Sunday, June 26, 2005


I have just finished reading Wolfskin, by Juliet Marillier. I had one serious problem with the book, which I otherwise enjoyed. The problem? The story doesn't actually begin until page 130, and it was well past that, at around page 200 of a total of 516, before I got immersed in it. You might wonder why I stayed with it that long. To be honest, it sat on my nightstand for months after I started reading it. Many months. My daughter told me it was worth the read, and being as I expect her to read the books I recommend to her (grin), I decided to give it another try. It took several more tries. (I also had had previous experience with Juliet Marillier, in reading her Sevenwaters Trilogy, which I would recommend with many less caveats.)

I suppose you could call Wolfskin a historical fantasy, as it is loosely based on the invasion of the Norse on the Orkney Islands in approximately the first century. It is a complex tale of loyalty and vows. Both of the main characters have fiercely conflicting loyalties within themselves, and Marillier does set up the main conflict and its solution well ahead of time, but not in an obvious way. I'd recommend it (and her other books) to anyone who enjoys that genre. Only, do yourself a favor and start on page 130. I don't think you will lose much that you won't figure out on your own.

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