REVIEW: “I love fantasy fiction but my special favourite within that genre is epic or ‘high’ fantasy. With its classic modes of good versus evil, questing for rare items or revenge for fallen comrades, although not on a grandiose scale, ‘Wolfsbane Winter’ contains of a measure of each, with the precious ‘gem’ which might be attained: love’s fulfilment.
At times the plotting of the story seemed a trifle forced to me, especially regarding the development of Alana’s early story line. At first, this made Alana seem unworthy of my sympathy because her actions didn’t seem reasonable to my observation. Thankfully, her character gained more definition and gumption as the pages passed, which perhaps was exactly as the author intended.
In contrast, Deryn’s character was much more defined, as were the description of her emotions, actions and surroundings. Witty terms and humour incorporated into the narrative amplified Deryn’s strong character into a full-fleshed, thoughtful and very ‘real’ person who was enchantingly both lonely and self-sufficient.
I felt ‘Wolfsbane Winter’ was carefully crafted and built, yet this in no way inhibited flow and pace. Instead, when certain scenes were eventually played out after being hinted at previously or needs expressed by characters were later fulfilled, it was particularly satisfying. When an author has the ability to make me say, “Aha!”, that’s always a good thing. Also, I particularly enjoyed the writer’s contrasting descriptive phrases which helped me not simply visual a scene, but think and build upon it further in my mind creating greater depth in the narrative.
I know some lovers of fantasy still prefer not to read GLBT specific fantasy fiction, but in the case of this novel, they are doing themselves an enormous disservice. ‘Wolfsbane Winter’ is one of those stories where the author does so very many things well the few minor issues I had were easily dismissed as they truly took nothing away from the entertaining qualities of the whole work of fiction. For lovers of adventurous fantasy with a romance that never feels overdone and characters which make each other better, I recommend this highly enjoyable tale of fantasy.”
Description: The Iron Wolf mercenaries who guard travelers on the Misery Trail are notorious for their quick and casual sex lives.
Deryn may fit the stereotype better than most, but she has her reasons. A childhood tragedy has left her wary of forming attachments. If you don’t care, then you can’t get hurt, but you can still make a mess of things—such as the error of judgment that leaves her with no money, forced to spend the winter on a lousy job in a miserable little backwater.
There she meets Alana, local healer, vet, and woman of mystery. It does not take Deryn long to find out that Alana is more than she seems, and has her own perilous secret to keep. Yet Deryn still finds herself falling for the woman, so much so that her come-and-go lifestyle is at risk.
This would be bad enough, but serious trouble arrives for Deryn and Alana in the form of demon magic from the Time of Chaos—revealing that old legends are not merely material for ghost stories around the fire. As the danger increases, who do they need to fear more, the living or the dead?
Author: Jane Fletcher
Publisher/Buy Link: Bold Strokes Books
Publish Date: July 15, 2010
Genre: Fantasy / Lesbian Fiction
Book Length: Novel, 266 pages
THIS REVIEW WAS COMPLETED FOR QMO Books. PLEASE VIEW THEIR WEBSITE TO SEE ALL REVIEWS AVAILABLE. Cover art used is original by Sheri.