"Matelots: Raised by Wolves" is the sequel to "Bethren," both by W.A. Hoffman. In Matelots, W.A. Hoffman further develops and explores the relationship between not only Will and Gaston, but the other Matelots as well. It is one of the few sequels I have read that is as good as, if not better, than its predecessor.
In it, W.A. Hoffman bravely explores all aspects of the relationship between Will and Gaston, using her always keen and flawless writing to examine the complex emotional, sexual and psychological development of her two main characters. She makes choices that are not easy, but honest, and as a result, while perhaps somewhat darker than "Brethren," "Matelots" proves to be an even more intense and satisfying read.
She also further develops the political and social landscape of Jamaica in the 1600s, and does it in such a way that the reader can envision themselves living on that island during that time. More characters are introduced, dynamics are changed, and small threads she introduced in Brethren take center stage. W.A. Hoffman is an expert as foreshadowing, and with all the groundwork she has laid down in this book, I can't wait to see where she next takes this story.
But central to it all is the relationship of Will and Gaston. They are an extremely complicated and likeable pairing, well matched, and it is always fascinating to seem them interact with each other as well as the world around them. But as always, their love is central to it all, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series to see where she will take not only them, but the rest of the Brethren as well. And I have no doubt the next chapter in the story of their lives will be just as intense, interesting, complex and passionate.