Michelle Paver

Michelle Paver

Internationally bestselling author of the CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS series as well as highly-acclaimed ghost stories for adults, Michelle has sold millions of books worldwide, with film and television projects in active development


Michelle was born in Malawi, central Africa, to a Belgian mother and a South African father, who published the Nyasaland Times. Her family relocated to Wimbledon, England, when she was three.

Educated at Wimbledon High School, she went on to read biochemistry at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, where she attained a first-class degree.

After university, she became a partner in a City of London law firm, specializing in big-ticket litigation – drugs, tobacco and even disposable nappies!  “In the end,” she says, “I couldn’t see the point of all that pressure, when I was only earning money that I’d never have the time or energy to enjoy.

Her father’s death prompted her to take a one-year sabbatical, during which she traveled around France and America and wrote her first book, Without Charity. She resigned from legal practice soon after her return, to concentrate solely on writing.




‘Irresistible storytelling - her finest novel yet’
The Times

A Haunting Gothic Masterpiece

Inspired by a series of real events: from Michelle’s sighting of a murmuration of starlings on a Suffolk marsh; to the discovery of a battered copy of The Book of Margery Kempe by a 15th Century mystic; to the story of the Wenhaston Doom, a medieval painting of the Last Judgement; to the real-life story of Richard Dadd, the Victorian murderer and artist; and dark secrets unearthed from Michelle’s maternal past; this is Michelle Paver’s most evocative and personal masterpiece to date.

Selected by the BBC Radio 2 Book Club

Film and television enquires here

‘This dark, gothic tale with hook you in with its atmospheric setting of a house on the edge of the Suffolk fens, and its themes of superstition, witchcraft and religion’
The Sun

‘It’s a ghost story to put beside the classics of an earlier era – compelling’
London Evening Standard

‘What a story it is – Wakenhyrst is brilliant, spanning Fen devils, mystics and the lot of women in Edwardian England’
The Observer

A gripping ghost story – this is a brilliantly atmospheric read (be warned: it’s also terrifying!) with a brave, forward-thinking heroine I loved’
Joanna Finney, Good Housekeeping

The Times Book of the Month

Thin Air

Thin Air

‘This vivid ghost story reads like a classic’
- Sunday Mirror

‘Michelle Paver’s descriptions of Himalayan mountain-climbing are terrifyingly lifelike — the lashing winds, glittering ice: you can see it all.
Her depictions of its dangers are terrifyingly deathlike, too, and the growing menace of the high-altitude phantom is horrible.
Paver’s style is lively and clear, and the tale just rips along.
It’s scary, but in a reassuringly old-fashioned way.
No moral relativism here, but lots of action, great characters and a nice big mountainous metaphor rearing above it all. Just fantastic.’
Daily Mail

‘Like Touching the Void rewritten by Jack London, Thin Air is a heart-freezing masterpiece’
The Guardian

‘Eerie, unsettling… gets under your skin’
Daily Express

‘A wonderfully atmospheric and hugely enjoyable ghost story’
Anthony Horowitz

‘This haunting new novel and long-awaited sequel to the chilling Dark Matter by Michelle Paver certainly doesn’t disappoint. The plot of Thin Air is undeniably gripping and a genuine page-turner. If you enjoyed Dark Matter, you’ll love Thin Air. Step in with enthusiasm and excitement, yet the greatest of caution…’
North-West Evening Mail

‘The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Very macabre and creepy’

‘A hauntingly, spine chilling epic of a book!’

‘I was surprised and delighted to find this an utterly absorbing tale that I think I would have read in one sitting regardless – once I began I didn’t want to put it down!’

‘It is rich in atmosphere, the environment stunningly described. Kangchenjunga is a formidable character in its own right and it is a deadly one. But it is also such a satisfying ghost story, so perfect for these darker evenings, and it is wrapped within a beautifully told and sad tale. Thin Air succeeds as an excellent ghost story and horror novel but it is also a wonderful piece of historical fiction and I thoroughly recommend it.’

Thin Air is a must-read for any would-be or actual adventurer, mountaineer or weekend warrior… If you only read one ghost story this year, make it this one!’

‘Powerful, creepy, evocative – rest assured, Thin Air proves a more than worthy follow up to Dark Matter!’
Gill Chedgey / Nudge-book.com

‘She has created an atmosphere so palpable it chills you to the bone’
This Is Horror

‘Gosh, but Thin Air is a creepy story. Paver squeezes the last drop of desolation and isolation out of her Himalayan setting… Of course, of course, of course, I recommend Thin Air to you!’

