Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs is the sequel to her book Masques. I do think it's important to read Masques first. There's a lot of interplay between the main characters which relies on a knowledge of all that came before, in the first book.

Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs In Wolfsbane we know that Aralorn and Wolf are in love with each other. They are intimate companions and trust in each other. Aralorn is heading home for her father's funeral. But is her father really dead? Very quickly she is drawn into a plot with a flurry of characters and motives.

I do enjoy Briggs' writing, scenarios, and atmosphere. I enjoy the richness of green magic, white magic, and black magic. That being said, there didn't seem to be as much depth here as there was in the first novel. The characters we meet don't seem as rich and multi-dimensional as some of the fascinating characters from the first book. The scope of what they're undertaking seems far less important. It's no longer the fate of the entire free world that's at stake, just one person. And even there, it seems that for part of the time Aralorn isn't really thinking about her father at all. She hadn't talked to him in ten years, and while she certainly cares for him, it's a distant feeling.

The interactions between Aralorn and Wolf are now more playful banter than in depth discussions. We meet a few of her siblings, but even there they are not richly painted.

There's also passages that could have been cleaned up by a more attentive editor. I've tweaked the language here so as to not give away spoilers, but we run into sections along these lines:

She looked at the sword, and could see the care that had gone into its making. It had a nice handle and guard. It was the blade that attested to the care that had gone into its making.

Yes, yes, I get it. Care had gone into its making. Certainly I understand that sometimes authors do this type of repetition for deliberate effect, but I think in the cases in this book it was simply that the author liked a certain turn of phrase and didn't realize she'd used them right in line with each other.

I did get drawn in, and I did finish up the book. I didn't end it feeling as satisfied as I had reading the first book. I think a better way to phrase is is that when I finished the first book I immediately wanted to read the second book, and did. When I finished this second book, I was OK having spent the time reading it, but I felt no draw to read a third one.

Still, if you enjoyed Masques, it's worth reading this to see what happens next.

Buy Wolfsbane from Amazon.com

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