Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski

Book: Wolfborn
By: Sue Bursztynski
Published: December 1, 2010
Published by: Woolshed Press (Trafalgar Square Publishing)

Description: Break the curse or howl forever.
Etienne, son of a lord in the kingdom of Armorique, goes to train as a knight with Geraint of Lucanne. Geraint is brave and kind, a good teacher and master - but he has a secret that he has kept from his family. He is bisclavret, a born werewolf. When Geraint is betrayed, Etienne must ally with the local wise-woman and her daughter, themselves bisclavret, to save his lord. But time is running out. If Geraint's enemies have their way, Geraint will soon be trapped in his wolf form.
And Etienne has his own secret. The decisions he makes will change his life forever . . .
Inspired by a medieval romance, this engaging novel forces us to question everything we thought we knew about werewolves

My Thoughts: Based upon a twelfth century story, Wolfborn is one unlike any other I had ever read. Though it is about werewolves, a common topic in today's stories, it's not your ordinary werewolf read, and due to it's folklore beginnings, the reader must wonder how much of the tale could possibly be true.

We follow Etienne, a young boy who's training to be a knight under his master Geraint. Soon though, he realizes somethings not quite normal about Geraint and his mysterious voyages into the forest at night. He later learns that Geraint is a bisclavret, a born werewolf. He also learns that there are other werewolves, those not born with the curse who have pledged themselves to the Dark One. He learns that a war is brewing between his master and one of the dark werewolves, and after a sequence of events and some poorly placed clothes, Etienne must fight to help his master back to his humanity. You see, in this tale, werewolves can't turn back to human without their human clothes, and the longer they stay in werewolf form, the easier it is for them to never turn back human. It's for this reason, and for the future of Lucanne that Etienne must help return Geraint to his humanity, possibly at the expense of his own.

Beneath the bigger werewolf story was a love story between Etienne and Jeanne, a bisclavret. It wasn't a huge part of the book that swamped the readers into a big deep love but it did add a bit of something extra to the story, something that made Etienne's decisions a bit easier and more imperative.

I really enjoyed reading Wolfborn. It was a nice change to the typical werewolf story and I liked reading a book told from a males perspective but still written by a woman. Initially, the story didn't hold my attention much, but I'm not sure if that was because I was reading it while facing the loss of a family member, or because it was just too much of a change from the normal books I read. Regardless, the more I read, the more it grew on me. The ending was a bit too romantic to fit with the rest of the story in my opinion, but I still see the point of adding it. It also wasnt as fast paced and intense as I would have hoped, but I still enjoyed it. This book focuses on the ideas of losing/gaining humanity, mating for life, and honor and duty. If you like books that focus on those things, then I suggest you give Wolfborn a try. I give it 3 1/2 stars.
The author is also a fellow blogger. Feel free to check out her blog here.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Lan said...

For some reason I thought you'd read this one a while ago And reviewed it already. Must have got my wired crossed. Your review said so many things much better than mine did! I had the same feelings about the ending but overall we agreed. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

LaMar Nelson said...

You say the "love story" isn't really a major element to the book, but then you say that one of the major themes is mating for life; I'm just curious how does that work out?

As far as the rest of the review and my opinion of the book, sounds like something I could probably get into, were wolves are kind of cool I think and could do well to receive some more love. I like the whole idea of the folklore bit, like you said, making you ponder how much could be true.

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