Friday, July 6, 2012

Recommend: The Wolf Gift

Anne Rice is one of my all-time favourite authors; I think I've mentioned this before. I have a copy of each of her books and have read most of them at least twice. Her prose is so evocative and poetic, her characters so human (even when they aren't exactly human anymore): believable, lovably flawed, and oh so irresistible... So when I heard that she had a new novel out, I knew it was only a matter of time before I devoured it with relish (ha! Pun intended!).

The Wolf Gift is Rice's first novel based on werewolf lore. Like her vampires though, she doesn't simply borrow upon legends and fairy tales, she creates her own. She uses the pieces that fit into her original origin story, refuting those that don't or seem far-fetched, and garnishing it all with tantalizing facts from ancient history. These facts are what make Rice's books so interesting to me: the story is so convincing and plausible, you have to keep reminding yourself it's fiction (or is it?).

Not just a compelling origin story, The Wolf Gift introduces us to Reuben and takes us along his struggle to come to grips with his new-found power. That it complicates his relationships with his friends, family and co-workers is a given, but he must also grapple with his conscious and try to find a place for himself in the world as he knows it. This is a similar theme found in Rice's vampire series - Lestat in particular struggles with these same thoughts. The big difference, though, is that Lestat questioned God's existence and motives, whereas Reuben's belief and trust in God are unshakable. I think this change in attitude stems from Rice and her own beliefs as a (somewhat recently) born-again Christian. Either way, this simply adds to the tale without becoming the focus, allowing her novels to be enjoyed by people of all cultures.

I highly recommend The Wolf Gift - it's a great summer read... unless you're looking for something you'll be able to put down to go for a swim!   

1 comment:

Angie said...

I loved Anne Rice in highshool but haven't gotten back into lately! I think the witching hour was my favourite, with Blood and Gold next.