permission to visit Tobi's burial mound anytime. The next morning, Toklo leaves with the others, thinking about how Aiyanna will be waiting for him to return.
- It is rumored that the figure from Toklo's past mentioned in the blurb may be Shoteka because he promised Toklo revenge in Great Bear Lake.
- Toklo might have a crush on Aiyanna, since his last sentence in Forest of Wolves is, "And Aiyanna will be waiting for me."
- Lusa mentions that she remembers when coyotes tried to drag her out of a tree, when in fact they were wolverines, not coyotes.
|The Original Series||The Quest Begins • Great Bear Lake • Smoke Mountain • The Last Wilderness • Fire in the Sky • Spirits in the Stars|
|Return to the Wild||Island of Shadows • The Melting Sea • River of Lost Bears • Forest of Wolves • The Burning Horizon • The Longest Day|
|Mangas||Toklo's Story • Kallik's Adventure • Lusa's Tale|
|Forest of Wolves Chapters|
|Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25|