All Arun has ever wanted is to be a
priest of the Fire Lord. When the cruel local lord demands
Arun perform a task for him, however, Arun fears he will
lose his dream. In order to protect his sister, he allows
himself to be used as bait to catch a wolfkin—a
werewolf-like creature the lord says is a danger to the
local people. Problems arise when the wolfkin isn’t at all
what Arun expected, and the witch-made amulet he wears to
draw the creature begins to affect him in frightening ways.
Will there be more to Arun’s future than he thought, or will
the amulet destroy him and everyone around him?
Wolfkin is an excellent fantasy novella. Arun
is just the kind of flawed character I like. He is often
afraid and sometimes makes poor choices, but he strives to
do the right thing and generally thinks of others before
himself. I couldn’t help sympathizing with him and hoping
he would be able to find a solution as the dark spell began
to overtake him. Since the narrative concentrates mainly on
Arun’s struggles, Trae, the wolfkin, was less developed.
However, from his interactions with Arun it’s clear he is a
good man. He’s patient, caring, fierce when he needs to be,
and obviously hurt when Arun begins to push him away. The
secondary characters are all interesting and well-written,
even the villains. The best part of Wolfkin,
in my mind, is the writing. Emily Veinglory is always able
to pull me into her stories and make me care about her
characters, no matter how flawed. While Wolfkin
is a dark story in some ways, the emotions, tone, and
sense of place came through so strongly I couldn’t help but
read it in one setting. Kudos to Ms. Veinglory for penning
yet another addition to my keeper shelf.