Time of the Wolf
Time of the Wolf is dark. Anne Rice dark. Laurell K. Hamilton dark. Blood is drunk. Humans are tormented. The dead are rising. Creatures from the pit are called forth. Dark. Hey, I like dark. Dark is good. Even though publisher ImaJinn’s website states “ImaJinn Books specializes in romances dealing with the supernatural, paranormal, fantasy, futuristic, and time travel,” they apparently publish books outside the genre. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that when I read the book, and therefore was slightly frustrated by the minor role romance plays in the actual story. It does have a few things to recommend it, but Time of the Wolf is stuffed too full of characters, secondary plot devices, and tends to be too repetitive to fully succeed, whatever the genre.
Keahla, Princess of Dros-Delnoch, has traveled through a time portal to bring home the man known as The Wolf. Brekan, a druid who is aiding Keahla and her resistance, has foreseen the coming of The Wolf and sent Keahla forward through time to save her people. When Keahla is captured by slavers, Radin, otherwise known as Lord of the Wolves, sees her capture from the cliffs and can not get to her in time. Fortunately he follows the slavers and purchases Keahla. As for Keahla, she is dismayed that the man who failed to rescue her from the slavers in the first place is actually the savior she has been seeking. Even with her doubts, she brings Radin back through time to aid her people.
Of course, I am only scratching the surface. Time of the Wolf is a complex read. There are four different races, Elves, Dwarves, a Blood King to be woke from his eternal sleep, a Druid with an agenda, nobility with agendas, and deception, magic, and heroism at every turn. In fact, I would probably argue that Time of the Wolf is too full at times. The battle scenes are well written, as are the spell casting scenes. Unfortunately there are also a few scenes that go nowhere and do not serve to move the story forward. There are whole groups of people who show up and disappear again, never to be heard from. There is too much repetition. For example, the evil Sorceress Anayha drinks the blood of young men to keep her young. How many scenes describing or leading up to the blood-drinking event does a reader need to be exposed to so that she will get the evilness that is Anayha? For this reader one would have done nicely. Four, five, six, or however many times were too many. Waaay too many.
There is not much to be said about the hero or the heroine. They aren’t in the story enough to get to know them. The story shows only that the hero is brave and arrogant – a true leader of men, and the heroine is somewhat skilled in battle, arrogant, and concerned for her people. Any book, whether romance, fantasy, or horror, should provide interesting interaction between lead characters. This book, unfortunately, was so busy with everything else (albeit interesting stuff) that there was no time to see a relationship develop between Keahla and The Wolf. While romance is not a necessity in a piece of fantasy fiction, what romance is written should be as good as the rest of the story. The romance is the dullest part of Time of the Wolf. Of course, the ending does provide good vanquishes evil satisfaction, which is just as good for the type of book that it is.
Am I sounding a bit wishy-washy? Truly, Time of the Wolf is entertaining, if you are inclined more toward dark fantasy. This book has problems, but what it doesn’t lack is creativity, energy, or imagination. Too much creativity at times (although one scene was perhaps slightly too reminiscent of Terry Brooks for my comfort). I would like to have suggested to the author that maybe saving some of this stuff for the next book would have been something to consider. After all, how many different armies, peoples, and bloody death scenes does a book actually need? Time of the Wolf will keep your attention, especially if you like to read about blood drinking. Did I mention blood drinking?
|Review Date:||November 9, 1999|