Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review - Wolfsangel (JS)

Wolfsangel by M. D. Lachlan

I have mentioned before how I often pick books just on their covers, and the description that you find on the cover. This book was no exception; I have a fondness for wolves, do not ask me why, but if I go to a wild animal park, it has to have two things, big cats and wolves. Therefore, when I saw this book, that not only had a picture of a wolf on the cover, had wolf in its title but also had a mention of werewolves in the story, well I just had to buy it. This is the description:
The Viking King Authun leads his men on a raid against an Anglo-Saxon village. Men and women are killed indiscriminately but Authun demands that no child be touched. He is acting on prophecy. A prophecy that tells him that the Saxons have stolen a child from the Gods. If Authun, in turn, takes the child and raises him as an heir, the child will lead his people to glory. But Authun discovers not one child, but twin baby boys. Ensuring that his faithful warriors, witnesses to what has happened, die during the raid Authun takes the children and their mother home, back to the witches who live on the troll wall. And he places his destiny in their hands. And so begins a stunning multi-volume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king, down through the ages. It is a journey that will see him hunt for his lost love through centuries and lives, and see the endless battle between the wolf, Odin and Loki - the eternal trickster - spill over into countless bloody conflicts from our history, and over into our lives.

The story starts with King Authun leading a small group of his warriors on a raid. As they get closer to their destination, the King tells his men that none of them will survive the raid, but that they will go down in history amongst their people. He tells them they are going to this village to steal a child who has been foreseen by the mountain witches, this child will become his heir as he has been unable to father any sons and will lead all their people to greatness.

 However when they eventually find the child instead of one baby Authun finds twins, as he unable to decide which one to take, he steals both and their mother.  The twins are separated early so are completely oblivious to the others existence and are raised in very different ways. Vali is brought up as the spoilt son of Authun; Feileg has a much harsher existence being raised by wolves and berserkers. You follow their lives through the years as they are drawn back to each other and Feileg finds himself caught up in Valis quest to save his sweetheart.

There is much more to the story, to be honest this only really scratches the surface of the book. There is magic though out with the gods and the witches who are definitely sinister and very good characters. There is a lot of Norse mythology, though this has clearly been researched well by the author and. There is plenty of action with a lot of blood and violence, this keeps the story moving and keeps the readers interest alive.

If you do not like a dark story though then this is probably not the book for you, there is many dark tales out there, but this one is different with not a lot to lighten its atmosphere.
I admit that I did struggle with this one, not through any fault of the writing skills, which are excellent, but for quite a while, I did not actually like any of the characters, and felt therefore detached about what was happening to them. The book kept pulling me back though, after a while the plot quickened, and I really started to enjoy it.  This is the first in a series, so will definitely be reading more.

8 out of 10