Thursday, August 23, 2018

I see a bad moon a rising.

So, as we near the end of the Tribe novels, the steam really picks up, as does the writing.

We start with Carl Bowen's Silver Fangs, which focuses on long time center of the Werewolf universe, Jonas Albrecht. Jonas, who bears the Silver Crown, is theoretically King of the Werewolves. Not that this particularly earns him respect among the other tribes, particularly those not from his North American protectorate. As such, his decision to leave his packmate's (Mari Cabrah, still in a coma after the events in Black Furies), side to join the fight in Eastern Europe, which means dealing with Margrave Konietzko and his European factions. Most of whom hate him. On the other hand, this does introduce Queen Tamara Tvarivich, the Russian Silver Fang who takes Arkady's word over Albrecht.

What ends up happening is Albrecht challenges the European leaders and winds up leading the faction leaders into battle in the Balkans where the Black Spiral Dancers are having a ritual to free Jo'cllath'mattric from the bonds that hold him. A lot of dead werewolves later, the rite is stopped with only a few bonds broken, the Europeans mostly respecting Albrect, and a worried phone call from Evan leaving us on a cliffhanger about Mari.

Then we start into Tim Dedopulos's Glass Walkers, which centers around Julia of the Silver River Pack, and picks up right after they recovered Cries Havoc's memories. The pack winds up traveling back to London (through a Moon Bridge this time, since Storm Eye has no desire to travel in a metal tube ever again) where we get to see the inner workings of an urban caern. It also allows us to see how far Julia has come, since she's now much more a pack member than a Glass Walker. However, she's still a technoshaman, which helps them track down a pack of Lore Banes hiding out in London, since they contain information on Jo'cllath'mattric. Mind you, Julia does a summoning that winds up with her meeting her Tribe's totem, Cockroach.

The fight with the Lore Banes doesn't go well until Julia invokes the trapped Story Spirits within them. (This is likely why I love this series. The idea of stories being spirits that grow in power as they're told makes me happy on some level.) This stuns the Banes, and they're defeated, releasing a bunch of stories across the universe.

Including on that gives them an idea on how to help Mari. So, we go back to the Finger Lakes, where Evan and Julia do the ritual, where the Black Spiral whom the pack dealt with back in Bone Gnawers comes back and tries to kill them all. He doesn't succeed, but Mari is now recovering. Jo'cllath'mattric is now mostly awake and thrashing at his weakened bonds, this setting up the final books in the series.

While some of these have been mediocre  at best, both of these are well written and well plotted.

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