Review: Wolf Blood by N.M. Browne

Wolf BloodA Celtic warrior girl is held captive and enslaved by a rival tribe. When fever takes her only friend she knows she must escape, but she runs straight into the path of two Roman foot soldiers. Thinking they will kill a warrior instantly, the girl disguises herself as a beggar and asks to share their fire. Using her gift as a seer she discovers that one of the soldiers is not what he seems. Celtic blood courses through his veins too, but there is something else. He is a shapeshifter. He shares his soul with that of the wolf. The girl needs to reach the leader of her dead friend's tribe, and the boy must escape the Romans before they discover his true nature. Their only chance of survival is to help each other. But what will happen when their powers are combined?

 I have to admit that I was sent this by Bloomsbury at the very beginning of this month and I've been putting off reading it since then, I've been picking it up, reading a few pages and then putting it down, not because it's a bad book but because I just haven't really been absorbed and because I kept getting other books that I wanted to read instead. Today I sat down and told myself that I was not reading anything else until I finished Wolf Blood. Now that I've finished it I'm sort of annoyed at myself that I put it off for too long.

Wolf Blood is a book that takes teen fiction to the basics; a hero, a heroine, an adventure and a bit of fantasy. The book was simple and unique in the market that we have for teen and young adult fiction now and that in itself was great. The book takes place in the first century, but don't let that put you off because, despite the narration having hints of that historical and tribal concept, the writing itself is modern. The author has obviously done their research as well because the story was convincing for that time. 

The characters are great, Trista is a strong heroine, she is a warrior and I would compare her to Katsa in Graceling in how kick-ass she is, Morcant is sweet and tough and really comes off as a convincing Roman soldier. The story is told in the point of view of both of them through switching between chapters and I could tell the difference between the voice of each character. Many of Morcant's chapters are told through his eyes as a wolf and I like this twist, we could really see the loyalty and strength of the wolf that seemed so convincing.

One massive problem was that I wasn't really absorbed until about the middle of the book and while I would still recommend this book I do point out that i myself struggled to get interested in the book, the pacing until about halfway through was really slow going and I found this hard to deal with. 

Overall a fantastic twist on the werewolf story with convincing setting and characters, despite a few pacing issues.

Overall rating: B-

Stand alone/series: Stand alone

Paperback Release: July 4th 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 368
Recommended for: Anyone
Book obtained via: Given for review purposes by Bloomsbury
Many kind thanks to Bloomsbury for getting this book to me!

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