A KNIGHT OF WOLVES by Vanessa Knipe
A ST. VAN HELSING NOVEL
BooksForABuck.com, June 2016
The Luck demon has grown impatient. People of Helmsley have forgotten it, forgotten the ceremonies that gave it strength, forgotten that this is the thirteenth generation, the time when the demon itself can materialize on Earth. Now, the demon stirs, brings disasters: drought, disease, fire, even a plague of rats. At the same time, it leads the local residents to rediscover old archives that describe the ancient festival that will bring luck to the village.
Teen James Collier doesn’t want to believe in magic, but there’s something off about the whole Luck festival his village seems intent on holding, with his sister as a star attraction. When he spots the man identified as a witch-hunting hero in an occult website, James sets off to get help. He wants to hear that he’s imagining things. If not that, he wants to hand off the responsibility of battling a demon to someone who has trained for the job.
Unfortunately for James, the demon is very real. Even more unfortunately, the ‘hero’ he’s identified has a major flaw. Once, Sir Nathan Trewithick was a leader for the Church of England’s ‘witch-finders.’ Once, he stood for the innocent and battled the witches and demons that threaten to overrun all England. In one of those battles, though, Nathan stepped too near the fire. Now, he is possessed by a Wolf-demon and is gradually losing himself in what he has always fought. What James brings home might be more dangerous to himself and his family than the Luck demon itself.
Author Vanessa Knipe (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Knipe) creates an exciting world with her St. Van Helsing series. Here, she looks at the witch-finders from the perspective of an outsider--a teenage boy who’s already grappling with his own problems. For me, this added emotional depth. The damaged figure of Nathan Trewithick gains extra power when seen from James’s perspective.
A KNIGHT OF WOLVES combines sympathetic characters with a fun and intriguing take on the traditional story elements of vampires, demons and witches. I love the back story of the Church of England standing against the forces of darkness… and Nathan’s casual reminder that the definition of evil can depend on the perspective of the viewer.
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