‘While comparable to Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter, this is I think very much the better book… the ecology of its horror is much more complete: while lacking none of the horror of the other book, it is all more satisfying.’
Blue Book Balloon

‘A fantastic description of the majesty of the Himalayas and a wonderfully creepy ghost story. In equal measures it showed why some are irresistibly drawn to these mountains and why, possibly, they shouldn’t be. This would be a great read for Halloween (but make sure you know exactly where you left your rucksack…)’
Jane & Bex Book Blog

‘Looking for a proper ghost story? Thin Air is a creepy, compelling tale of a Himalayan climbing expedition, where strange events on the mountain stir dread and panic.’

‘There’s just something about the bleakness, the sheer depth of the isolation and the unfamiliarity of this terrain to me that I love in this book. Put that alongside the fact that it’s a mix of psychological thriller and ghost story , and you’ve got a winner.’

Thin Air is undeniably gripping and a genuine page-turner’

‘If you’ve read Michelle Paver’s previous ghost story Dark Matter, you’ll know how well she can build a creepy, unsettling atmosphere – and she’s done it again here, in a very different environment. I for one couldn’t put the story down but needed to read on to the final resolution before trying to sleep!’

‘I cannot recommend this book enough. If you enjoyed Michelle’s previous ghost story, Dark Matter, you’ll love this one. If you love anything supernatural, a bit scary, ghostly, then you’ll enjoy it too. It’s a fantastic read that’s absorbing and totally paralyzing. Beautifully, lyrically written. A five star read if ever there was one!’

‘Chilling in every sense!’
The Mail on Sunday

‘Spellbindingly creepy’
Sunday Express


Dark Matter

Dark Matter

‘A tale of terror and beauty and wonder’
- Financial Times

‘Paver is the mistress of suspense, and the strangeness that humans can suffer from when exposed to Arctic wilderness is brilliantly exploited in this period piece’
The Times

‘A spellbinding read – the kind of subtly unsettling, understated ghost story M.R. James might have written had he visited the Arctic’
Eric Brown, The Guardian

‘A blood-curdling ghost story, evocative not just of icy northern wastes but of a mind turning in on itself’
Victoria Moore, Daily Mail

‘The ultimate test of a good ghost story is, surely, whether you feel panicked reading it in bed at midnight; two-thirds through, I found myself suddenly afraid to look out of the windows, so I’ll call it a success’
The Observer

‘Dark Matter is terrific. It is a ghost story, but it is also a metaphysical meditation on what lies beneath our little lives’
Helen Rumbelow, The Times

‘I will never see the words flensing knife again without flinching… an atmospheric ghost story that would give Susan Hill a run for her money.’
Brandon Robshaw, The Independent on Sunday


Gods & Warriors

Gods & Warriors

‘Gods and Warriors looks set to become another children's classic!’
- Books for Keeps

From a time of myths and ancient magic comes the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, tales of gods and warriors – and the rise of a hero…

‘Inventive and gripping… Paver is creating a contemporary children’s fantasy classic!’
The Lady

‘A gloriously absorbing story of courage and mystery’
The Times

‘Exciting, interesting and, well, just super! And of course, it’s beautifully researched’
The Bookbag


‘Paver’s immaculate research, control of pace, intricate plotting and fully formed characters build an excellent adventure… A guaranteed bestseller’
The Daily Mail

‘To spend an hour with Michelle Paver is to lose yourself in another place and time… Appealing to both girls and boys, Gods and Warriors looks set to become another children’s classic’
Books for Keeps

eye of the falcon

‘Hats off to another rollicking adventure story with some sound educational side effects to boot’
The Independent


‘The reader’s attention is caught from the very first line… the book has a spellbinding storyline’
The Daily Telegraph

‘An engrossing read, bound to enthrall her fans’
The Financial Times

the crocodile tomb

‘An epic new five-part series that will delight readers who love historical adventures… Gods and Warriors will have broad appeal for both girls and boys aged 9+’
School Librarian

‘It’s always tricky to join a series midway through, but in the case of Michelle Paver’s The Crocodile Tomb (Puffin), fourth in the ‘Gods and Warriors’ series set in Bronze Age Greece, you can simply pitch in. This one is set in Egypt c. 2,500 bc, and it’s as good an imaginative take on that world as you’ll get. Paver has an extraordinary capacity to people the gaps in ancient history with credible characters — her ‘Wolf Brother’ series was an astonishing feat — and she adds background notes to put it all in context.’
THE SPECTATOR’s Best Children’s Authors of 2015 

The Independent on Sunday

Wolf Brother

Wolf Brother

‘The kind of story you dream of reading and all too rarely find...’
- The Times

Wolf, Ian & Michelle 2

‘Like other great children’s books which also entrance adults, Wolf Brother conjures up an utterly believable, yet original world where the story grips you to the very last page.’  Sir Ian McKellen

‘WOLF BROTHER gripped me from the very first page. It has the three qualities of a classic children’s book. Attractive characters. Relentless pace. And superb writing. Added to which, it explores a world that was virtually unknown to us with real insight and authority. This really is a book that stands out from the crowd.’  Anthony Horowitz, author


‘The kind of story you dream of reading and all too rarely find…The descriptions of an ancient world are wonderful. The vivid prose leaps off the page.’  Amanda Craig, The Times

‘Full of action’  The Sunday Times

‘An enchanting story’  The Mail on Sunday


All six titles in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series have been recorded as widely-acclaimed audiobooks by Sir Ian McKellen, and are available from Amazon.

Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness

Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness

‘The story grips you like a wolf's jaws and won't let go...’
- The Times

WOLF BROTHER is the first book in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, comprising SPIRIT WALKER, SOUL EATER, OUTCAST, OATH BREAKER and GHOST HUNTER.


‘The perfect concoction of action and narrative is what makes the book so attractive. …Paver has succeeded in producing a first-class story supported by substantial moral messages… unclouded by the present day.’ Edward Malnick in the Daily Telegraph

‘The story grips you like a wolf’s jaws and won’t let go…. [Paver’s] account of their spiritual beliefs suggests deep anthropological research but feels new-minted when described in her taut, elegant prose. Children, who are often very close to these animist beliefs, will find this imagined world as thrilling as Tolkien’s or Pullman’s…The climax is superb. With Wolf fighting demons by Torak’s side for another four books, wolves have never looked more like a boy’s best friend.’
Amanda Craig, The Times

Outcast (2)

‘This is easily the greatest book I’ve ever read. Wolf Brother, the first book in the series, was just brill and I couldn’t see this book being any better but it was, I couldn’t believe it! I read it in two days I was so addicted. The adventure is brilliant and the run of events that happen throughout are breathtaking.’
Sam Norton, aged 11, Nottingham Evening Post

‘Often dark and hallucinatory in its imagery, the book combines a crispness of style and a powerful understanding of loneliness, love, fear and friendship with a vivid landscape…gripping.’
The Sunday Times

Oath Breaker

‘Impossible to put down… packed with action, mystery and strong friendship.’
The Sunday Herald

‘Torak’s adventures in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series have been thrilling from the first page, and he has become a great hero for the new generation.’
The Times


‘Dazzling entertainment… seamless storytelling.’
Julia Eccleshare lovereading.co.uk

‘With Ghost Hunter, Michelle Paver’s six-part series comes full circle. Torak, the boy orphaned in the first book, Wolf Brother, is drawn by a tantalising glimpse of the ghost of his adored father into the clutches of the most powerful of the Soul-Eaters, the Eagle Owl Mage. If this is all Greek to you, start at the beginning; I guarantee you won’t stop until you get to the end.’
Christina Hardyment, The Independent

Ghost Hunter, the final book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, was the winner of The Guardian Children’s Book Prize.

The Eden Trilogy

The Eden Trilogy

‘Glorious, compulsive reading… it fair zings along. I loved it. Quite splendid!’
– The Bookseller



‘Put the chores on hold and prepare to be swept along by lyric prose and an unputdownable story.’  Candis Magazine – Best of the Month


‘Epic…fully immerses the reader!’  Family Circle

‘A powerful and richly atmospheric novel, with strong characters and a glorious setting.’  Good Housekeeping


‘A richly atmospheric book full of menacing secrets and betrayal.’  The Sunday Mirror

A Place In The Hills

A Place In The Hills

‘A bumper read that entwines mystery and history in equal enthralling measure.’
- Choice Magazine


‘An erudite detective story in the Barbara Vine mould, with a romance thrown in… Paver has a flair for creating character which takes in appreciation that the Romans had different thought patterns to us… And it’s tightly plotted… such is the tautness of the writing that you are on the edge of your chair waiting for them to find out, as the story gathers pace towards the end.’  The Independent on Sunday

‘Glorious storytelling in a big, sweeping drama for all ages. This is the sort of book you curl up with and hope it never ends. Set mostly in the Pyrenees, it uses an archaeological dig to straddle the centuries; quite simply a joy. Michelle Paver is definitely a star in the making.’  The Bookseller

Without Charity

Without Charity

‘A magnificent, wonderfully evocative tale of family secrets and forbidden love...’
- The Bookseller


‘Past and present are cleverly intertwined from talented new author Michelle Paver….The characters really come to life in this epic tale of how the past can come back to haunt us.’  Woman’s Realm

Locked In A Room With A Real Ghost

With 5.8 million views on Facebook, and 157,000 on YouTube, the launch video for Thin Air – “Locked In A Room With A Real Ghost” – became the most-watched book video of all time.

Ghouls On Film – The Making of a Prank Video – The Bookseller

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