Thursday, August 5, 2010

REVIEW: Wolfsbane Winter by Jane Fletcher

Wolfsbane Winter is the story of two women - Deryn (who has been left cold and deliberately lonely by childhood tragedies) and Alana (who has also been left lonely, but this time by royal circumstance). Whereas Deryn avoid connections out of fear of being hurt and abandoned all over again, Alana does the same out of a fear of discovery. All-but stranded together in a backwater town, they`re not only each other`s best chance for redemption, but the town`s only hope for salvation.

Character development here is very strong, and refeshingly deep. We are presented with sufficient background for both Alana and Deryn, and we get to share in some rather significant progression in their characters. Both are very well-rounded, with definite flaws and strengths. I would have liked to see more development/insight into the story`s villian, but that's a minor quibble.

With the exception of the early chapters, set in Alana`s castle, the setting is very simple . . . very sparse. While some fantasies try too hard to establish a world of wonder, Fletcher is content to give us a small town, a forest, and not much else. Surprisingly, it works. Unencumbered by the need to establish a magical setting the story flows very well, the dialogue is realistic, and the romantic elements are beautiful and sweet (without being heavy handed).

A lovely read for a summer`s evening around the campfire.

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