mardi 12 novembre 2013

Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski

Good evening!

The story of how i come across this book is one that i remember fondly so i will share it with you before my opinion on the book.  I discovered the other during a blog hop and I found her really kind, she is a teacher and love to promote reading to the children and it’s something I really appreciate so I decided to follow her.

Later to answer some reader’s inquiry about book translation she gave us a little excerpt with its translation in several languages, French included. However since it’s my native language I immediately saw it wasn’t a proper translation at all (it didn’t made sense) I wanted to tell her, explain and translate it properly but at the same time I was terrified to hurt her feelings or something… still trying to be the most polite about it possible I explained what didn’t work and offered my translation….she answered me and she wasn’t angry at all quite the opposite, relieved I was even more interested in her book after that. I had entered a contest to win it without success when months later, there was a new one. Determined I tried again and I won! Fabulous, no? But what is even better is that …she remembered me!!! She really did and I got a really personalised email that made jump everywhere with joy.

I received my book from Australia later and I was exalted however I couldn’t read it then…. You see I wanted to be objective about it and since I was so happy about how I got it and the kindness of the author Sue I was afraid I would be biased if I read it immediately or worse I could be disappointed after too high expectations so I put it on my night table looking at it longing… then I decided the best way to be right and still promote it at the best of my abilities was to review it during a challenge so I could get others interested….so here we are during the shifter month ( I waited all year for it;) ) and I’m so happy  to share this with you -I will more than probably do a post in French too but this one being long already it will stay unilingual for now-

Happy Reading

Publisher: Woolshed Press
Publication: 2010
ISBN:  1864718250
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance, werewolves
Violence: mild

Language: normal
sex: none
Public: 12+
Source: won

Short description from goodreads :

 Break the curse or howl forever.

Etienne, son of a lord in the kingdom of Armorique, goes to train as a knight with Geraint of Lucanne. Geraint is brave and kind, a good teacher and master - but he has a secret that he has kept from his family. He is bisclavret, a born werewolf. When Geraint is betrayed, Etienne must ally with the local wise-woman and her daughter, themselves bisclavret, to save his lord. But time is running out. If Geraint's enemies have their way, Geraint will soon be trapped in his wolf form.

And Etienne has his own secret. The decisions he makes will change his life forever . . .

Inspired by a medieval romance, this engaging novel forces us to question everything we thought we knew about werewolves.

My opinion:
          Oh why I didn’t read this before?!  Yes I wanted to read this when shifters were the topic to help it promote better but It’s so good I can’t wait I managed to wait so long.  Really one started I couldn’t put it done and a few hours later I was babbling about it to my mother, explaining with such enthusiasm she made me sit…. Now I must write what I felt and thought and it’s more difficult because I do want to do justice to the story without any spoiler if I can manage.

First, I must precise it’s a retelling of a really old tale with of course the author‘s ideas original and wonderfully written. In fact, if you just pick the book without any prior research you don’t even feel it’s a retelling since Sue offer us a complex universe she made her own. Now after thinking about it, after learning how she came to write this and some info on the “original” tale she was inspired by, I think writing a retelling must be even harder than writing a book.  Why? Because when you create your own universe you are free to set the rules you want, you want magic or not, speaking werewolves or not it’s nearly complete liberty. If you are doing a retelling, you got some free license of course, to make it entertaining you must capture the feel of the story and make it your own all the while staying true and not betraying the original tales…. That’s a hard work to find that balance, in my opinion. Really in this case the result is splendid.

They are werewolves like the title and cover let you guess but here there is some specificity I enjoyed a lot.  You get 2 or even 3 kind of shifters to be precise. You have the “Bisclavret”, who are the true werewolves, those who are born like and are considered like the children of Kernun, a male God of the hunt and other things. The history said they were wolves who won the right or gift to shift in human form and lives between normal people. They can shift when they want, the moon has nothing to do with that (by the way they got 3 moons in that universe^^) but they must do it regularly because it’s something they enjoy.( in a sense they revert to their original form which must feel good).  To shift back to human form they must have their own clothes.
Bisclavret have become rare, only a few of them is left.

Now I guess I should precise that werewolves there isn’t something bad in itself, lot of countries in this world accept them as long as they behave, only some part hunt them but only because of fear and religious beliefs. Why religion? Because of the second kind of werewolves those who are called werewolves…they became like that for making a pact with black magic, bad deities thus are a little see as demons and those religious ones don’t make the difference. For them all man becoming a wolf is a bad one. However in the part were the pagan beliefs stay strong it’s not the same because they know there is also a third kind…if a werewolf has children they will be like him even if they never made any pact with the devil and thus they judge on the acts not on the fact they change into a wolf…..sadly if one misbehave he is killed.

It’s a world a little like our medieval one, but with magic really alive. Fae are wondering among people sometimes, the traditional celebrations are still alive while the religious ( the Nozrians) would like to see it gone but it survived, in a lighter version that they were perhaps but people still believe. It was really easy to get immersed in it and the way the paranormal, fantasy is used to convey message is something I really enjoy , if a younger one could read this book and understand how you must accept other not judge them on their looks or on what he was told he would be fabulous.

In this story we discover a knight Sir Geraint, a well loved one, respected by his people; the only detail is that he is a bisclavret and kept that secret even from his wife. Etienne is a young boy and like it’s was the use in medieval time young lads from nobility were sent away to complete their education as a knight….Etienne is terrified to become a wolf after his mother told him some of his ancestor was one. He gets fostered at Geraint household start as a page. It doesn’t take him long to see the strange behaviour of his master and how is wife is attracted to another visiting noble however when he learns the truth he won’t fear it and he is attracted to Jeanne, another bisclavret even before knowing who and what she is. When Geraint is lost, prisoner of his wolf form, Etienne stays loyal to him and he will do all he can to help saving him. This is a story of acceptance and courage, how Etienne discovers more about himself and the world, with a sweet romance and a lot of magic and adventure. We see how fear can lead to disastrous decision, how envy and greed can destroy more than it looks…. And so much more

 It’s definitively I book I recommend and as soon as it gets translated in French I would definitively ask teacher to use it because it really a fabulous story and still instil some moral and teenagers often learn more in indirect ways^^. You love fantasy, fae, legend action and romance TRY THIS BOOK! You won’t regret it

Score:  5/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


4 commentaires:

  1. ah parfois l'attente est meilleure lol mais je comprends ça m'arrive souvent. Le "pourquoi!!! je l'ai pas lu avant???". En tout cas contente que ça ait été une belle surprise, je ne connaissais pas, et la couverture est assez sympa.

    1. Cela vaut vraiment al peine en plus c'est tiré d'une légende française (et c'est pas si souvent que notre folklore est mis en avant^^) et l'auteur est ultra sympa^^

  2. Thank you so much for this, Isabelle! I really appreciate it and am very glad you enjoyed my book. Another lady read it ad enjoyed it, but didn't end up reviewing it because by the time she finally read it we were frends and she doesn't review friends' books! ;-) I'm glad you don't have the same policy!

    1. for me keeping my promises are important so i told you i would review it and it's not because i really appreciate you as a person that i would go back on my word but it doesn't mean either that i'm going to go easy on you as an author so i do reviewx but prefer to be in the right condition to do so and i really enjoyed it greatly so not letting people know about it would have beeen a shame