Spice and Wolf’s story revolves around Craft Lawrence, a twenty-five-year-old peddler travelling from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living in a stylized historical setting with European influences.
His main goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he already has been travelling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a 250-year-old pagan wolf-deity girl named Horo. She appears to be that of a fifteen-year-old girl, except for a wolf’s tail and ears.
She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu; she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests.
Horo wants also to travel to see the world how the world has changed while she has remained in one place for years. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.
Craft Lawrence, who chiefly goes by his surname, is a twenty-five-year-old traveling peddler who goes from town to town buying and selling various things in order to make a living. When he was twelve, he became an apprentice to a merchant relative, and set out on his own at eighteen. His goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he has already been traveling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. He meets Horo one night and eventually agrees to her traveling with him. She helps him by providing her wisdom which helps to increase his profits and get him out of jams. Horo is a wolf god of harvest originally from a land in the north known as Yoitsu. She made a promise with men from a town called Pasroe where she would ensure the town would have good wheat harvests year after year. However, as time went on, the townspeople slowly started to forsake Horo and did not rely on her as they once did. As such, Horo escapes from town in Lawrence’s wagon and started traveling with him to see how much the world has changed since she has been in Pasroe. Horo has chosen the form of a fifteen-year-old girl, though she still retains her large white-tipped wolf tail, and ears. Her true form is that of a very large wolf which many people revered and feared. She refers to herself as the “Wise Wolf of Yoitsu”. She is typically very haughty and self-sufficient, though due to her isolation for hundreds of years in Pasroe, she came to feel very lonely, and sometimes shows a more fragile side of her. She has a peculiar way of speaking, modeled after that of the oiran high-class courtesans. She is fond of delicious food and alcohol, though especially loves apples. She takes pride in her tail and takes special care of it, constantly combing and maintaining it.
Chloe is an anime-original character. She is a villager of Pasroe and has known Lawrence for a long time. In fact, Lawrence taught her how to be a merchant. Despite still not knowing how she should feel about him, she respects him as her teacher.
Nola Arendt makes her first appearance in volume two of the novels. She is a skilled shepherdess from a church-town named Ryubinhaigen. Her companion in this profession is a well-trained sheep dog named Enekk. She entrusts Lawrence with a task after they meet.
Fermi Amati makes his first appearance in volume three of the novels. He is a young man who works as a fish broker.
Dian Rubens, who first appears in volume three of the novels, is an alchemist. She is in the process of chronicling pagan tales and beliefs so as to print them in books. She carries information about Horo’s birthplace Yoitsu.
Ookami to Koushinryou (狼と香辛料)
Spice and Wolf is a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Juu Ayakura. The Mainichi Shimbun reported that as of August 2007, over 500,000 copies of the novels have been sold. The series has been called a “unique fantasy” ~ Mainichi Shimbun due to the plot focusing on economics, trade, and peddling rather than the typical staples of fantasy such as swords and magic. A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the Japanese seinen magazine Dengeki Maoh on September 27, 2007, published by MediaWorks. The obi strip on the fifth novel announced the anime adaptation which began airing on January 9, 2008.