cover image A Companion to Wolves

A Companion to Wolves

Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, . . Tor, $24.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1816-9

Rising fantasy stars Monette (Mélusine ) and Bear (Whiskey & Water ) subvert the telepathic animal companion subgenre so thoroughly that it may never be the same. The inhabitants of a cold and perilous world grounded in Norse/Germanic mythology depend upon the brutally violent wolfcarls, men who bond telepathically with huge fighting trellwolves, to protect them from monstrous trolls and wyverns from further north. When the northern threat suddenly intensifies, Isolfr, a young wolfcarl, and his wolf-sister, Viradechtis, a Queen wolf destined to rule her own pack, are thrust into key roles in their civilization's desperate fight to survive. The meticulously crafted setting and powerful, often moving rendition of characters and relationships—human and nonhuman alike—result in a brutal and beautiful novel about the meaning of honor. Never blushing as they consider the ultimate sociological, sexual and moral underpinnings of a “what-if” often treated as coy wish-fulfillment fantasy, the authors have boldly created a fascinating world that begs further exploration. (Oct.)