Very dull and workmanlike. I kept reading, thinking something interesting might eventually happen, as in the author's sequel to The Time Machine. HoweVery dull and workmanlike. I kept reading, thinking something interesting might eventually happen, as in the author's sequel to The Time Machine. However, I gave up on the book one-fifth through and give it the two stars I reserve for abandoned books. The narration is irritating, ostensibly from a female character's point of view, but it keeps returning to her ex-husband "Frank" and references to "his diary," continuing the narration in now unbelievable detail from his point of view via her point of view, with numerous lame asides like "As Frank later told me ..." Why not just have direct narration from multiple characters without this gimmick of a diary that's never actually quoted?...more
Humans on the world of Math are in the grip of deadly psychic powers (gods, demons, elves, myths, powers, spells) as well as being pawns in a battle oHumans on the world of Math are in the grip of deadly psychic powers (gods, demons, elves, myths, powers, spells) as well as being pawns in a battle of aliens (Fylking and Niflsekt) who vie for using (or destroying) Math’s spatial gateway to other worlds. Humans must somehow navigate all these mysterious forces as well as the evil of the Wolf Lords, an ancient line of Math sorcerers which has turned corrupt over the centuries. Vaethir, a Niflsekt, now controls the Wolf Lords and sets in motion a plan to destroy the Gate which gives the Fylkings access to other star systems.
As all manner of warring factions seek to take advantage of the fresh chaos on the planet, the novel focuses on three main characters, humans on Math: Leofwine, a sorcerer of the Wolf Lords who’s run afoul of them, been cast out of their brotherhood, and is now hunted by them; his sister Ingifrith, whom he feels great guilt for having abandoned, and who suffered a devastating assault and loss of innocence as a young girl; and Othin, a captain of the North Branch of Rangers and a major figure in Book One, Outpost, who now faces some serious work regarding his departed lover Millie, who died at the end of Book One yet transitioned to another dimension inaccessible to him.
The Wolf Lords is a rich emotional experience with a philosophical/religious framework that, for me, transcends the fantasy genre. Both books of the Fylking series seem rich in literary potential. Book Two abounds in excellent sensory descriptive passages, and each scene is like a theater stage of mood and meaning. Amusingly, I originally thought from the title that the Wolf Lords were going to be some really cool dudes with fantastic powers for mystical good, but was quickly disabused of that as I saw how ruthlessly they hunt both Leofwine and his sister for daring to cross them. The fact that eons of time and a world of magic in flux can so corrupt such a brotherhood underlines the dark nature of Vaethir’s schemes and highlights the courage the three main characters need to defend themselves and move towards new psychological integration.