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The Wolf Hunt

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  575 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Betrayal, love, and lycanthropy in the time of the Crusades

Based on one of the Lais of Marie de France, The Wolf Hunt is a breathtaking adventure that showcases, once again, Gillian Bradshaw’s talent as both a historian and as a novelist.

When Marie Penthièvre of Chalendrey is abducted from her Norman priory and taken to Brittany’s court, she vows never to dishonor her fami

Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Tor Books (first published 2001)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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I was initially excited when I saw that this was based on the Breton lai 'Bisclaveret'. I studied that lai in my first year of university, and I've had cause to go back to it fairly often since, and I rather like it. Perhaps especially because of the inevitable LGBT reading of it: it's homosocial at the least, and then the other details make it very easy to read it as a homosexual love story. Bisclaveret is betrayed by his wife, and ultimately everything is set to rights by the king, who loves h ...more
Sep 17, 2007 rated it liked it
I read this book because it was based on Marie de France's 13th century poem Lai de Bisclavret, and I have to say it was a pretty good retelling. Bradshaw's flaw tends to be an inability to keep the action moving simultaneously with character development, and that was not a concern for me with this story. I guessed the ending from looking at the cover, but I was interested enough in the development of the narrative that I kept reading.

Essentially the story revolves around a man who can transform
Deborah Pickstone
Based on Marie de France's 13th century poem Lai de Bisclavret, I had previously taken this out of the library and not read it. Then I read another of Gillian Bradshaw's excellent HF novels and I got it out again and loved it. It is beautifully written and her characterisation is always compelling: a charming story.
It's been a while since I read a new Gillian Bradshaw book and I admit I've been rather holding off doing so since she's one of my favorite authors and I have so few left. Unless she publishes a new book (and it's been five years since her last one) I'll be done forever with nothing to do but reread old ones. And this is a different sort of book from most of her others, taking place not in the Classical Era with a historical-based premise but in the Middle Ages (1097 by my reckoning) and with a ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Who Enjoy Historical Fiction and/or Werewolf Fantasy
This was my second foray into the work of Gillian Bradshaw, whose earlier novel, Island of Ghosts , has become one of my favorite works of historical fiction. Based upon The Lai of Bisclavret, one of a series of poems composed by Marie de France in the twelfth century, The Wolf Hunt follows the story of young Marie Penthieve de Chalandrey, who finds herself an unwilling participant in the conflict between Duke Hoel of Brittany and Duke Robert of Normandy.

As she struggles to make a place for
Feb 16, 2018 added it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This is really good. I don't know how to compare this with Beacon at Alexandria, which I finished yesterday, because the two are really different.

I enjoyed this because of the magical realism, and the strands of religion that are woven through it. Characters seeking solace from religion or wanting to understand religion are always really interesting to me. Also enjoyed the characters -- Bradshaw creates really enjoyable characters -- and I enjoyed the two main characters a lot. I liked their na
Olga Godim
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
The book is written beautifully. The prose is luminous, the historical details, sprinkled though the narrative, make the times of the Crusades stand alive, and the descriptions are vivid. And the characters populating the story are diverse and reflective of the Renaissance. BUT…
The structure of this novel consists of two stories: the frame story and the inside story. I love the frame and its protagonists. I dislike the inner story and its main character intensely, and this dislike reflects on th
Fun, but reads like a term paper on medieval French history that happens to have a novel in the middle.
Gillian Bradshaw is known for her beautifully detailed historical fiction, and this swerve into fantasy is no exception. Set in 12th century France, the book focuses on a strong female character, Marie Penthieve, who has been ordered to a convent after refusing to marry according to the royal decree. After being an attempt to flee and being attacked by outlaws, Marie is rescued by Tiarnan, a knight of Duke Hoel, who offers her temporary shelter.

