Friday 7 May 2010

Book Review! White Wolf of Avalon by Eva Gordon

Finally, I finished this novel!  What took me so long (since I purchased it in mid-January?) -- certainly not a fault of Eva Gordon's I can tell you. Life and my own work got in the way (in addition, I was hesitant to read on my iPhone in the sun by the pool when I was on vacation -- water damage!).

I will state for the record that I'm not really into romance novels. Nothing wrong with them, they're just not my cup of tea (flavor of ice cream, etc.). However, I do like Eva's novels, particularly because her attention to historical detail is amazing. After reading her excellent mix of werewolves and vikings, I couldn't wait to see what she would do with the Camelot myth, and this book certainly didn't disappoint. Indeed, I liked it a bit better than the last one!

One thing about Eva's novels is that she starts well before the hero and heroine meet -- this creates a longer novel which is a bit of an epic tale. The main focus of the story is the love interest between the two -- a wolf maiden (a human) and her intended alpha werewolf male. In Ms. Gordon's mythology, which is largely based upon how actual wolves and wolf packs operate, alpha werewolf males can only successfully have offspring with human females (no shapeshifting or otherwise special abilities). The interplay between a stronger male and a female at a disadvantage is not one I particularly care for, but Ms. Gordon makes it work in her novels such that I enjoy the characters.

Annora is a Roman scholar and wolf maiden who, while journeying on to her intended betrothed alpha male all the way in far off Britain. Along the way, her caravan is attacked by a rogue alpha who intends to kidnap her and make her his wolf maiden (thus violating the rules of the werewolf governing council, the Lupercal). Annora manages to escape and find her destined alpha male, Bledig, but with one snag -- Bledig detests his wolf nature and hopes to cleanse it from himself in a Christian ritual so he can be a respected knight of the round table for the legendary King Arthur.

I absolutely love the King Arthur legend, and it's all in here, including some twists that I'd not been familiar with -- Morgan le Fay is a good witch, and it's her sister, Morgause, that is the evil witch who unknowingly seduced her brother, Arthur, and bore his illegitimate, nefarious son Mordred.

Of course, it does take a bit of time to get deep into the King Arthur mythology but the pace is rather good; alot happens in the course of the novel so it's rare that there are any slow or dragging parts. I loved how the author speculated upon the history of Stonehenge (and that it might once have marked where Avalon lay?), and there were shades of Marion Zimmer Bradley in there, too. It's a good novel and I do recommend it, but be warned -- it's not horror, on the contrary, while there is fighting and shape-shifting, it's a character-driven novel and the werewolves are not the bad guys but romantic heroes. It's perfect for someone who loves historical paranormal fiction.

Stay tuned and please do Something Wicked over the weekend!!!

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