Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wolfsbane Winter by Jane Fletcher

Publisher:               Bold Strokes Books

Wolfsbane Winter is about two women who end up in a place they don't want to be, dealing with situations they didn't create and falling into a relationship that neither is sure she wants.

Deryn has dreamed most of her life of joining the Iron Wolf mercenaries and working on the Misery Trail guarding travelers.  A profound tragedy early in her life has convinced her that it's best not to have any ties to anyone or stay in one place too long.  Sometimes she makes unwise decisions and one of them results in her agreeing to work in a settlement in the middle of nowhere.  Alana comes from a noble family and is discovered to have a magical ability that results in her being exiled to the same community.  There she becomes a healer and vet and tries to hide her family ties since they could get her killed.  Each of the women tries to protect the community in the way she knows best and they find themselves often working together.  As they confront marauders, magic and legends from the Time of Chaos, Deryn and Alana develop a deeper relationship which threatens the lives that both of them would prefer to live.  Each has to decide if she wants to continue an empty life that suits her needs or take a chance on something that offers more, including the possibility of being hurt.

Jane Fletcher is known for her fantasy stories that take place in a world that could almost be real, but not quite.  Her books seem like an alternative version of history and contain rich atmospheres of magic, legends, sorcerers and other worldly characters mixed in with ordinary people.  The way she writes is so realistic that it is easy to believe that these places and people really exist.  Wolfsbane Winter fits that mold perfectly.  It draws the reader in and leads her through the story.  There is enough excitement that this is a book that is hard to put down and begs for a sequel.  Very enjoyable.

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