I am a werewolf aficionado. If there is media out there about werewolves, and I know about it, I’ve likely consumed it at some point. So this book is right up my alley.
That said, this book is definitely top of the heap as far as werewolf fiction goes. It’s got an excellent story, it is well written, the protagonists are sympathetic, and the antagonists are villainous but not completely evil.
It’s set in Medieval Germany when the Holy Roman Empire was colonizing/converting Prussia. And I thought the book did a wonderful job in dealing with that situation. I don’t know much about that particular history, but minus the werewolf element, I’m willing to buy this. The war, and the horrors humans commit during war/colonizing, are very believably presented.
I was a little wary at first because I was a bit afraid that the book was going to be an ‘anti-Christianity/Pagan religions were SO MUCH better’ book, but it wasn’t. It neatly sidestepped that issue altogether. And while the villains of the book are leaders in the church I never got the feeling that they spoke for the whole church or that the book itself was anti-religion. That being said, a reading like that is absolutely possible, it just isn’t how I read it.
A really strong point in the book is that its werewolf is female. A female werewolf main character feels like a rare occurrence and I think it bears mentioning. I love that only werewolf in the book is a girl. Plus Lily is kind of awesome. AND she rescues the boy.
The book does deal with abuse and rape. I think it does a decent job of it. And I really like that Lily’s split human/werewolf personality is not something natural that happens because she’s a werewolf, that is, that the wolf and human are two personalities living inside one body, but rather it’s a result of the abuse that she’s suffered. She developed the ferocious killer personality directly as result of the abuse she suffered. And later, Lily realizes that the wolf and human personalities are the same and she fuses them back together the way, in this world, they should be. However there are elements of the ‘magical healing cock’ in the book that annoyed me just a tad. Lily seemed to put her personalities back together awfully quick after she and Uldolf had sex, and there was nothing pre-sex that hinted she was going that way. Even directly before the sexual encounter she was still flipping back and forth between the two personalities.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next one.