Wolfkin by Emily Veinglory

Samhain Publishing

Gay / Fantasy

ISBN:  1-60504-066-5

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

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.  

     

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