A Companion to Wolves Mass Market Paperback – 4 Aug 2008
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Ancient grudges and ruthless schemes are simply business as usual to the Faerie court in Bear's complex and involving contemporary fantasy. Campbell-winner Bear ("Worldwired") overturns the usual vision of Faerie, revealing the compelling beauty and darkness only glimpsed in old ballads and stories like 'Tam Lin'. "Publishers Weekly on Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear" Set in the wondrous city of Melusine, Monette's extraordinary first fantasy novel focuses on two captivating characters from two very different worlds. Monette is a highly original writer with her own unique voice. "Publishers Weekly starred review of Melusine by Sarah Monette""
About the Author
Sarah Monette is the author of "Melusine" and "The Virtu. "She was nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2006.Elizabeth Bear is the author of the "Hammered" trilogy, and "Blood and Iron" She won the Campbell Award in 2005.
Top Customer Reviews
It's one of those strange tales that merely telling someone about can never do justice to somehow - it defies mundane description.
I must have read and re-read this one fifty times now, and never grow tired of it - I can't explain, but if you love tales of courage and honour and sacrifice and triumph over the odds, read it!
(oh and NEVER EVER read the sequel! it is SO not as good and just spoils the love for this one. I always wanted to know "what happened next" until I got the sequel and it was just not as good. I have never finished it and never will because I love this book too much to let anything ruin it for me)
- (non-graphic) SPOILERS -
1) Serious issues with sexual consent. The protagonist is, for a lack of better description - straight. He isn't even bisexual , he is straight. He, personally, does not wish to have sex with men, doesn't find them particularly attractive etc. If for a moment the reader wonders about a spark between him and a secondary character in the book, all hope is crushed soon enough due to conflict or just lack of interest on the protagonist's part. And yet, since he is mated to the "alpha" bitch wolf of the pack, he gets mounted whenever she gets mounted because it is his "duty". Even if I was fully aware that the authors were aiming for some sort of appeal in the sex scenes, I saw none. It just wasn't clear how being sexually used like a bitch for his wolf's benefit was "honour" for the straight main character. One scene of what I can only describe as a 'gang-bang' was particularly difficult for me to swallow and this is coming from a dub-con fan.
2) No M/M romance. Naturally, this links to the protagonist's sexual orientation. This isn't a book about two men falling in love, it's about one hetero man forcing himself to bend over for a bunch of guys. I do not enjoy.
3) The names of most of the characters were difficult to distinguish due to their similarity.Read more ›
To counter the Trolls, the humans have set up separate halls staffed with fierce male warriors, each of whom bonds with an equally fierce Wolf.
The story is on one level a Norse Saga (with added Trolls) as our hero (a young nobleman who is taken off to the Wolf Halls as a tithe against his father's wishes) struggles to fight off the Trolls, and ends up raising an army. It is well written and the action sequences are exciting and vivid. The coldness of the landscape echoes through the paragraphs - one shivers to read it!
On another level the book is an exploration of the collaboration between Man and Beast. The Wolves are to a certain extent the dominant partner in the relationship - each one bonding with a young man soon after birth. The wolves and men communicate telepathically, and this [if you have ever been owned by a dog!] is entirely believeable - the emotions of the animals are expressed through their faces, their tails, their scents and, in some way, through limited words expressed mentally.
There are also some fairly graphic descriptions of the Wolves' mating sessions which are consummated simultaneously by the men bonded with the wolves. This is a bit shocking to start with, but is an essential part of the story.
This is quite a different book to Elizabeth Bear's other novels - the Hammered sequence (an elderly female cyborg in 2062), or the ...Read more ›
The story is a good one; Njoll goes to the wolfheall despite his father's wishes and, bonding with Viradechtis the bitch-wolf, becomes Isolfr. Fighting of trolls ensues and full-blown war breaks out... with all that entails. It's told from Isolfr's point of view in third person, but of course the bond with Vriadechtis and the wolfheall pack gives us a whole extra set of perspectives... and an interesting set of senses; or perhaps an extension of senses that we don't exercise and use that much. The bond with Viradechtis is well-used and well-developed, with an interesting note in there. Viradechtis is not intelligent, per se; oh, she's not your average wolf, and is smart, but she's actually not intelligent. Very personlike, and actually very personable - try reading the book and not, so some extent, falling in love with Isolfr and Viradechtis both - but the latter remains a trellwolf throughout.
The book's very vivid; you feel as though you are Isolfr whilst reading, and that means you're sucked in.Read more ›
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