Wolf’s Bane is the second book in the Monstrous Hearts series by Julie Midnight
This series isn’t the usual type of werewolf story, making it a refreshing read, and the prose is almost lyrical in places, making it a beautiful read as well. 4 / 5
Summary from Goodreads:
In the months since escaping an abusive relationship, Alice has sought peace living in the wilderness with Colton, her mysterious lover who shifts from man to wolf at will. There in the shadows of the woods, she hopes to lick her wounds and rebuild her life. But ghosts have a way of stirring from their graves, and Alice is about to learn that one can never hide from the past for long. Sometimes, the past can come back to life, and when it does, it has teeth sharper than any wolf’s…
“Far above them hangs the moon, returned to its usual ivory glow that brings to mind wedding lace dulled with dust and bones bared of their flesh.”
(From Wolf’s Bane by Julie Midnight, chapter 15)
I read the first book in this series, Wolf’s Wife, back in 2018 (see my review for that here). Before I go any further with my review, it might be worthwhile sharing the opening of my review for the first book:
“…this isn’t the usual type of paranormal book I read. There is a lot of mature content to be found in the story – so should you go off and read it yourself, you’ve been warned… Neither is it full of the usual werewolf fare.”
All three points remain true this time round. One: this isn’t the usual type of paranormal book I read. Two: there is a lot of mature content to be found in the story – a lot more than I recall for the first book. Three: this story isn’t full of the usual werewolf fare.
It’s the characters which again make the story. Alice is growing, transitioning from the breakable woman we meet in Wolf’s Wife into a stronger, empowered woman who owns who she is. We also get to see a different side to Colton in this instalment as he helps Alice navigate an existence between the remnants of her old life and the unusual path they have ahead of them.
The story was well-written and the dark horror and fantastical elements blend seamlessly with the more realistic passages. And the author’s writing style gives a poetical, lyrical feel to the prose. Some of the sentences and paragraphs (like my favourite quote above) are simply beautiful.
I read Wolf’s Bane for free via Wattpad. I’m hoping to get around to reading the third and final book in the series, Wolf’s Kin soon, maybe even by the end of the month, so I can include my review with this year’s Indie Only reads…