Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
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Mar 26, 12

bookshelves: audible, fantasy, young-adult
Read from March 19 to 26, 2012

Written years after Masques, this book gives evidence of Briggs' growth as a writer over that time without compromising the characters and setting of the original.

In Wolfsbane, we catch up with Aralorn on the way to her father's funeral. She hasn't been home in over ten years, so she is anxious of what she will find and the reception she'll receive. When she arrives, she finds the welcome she had hoped for, but also surprises she hadn't expected. The story flows naturally in this setting both familiar and strange to Aralorn—a feat that is extremely difficult to pull off as a writer though so well done that I'll bet few would suspect what an amazing feat Briggs has managed here. The familiar never feels like a convenient excuse to get out of a bind and the strange is never felt as a mere device to drive plot.

Aralorn's family was strongly shaped by her father—a man rich in love and acceptance—and his personality strongly imprints those in his care. His demise is affecting them strongly. When Aralorn finds that his body isn't, quite, dead yet, she makes something of a sensation in announcing that fact. It doesn't help that his predicament is likely a trap for Aralorn and/or Wolf.

I love Aralorn and Wolf's relationship. It's my favorite part of the story—even if Wolf can be something of a drama queen on occasion. Their love is deep and their devotion touching. It's so rare to find a strong relationship depicted so well in fiction—too many authors succumb to the temptation to create tension by sabotaging the central relationship. They don't always act in unison, but then, what couple always does? In short, they're realistic with a love that creates a unity without diminishing either in return.

The ending had me in tears, but my family will tell you that's not so very strange. Still, you'd have to be made of stone not to shed one or two at the end. Good tears, I hasten to add, on being reminded by my daughter that there's a distinction...
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