The Cold Edge is the official website of author and explorer Leo Carew. His debut novel The Wolf is out now. Its sequel, The Spider, is now available for pre-order.

The third of four children, Leo grew up in the centre of London, in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Inspired by audiobooks, he developed a late interest in reading and began trying his hand at writing soon afterwards. It was at this time that he also developed a sneaking suspicion that the city was not for him and spent as much time as possible exploring remote areas. After school, this led to two formative months spent on expedition in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.

Three years followed reading Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University, most of which was spent staring out of the window, dreaming about colder climates. Obligatory time with serious studying done, Leo returned to Svalbard – Old Norse for “The Cold Edge” – where he lived in a tent for a year training and working as an Arctic guide. During this time, he revisited a novel he had begun at the age of 12 and began reassembling it in the considerable space offered by 24hr darkness. A reluctant return to London to train as a doctor and pursue a career as an army medic followed, during which time he completed his first novel, The Wolf.

Leo currently lives in London, writing, studying medicine and breaking off as often as possible for an adventure somewhere cold and wild. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @leocarew1


Critical Praise for The Wolf:

“It’s an absorbing study of one man’s rise to power… imagine Game of Thrones rewritten by John le Carré – with some magnificent world-building (the northern Black Kingdom is graphically rendered in all its wintry bleakness). Featuring excellent anthropological observations of the opposing cultures of the Anakim and the Suthernors, and building inexorably towards its climactic battle, The Wolf is a marvellously accomplished debut.” THE GUARDIAN

Gripping and ambitious . . . twisty in its political maneuverings, gritty in its battle descriptions, and rich with a sense of heroism and glory” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

The Wolf is a work of extraordinary imagination and perhaps the most captivating first novel I’ve ever read” MICHAEL DOBBS, author of House of Cards

“Full of dark conspiracies, larger-than-life characters, and tense battles, Leo Carew has created a rousing cross between The Magnificent Seven and Game of ThronesPAUL HOFFMAN, author of The Left Hand of God

An action-packed and blood-splattered tour de force . . . Carew is the real deal an exciting new voice in fantasy” KIRKUS REVIEWS

This is a glorious debut… It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy story of politics and war written with such subtlety, vigour, depth of characterisation and world-building.” MORNING STAR

Wolf Banner Cold Edge 4

18 responses to “About

    • Hi Jack – it’s reasonably competitive. In my year I think there were about one hundred applicants for around twenty places. Of course, as offers are made quite late in the year and going off to Svalbard is a big commitment, there’s inevitably a lot of people who can’t accept their offers. They therefore have quite a long reserve list that they can turn to if the original twenty offered places can’t accept. So they maybe make forty offers overall.

      Selection is based on a combination of outdoor experience, your motivations and your school/university achievements. Hope this is helpful – good luck!

      • Hello,

        I am having issues checking out your site. I cannot find any information pertaining to your book. I hope you can offer me some help. Sorry to bother you.

      • Hi Adriana,

        I’m afraid there actually isn’t too much available on the book just yet! I wrote a background piece about it here, which is all I’ve really managed so far: https://leocarew.com/2018/04/08/on-the-origin-of-a-species/

        There’s been a lot going on and sadly the site has become slightly neglected, though I’m planning another background piece very soon for the release of THE SPIDER, and hopefully will be able to update here more frequently thereafter.

        Warm regards,

  1. Hi Louis!

    Great reading about your experience with ANG.

    Can you tell me how old were the people participating in the ANG program in your course?

    • Hi Fred! I seem to remember the average age was about 26. The youngest person there was 20 at the start of the course, and the oldest 37 I think. Hope this helps!


    • Hi Martin,

      So glad you enjoyed! Just editing the second (The Spider) now. I have a complete manuscript but it’s going to need plenty of work – shooting for an April publication at the moment.

      Warm regards,

  2. Just read ‘The Wolf’. Great read, thanks. I know it’s fictional but I wondered if you sourced the Anakim as a people from any of your anthropological research (travels)?

    • Hi Emma,

      Great to hear you enjoyed The Wolf! The starting points that I used when creating the Anakim were very much inspired by anthropological theory on a few different species, but mostly a combination of the Neanderthals, and ancient, pre-agriculture Homo sapiens. I wrote a post which describes some of it here: https://leocarew.com/2018/04/08/on-the-origin-of-a-species/

      Lots of ideas came from modern human societies too. I borrowed quite a bit from the Spartans for social structure and mindset, and from the Inuit as well, who have a good claim to be the human society which has managed to colonise the most extreme part of our planet. I found some of their social and technological solutions to this fascinating, and wanted them very much for the Anakim.

      Hope that helps!

      Warm regards,

      • I’m laughing to myself (with delight) – the author of a book replied! I feel special 🙂

        Thanks for the info, Leo. When I read these sort of ‘fantasy’ type stories I often wonder where the inspiration comes from.

        Loved it. Looking forward to the next one!


  3. Mr. Carew,
    I very much enjoyed The Wolf. The Anakim were very interesting and i thought to myself while reading they reminded me of Spartans. The relashionship between Grey and Price i liked very much. It was also very fun to hate Uvorin. As a villain i really wanted him to get what was coming. Looking forward to the next.

    Thank you for such a wonderful read.
    Zane Cook

    • Mr Cook,

      What fine news to brighten a grey winter’s morn, I’m delighted you enjoyed! You’re right about the similarities between the Anakim and the Spartans – their culture was definitely one of the biggest inspirations.

      I must admit I miss Uvoren a bit, he was a very satisfying character to write!

      Warm regards,

  4. Hi Leo, Thoroughly enjoyed The Wolf so eagerly awaiting The Spider. Can I ask are your signing books anywhere? Kind regards, Ian

    • Hi Ian,
      My great apologies for the delay! So pleased to hear you enjoyed The Wolf, really makes my day. In the midst of slightly frantic preparations for medical finals at this end, so the only appearance I’ve got planned is at the Cymera festival in Edinburgh, on the 9th June. As I imagine that would be a stretch, I’m hoping to get some book-plates sorted soon so that I can send them out to anyone who wants to add to their copy. Will be posting details here when I get round to it!

      Warm regards,

  5. Just finished the second book, brilliant!
    Really enjoyed reading it, thanks.
    Already looking forward for the next one!

    Greetings from a Belgian living in Switzerland!

    • I’m so glad Nicky, thanks very much for getting in touch! Book 3 under construction, I’ll try hard not to disappoint.

      Warm regards,

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