Nikki 's Reviews > Scarlet and the White Wolf

Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow
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's review
Dec 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: queer, fantasy, fairytales
Read from January 01 to 02, 2011

Scarlet and the White Wolf caught my attention when a review popped up on my feed because it's an LGBT retelling of a fairytale -- something I'm always interested in. That aspect is actually the least part of it: the references to the fairytale are there, in both obvious ways -- especially one particular scene -- and more subtly, with the themes/purpose of the fairytale playing out in the background. But there's also a lot of world-building.

In some ways, there's almost too much world-building. We're told so much about this and that custom, and not all of that information is used in a way relevant to the plot. Still, Kirby Crow creates a rich world, and the details are not so superfluous as to be easily forgotten. This is the first book of the trilogy, so this level of detail may well be justified by the later plot. One thing I find especially interesting which isn't expanded on is Deva's gift, the magic that Scarlet can use. I do hope that becomes important and more details emerge about that.

I also enjoyed the main characters: both strong men, both capable, both with their own faults. I enjoyed their relationship: the slow way they come to understand each other, and see themselves each through the other's eyes, and the way they come closer to each other. I love Scarlet's slow awakening to himself, and I love what he does at the end.

I also loved the background characters, particularly Scaja and Linhona. Annaya appealed less, in some ways, but I did care for what happens to her. I'm hoping that there'll be more about her and Shansi, too, since so much was made of their survival.

In general, it was much better than I'd expected. There were one or two parts that gave me pause, early on -- profiling a whole race, clearly based on one of our own races, as this or that -- but to some extent that was worked out.
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