Marie finds herself caught up in the snarls of cour
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect book to read on a snowbound Buffalo holiday. My library has an unacceptably small number of Gillian Bradshaw books (it has four, and I've read all of them). So being stuck with no library books was the perfect excuse to choose a Kindle book of hers and downloaded this. I chose this one because it has "wolf" in the title, and I'm glad I read it as a Kindle book because goodness it has an awful-looking cover. Really.

This book reads like a grown-up Robin McKinley novel. Or mayb
Lady of the Lake
I found this book on the Kindle 2 and I read the preview chapter and knew from that reading that I liked the writing style and it hooked me in so I purchased it. I was happy I did the other reviewers here give the bases for it, I only can add there were a few surprises to me as I read and I finishes it in two sittings. It was a fun book I really enjoyed it. Not your TYPICAL WEREWOLF story at all!
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This novel is based on one of the lais of Marie de France, and captures some of the delicacy of the original. It is in bald terms a 'werewolf romance' and yet so thoroughly avoids the normal cliches that you forget this immediately. The characters are well-drawn and the detail about life in Brittany fascinating but not overloaded.
i love retellings of old stories, and this is one of the best i've come across in years. if you've read the lais of marie de france, or even if you just like historical fiction, you should read this book. it's a fast read and really enjoyable.
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of Gillian Bradshaw's books. The premise is based on one of Marie de France's stories and pulled me along until the end.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
No snarling, hairy-knuckled Lon Chaney werewolf here - we'll have a sexy French noble werewolf, s'il vous plait. Reminiscent of that fabulously stylish movie, Brotherhood of the Wolf, starring (be still my heart) Vincent Cassel and Mark Dacascos.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Another fun, fine historical romance by Gillian Bradshaw!
Marsha Valance
A vivid yet poetic novelization of Marie de France's "Lai de Bisclavret" ("Song of the Werewolf").
Mar 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I ordered this from Amazon "because it was there". I couldn't believe that even Gillian Bradshaw could pull this one off, but she does, brilliantly. It's a medieval romance based on the Lai de Bisclavret, in which a young and beautiful girl marries a bold and handsome knight, and then discovers he's a werewolf. In Bradshaw's version, the horrified Eline persuades a former lover to snatch her husband Tiarnan's clothes from their hiding place while he is prowling the forest, so that he is condemne ...more
Abigail Yow
The wolf hunt is wonderful mixture of love, magic, intrigue, loyalty and betrayal.

The novel is based on Marie de France, 12th century poem. It starts out when Marie Panthievre of Chanderly is deceived and abducted from the priory of St. Michael in Norman and taken to the court of Brittany, her family's and country's most dreaded rival. Caught between these two forces, she vows never to marry a Breton out of loyalty. Things begin to change when Marie falls in love with Tiernan of Talensec, her re
For a medieval story about betrayal, its a rather lighthearted tale. Probably because it has quite a few intelligent and genuinely goodhearted people, though it has its share of Medieval Morons also. The characters and dialogue are probably why I've read it so many times, but also the fact that Bradshaw is a wizard storyteller, a master bard of the written word. She is simply one of the best storytellers I've come across. She may not be as eloquent as Michelle West or as complex as Diana Wynne J ...more
Lisa Jensen
A scrupulous and compelling work of historical fiction spiced with a dash of fairy tale, this wonderful Gillian Bradshaw novel is in a category of its own - medieval magic realism. Based on a 12th Century "lay" (or troubadour romance) by Marie de France, the story presents a fantastical premise within a gripping realistic context and ponders the very human notions of honor, betrayal, identity and longing.

The shapeshifting abilities of the hero, Breton huntsman-knight Tiarnan, is treated like an
Sarah Castillo
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
The Wolf Hunt is... hard to categorize. It's definitely a romance, though the romance isn't the main plot. It's somewhat a fantasy, since fantasy things are going on, but everything is taking place in a historical setting. It might be a smidgen horror, but it's not really a horror either. I deem it a historical romantic fantasy.

