Shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn leads a dangerous existence. Now she must return home for her noble father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, they find he's not dead, but ensorcelled by the ae'Magi, using him as a conduit to destroy Aralorn and Wolf. She must overcome this mysterious mist or fall to the blackest of magic.
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Published: Ace; 11/02/10
The Author: Patricia Briggs
The long story short: I liked this novel more than I did its predecessor. Wolfsbane felt much more polished and cohesively told than Masques. I could definitely tell Briggs had grown as a writer, and this story held me raptly fascinated! I was very satisfied overall with the story told, and actually ended it thinking, "sequel. now. please!" 3 1/2 of 5 stars
This time around, Patricia Briggs brings back her heroine, Aralorn, and her companion, Wolf, for an all new adventure. Aralorn's father has died - or so she believes. Upon returning to her home for the first time in the decade since she left to become a mercenary, Aralorn finds many changes: teenage siblings who were babies when she left, a newly built temple to the goddess of death, a brother who is suspicious of her and her magic, and a father who is spelled and asleep, but definitely not dead.
Aralorn dives into the mystery surrounding her father's condition, while dealing with a few particularly painful reminders of just why she left home. Added into the mix is her increasingly complex relationship with Wolf. I think this is my absolute favorite thing about this book, seeing their relationship change and grow. I love that Wolf is turning to her, and not away from her, and learning that someone loves him. I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him, watching - him - change and grow.
The threat of the ae'Magi (did he survive, when everyone believes him dead? and if so, how?) looms though, and is a definite threat to Aralorn's happiness, and to her father. Someone is forcing those around her to work black magic. I enjoyed how she, Wolf, and the others - including her uncle - all came together to fight against the dark magic.
My only complaints with this book were, I wish it had lasted a little longer, and I thought the ending was perhaps a little too neat for my tastes. I would have liked to have seen the book carry us a little father past where it did, perhaps set the stage for another adventure with Wolf and Aralorn. And I wish we'd see a little more of her family. I loved at least two of her grown brothers. : )