I’ll admit that when Lee sent me my review copy I was sceptical about this book. Werewolves seem to have been defanged recently by the Twilight crowd, and when my friend saw my review copy in the pub he asked me why I was reading a “girly werewolf novel.” Rest assured that is not the case. I mention this because I wouldn’t want anyone else to, if you’ll pardon the cliché, judge this book by its cover. This is a book anyone (male, female, young, old) can pick up and enjoy and is a fine piece of high adventure.
Firstly, this is true high fantasy set within the seven realms of Lyssia (there’s even a map – the sign of a good fantasy novel). Yes boys there are the inklings of a romantic subplot but we won’t see that blossom until later books and the narrative cracks along at an exciting pace and fight scenes are brutal and frequent.
Jobling creates some stunning imagery, neatly describing the many and various locations. The action sequences are well written, the violence is occasionally gruesome. He also has a knack for intriguing plot twists, emotional sucker punches and warmly written characters. There are funny moments, scary moments, sad moments, tender moments, this a great rollercoaster ride.
This is also the first of a saga and as such there are some long passages which set up parts of the world that we won’t see until later books. However, the world building is deftly done and with a pace that doesn’t kill the pace of the story or at least, doesn’t do any lasting damage. Like many “on the run” stories, there is an episodic feel to mid sections of the book, but at the same time, characters are given the chance to develop and we learn more about the world of Lyssia.
There are a couple of other niggles. One sequence in which Drew must rescue Gretchen seems a little rushed and whilst it is used to change Gretchen’s opinion of Drew, it also clearly feels like set up for later. There is also some gender confusion over one of the characters which seems to serve little to no purpose, or, if it did, I missed it. The main villains are perhaps a little underwritten, but no doubt many of them will make a return.
The different types of werecreature are a delight, and I can’t wait to see what new beasts we’ll see in the future. The characters are warmly written, all of whom have many facets which are revealed over time. As I’ve mentioned, there is a lot of set up here, elements that will be explored fully in the next few books, and I can’t wait.
Review by Sean Mason
1 positive reader review(s) for Rise of The Wolf
Curtis Jobling is an author and illustrator famously known as the designer of the BAFTA winning BBC show Bob The Builder, as well as creator of Frankenstein's Cat. Early work in animation included model and puppet paintin [...]
Anna from United States
Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by: Curtis Jobling This is a great book about werelords (people who can turn into animals), unfair rulers, mystery, and a lot of suspense. Drew, the main character, is an average boy who lives in Cold Coast, a small farming town. He lives on a farm with his mother, Tilly Ferran, his father, Mack Ferran, and his twin brother, Trent Ferran. Drew was the opposite of his father in every aspect (except that Drew is a guy). Trent, on the other hand, is almost the spitting image of his father. Drew has a special connection with animals (AWESOME!!!!!), and he’s sweet like his mother. One day, Mack and Trent go to the market. While they’re gone, a wererat kills Tilly and leaves Drew greatly wounded. During the fight, Drew transforms into a terrible creature. Drew later finds out that he’s a werewolf, and the last of his kind. Before he leaves his home in Cold Coast, his father blames Drew for killing Tilly, and stabs Drew! Drew runs away to Dyerwood, a dangerous place for anyone to travel in. Drew found a scout’s apprentice named Whitley who fell off her horse and passed out when she saw Drew. Eventually, her master, a man named Hogan, caught Drew and brought him to Duke Bergan of the werebears. Later, Prince Luke came to get Drew to find out who and what he was. (Yeah, the prince of all of Lyssia and the seven realms has no clue who the last werewolf is. Laugh all you want.) Drew breaks free thanks to Lord Hector, a wereboar. They go on many adventures to help free Lyssia and the seven realms from the king, King Leopold the werelion. Read the book and enjoy!
9.3/10 from 2 reviews