Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Recommendation: Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar

Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar

As teenage werewolf Kalix MacRinnalch is pursued through the streets of London by murderous hunters, her sister, the Werewolf Enchantress, is busy designing clothes for the Fire Queen. Meanwhile, in the Scottish Highlands, the MacRinnalch Clan is plotting and feuding after the head of the clan suddenly dies intestate.
As the court intrigue threatens to explode in all-out civil war, the competing factions determine that Kalix is the swing vote necessary to assume leadership of the clan. Unfortunately, Kalix isn't really into clan politics - laudanum s more her thing. But what s even more unfortunate is that Kalix is the reason the head of the clan ended up dead, which is why she s now on the run in London...



Rosy's scrawlings on Lonely Werewolf Girl
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as so many werewolf stories portray a male lead or at least a male werewolf (or male only werewolves). There have been some stories I've read with female werewolves but they are usually either outnumbered or not the lead. So here's one of the few stories I have run across that lets me explore the world of a female werewolf and I have to say I'm not at all disappointed with the find. Not only are there more than one female werewolves, all leads, but they are powerful, possess hobbies, talents and careers. They also have clear motivations that are quite political within the werewolf world and (in some ways best of all, as it is such an easy trap to fall into) their romantic lives are absolutely abysmal in a rather realistic way (minus the random deaths, power plays and family troubles - well, some of the family troubles, anyway). This I found interesting as rough and mostly unsuccessful relationships are a rarer read.
Lonely Werewolf Girl follows the two sisters, two brothers and a female cousin of the predominant werewolf family of Scotland, all of whom are now acting out a succession battle in London. The elder brother wishes to take over the Thane position (the ruler of the family and other werewolves) and goes about his campaign in the traditional manner expected of him. He is as traditional as any of the werewolves, except the dead Thane who was his father. Otherwise, his competition is his beautiful brother who is more into the arts and cross dresses in secret (some of his girl-friends know and accept but he's reluctant to let the wider werewolf community know. Wielding all the power in the decision making are some of the most unruly and interesting werewolves of the entire clan, including the fashion designer and

sorceress werewolf Thrix, the coolly intellectual Dominil and Kalix, the most battle-crazed of them all who also cuts herself, is addicting to laudanum and struggles to get along with anyone at all. Supporting them is the Queen of the fire elementals and fashionista extraordinaire Malveria, her almost adopted, overexcited and anti-fashion niece and the pair of humans who've decided to drag Kalix in from the cold and look after her whether she wants to be or not. The characters are really interesting to follow and the politics, while slow paced at times, is rather violent at others. Far more is within the story than is given away by the blurb and in fact I pity the person trying to sum up the story so succinctly.
The writing of Lonely Werewolf Girl is steady and attentive to detail. There's much included and many points of view covered, making the story both long and full of inter-character intrigue. The length of the book is one that would make you pause given that the topic is werewolves, as most that touch on them are shorter for lack of an original storyline or for the werewolf aspect being secondary to, say, romance or quick bloody horror. But trust me when I say that it isn't a book with a lot of waffling filler and the length of the story is rather appropriate to the subject. Lonely Werewolf Girl is not at all what I would have guessed and will probably surprise you still, even after reading this.

I'd recommend this book to: anyone who likes werewolf stories, quirky characters, political intrigue, large-scale battles and complex stories. This book would appeal to male and female readers alike, as long as they like out-of-the-box thinking.

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