WOLFSBANE by Gillian Philip


From the "Rebel Angels" series, volume 3
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Third in the Rebel Angels series (Bloodstone, 2013, etc.), an otherworld fantasy nominally for young adults, which first appeared in the U.K.

Power-hungry Sithe witch-queen Kate NicNiven has done a deal with an evil power to give her control over the Veil separating the mortal realm from that of the Sithe. The only thing restraining her, a talisman called the Bloodstone, turned out to be a person: Rory, son of rebellious Sithe warrior Seth MacGregor. In the Sithe world, Rory, now a restless teenager, chafes at the constraints Seth imposes on him, not understanding what a terrible threat Kate represents or how much his father loves him. With no companions his own age, Rory frequently slips through the Veil into the mortal realm. Here, he meets and immediately admires the spirited Hannah, a girl with an absent father and a mother who cares nothing for her, not to mention her mother’s abusive live-in boyfriend. Rory tricks Hannah into crossing the Veil, where she immediately feels at ease despite the hostility of many of the Sithe—neither lovable nor noble, they’re brutal and often bloodthirsty partisans. Previously, Kate maneuvered Seth into killing his beloved half brother, Conal, and has already set in motion a tortuous (and, to the reader, largely invisible) plot to destroy him and turn his followers against him. The characters—who are mostly supposed to be very, very old—sound and act like teenagers, showing little sense of proportion and ramping up every confrontation to a pitch of earsplitting intensity. This relentless tangle of passion, politics, and violence, and confusing multiple narrators and viewpoints, while fascinating to series regulars, has pretty much lost any claim to independent intelligibility.


Pub Date: July 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7653-3324-7
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014


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