Nadya: The Wolf Chronicles

Pat Murphy, Author Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-86226-8
A female werewolf roams the Old West in this deeply absorbing dark fantasy from Murphy (The City, Not Long After), whose The Falling Woman won the 1987 Nebula Award for Best Novel. While the story kicks off in rural Poland, it soon moves to the American frontier and the descendants of the Old World's hardy, furry peasants--foremost among them, Nadya Rybak, who tries to accommodate both her human and her lupine natures. The heart of the novel consists of Nadya's trek in the mid-1800s from Missouri to California. Having come through great personal tragedy brought about by a trusting nature and her own burgeoning sexuality, Nadya befriends the more cultured Elizabeth and the prepubescent Jenny. Together, the three young women fight their way across the swollen rivers, parched deserts and frosty mountains of the vast American frontier. En route, they encounter rattlesnakes, Indians, the remains of the cannibalistic Donner party and Elizabeth's repressed sexual urges, which lead to an affair between her and Nadya. While Murphy's description of the trek sometimes reads more like a historical travelogue than a fantasy, it features welcome bursts of supernatural flourishes. Especially fine are the passages dealing with the Cheyenne, in which the author highlights the strengths of Nadya's werewolf heritage by contrasting it with the Indians' spirituality. With its strong heroines and passionate storyline filled with romance, adventure and dangers both physical and moral, this novel will appeal to a wide array of readers, not just those who shiver with delight when the moon is full and the wolf's bane blooms. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996
Release date: 11/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-8125-5188-4
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