It's about werewolves, which you may or may not guess from the cover, but it's also about ladies and secrets and how sweet situations that result from revenge reap bitter
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Fantasy and Historical Fiction
Gillian Bradshaw is a favorite author of mine. You wouldn't mistake her works for literary fiction--they're not complex nor is her prose particularly stylish, but they are good reads--comfort food reading--because I enjoy her plots, historical settings and especially her characters. The novels I'd read of hers to date (The Beacon at Alexandria, Island of Ghosts) are works of realistic historical fiction set in the Ancient Greco-Roman world, and from what I can tell from a listing of her novels t ...more
Jul 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I just finished this one through for the second time, and found myself not as carried away. The first time through, I think a reader is engrossed in the realism of the time and events, and swept into an unexpected plot. The second time around, without surprises around every corner (no, I didn't know this was a werewolf book when I read it first), I just wasn't quite as enchanted. I still found it an excellent historical book, very true to time, place, and atmosphere, and I liked the characters ( ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this historical paranormal based on a poem, "Lai de Bisclavret" by the twelfth-century poet Marie de France. It starts off pretty much historical where a young woman leaves the convent she is at with some knights, as they ca...moreEnjoyed reading this historical paranormal based on a poem, "Lai de Bisclavret" by the twelfth-century poet Marie de France. It starts off pretty much historical where a young woman leaves the convent she is at with some knights, as they came to tell he ...more
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading this novel is reminiscent of hearing classic folk songs, which is deliberate. It's based on the medieval Lai de Bisclavet by Marie de France. There are themes of Tam Lin, Beauty & the Beast, classic werewolf tales and more, but at its heart it's a darn good story.

Tiarnan of Talensac is a "parfit, gentil knight", beloved by his people and his liege lord, and he has a secret. He goes into the woods and becomes a wolf a few days each month. When he marries, his secret puts him at risk, but
Sam Grace
Oct 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
After a mind-numbing night of data entry, this book was just the ticket. Set in a world that I have come to identify with Robin Hood, it was a thoroughly satisfying read and a fresh take on werewolves. One of the only things that annoys me is how deeply the "good" female lead has bought into the system and how she is ultimately rewarded for that commitment, whereas the "bad" lead is seriously punished for her rebellion. I considered whether that was meant as a critique, but I think that, no, her ...more
Katya Zelevinsky
This is yet another book that I found difficult to rate, because it is based on a 13th century medieval poem (Lai de Bisclavret by Marie de France's), and I suspect that a lot of the things I don't like about it are due to Bradshaw trying to retain the flavor of the original text. Still, what works well for a 13th century French poem doesn't feel quite right in a modern novel, even if that modern novel is actually set in the 13th century.

So overall, I found the book interesting and a fun quick r
Jun 19, 2009 added it
Shelves: unfinished
This book, which is a retelling of the medieval story Bisclavret by Marie de France, is full of great historical detail. Unfortunately the detail is given in such depth that it often reads more like a history book than a novel. The detailed explanations of things like life in a castle (several pages of description on how the lord and lady of the manor had to find sleeping space and beds for their guests every night) and wedding customs (several lengthy explanations of dowries and other arrangeme ...more
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this historical paranormal based on a poem, "Lai de Bisclavret" by the twelfth-century poet Marie de France. It starts off pretty much historical where a young woman leaves the convent she is at with some knights, as they came to tell her her brother died and she finds she is abducted by Bretons (she is Norman). She escapes them and falls asleep in some woods, only to awake to some robbers out to rape her. She is saved by some huntsman that she discovers is actually a Breton knig ...more
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What's the Name o...: Historical romance - hero can shift into a wolf [s] 4 35 Oct 13, 2014 06:59PM  
Themes for this book??? 1 4 Feb 27, 2013 02:10PM  

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Born in Arlington, Virgina, Gillian Bradshaw grew up in Washington, Santiago, Chile and Michigan. She is a Classics graduate from Newnham College, Cambridge, and published her first novel, Hawk of May, just before her final term. A highly acclaimed historical novelist, Gillian Bradshaw has won the Hopwood Award for Fiction, among other prizes. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their four ...more

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