Title & Author: The SnowFang Bride (SnowFang Book #1), Merry Ravenell
Genre & Publication Date: Paranormal, Oct. 11, 2016
Book Description: “Centuries of political games killed most of the female werewolves. Now only a few survive, and the Elders work to change the old ways of thinking.
Winter, the only daughter of the SilverPaw Alpha, finally meets the soul Gaia has chosen for her: Sterling, the cold, demanding, and entirely-too-human Alpha of the tiny SnowFang pack.
Thrust into a world of human wealth for which she was never prepared, Winter must become Sterling’s flawless wife and Luna from the moment she arrives. The city is full of threats, both werewolf and human, and Sterling’s past is full of secrets best left undisturbed.
When they are betrayed by those closest to them, Winter and Sterling embark on a dangerous game of brinkmanship that will change their lives, and the future of the werewolves, forever.”
First Line: The werewolves lacked females.
My Take: It occurs to me that the book’s first line is going to give folks the wrong impression of this novel. It’s not one of those “alpha male werewolf kidnaps human female to force her into marriage and then they end up falling in love” things (I can’t stand those, by the way. Taking someone against their will does not lead to warm, fuzzy feelings. Full stop.). Rather, this first line is a reference to a population concern going on in the werewolf world of this story.
This book has to be the most intricate and detailed depiction of werewolf culture I’ve ever read. History, customs, political intrigue, rules of the pack, how they greet each other when they want to show respect (or not), the cultural differences between rural and city wolves–Everything seemed so friggin’ REAL you could swear this secret world truly existed alongside our own.
An example from a situation with a prominent pack:
“Do we have to bring a gift? Might be better if we don’t.”
“We don’t have to. But it would be in our favor if we did.” I had seen many gifts given to my father and the SilverPaw over the years. There was a very delicate etiquette surrounding gift giving. It could not be trivial, and offer insult. It could not be too grandiose and be seen as a bribe or ostentatious or above the perceived station of the giving pack. It ideally would be something that represented the strength or character of the gifting pack, and something that the recipient’s entire pack could enjoy and benefit from.
The main character, Winter, is from a more powerful rural pack and is very familiar with all the rules and customs of the werewolf world. When she finds her fated mate in Sterling of the SnowFang pack he relies on her to help him understand how to navigate the customs due to his more human upbringing. He knows a lot about the human world, something Winter knows less of, so they’re matched in that way. I love a romance based on equals, y’all:)
TONS of intrigue, starting with the search for Winter’s mate, finding Sterling and her father’s weird behavior afterward, the Wanderers (lone wolves forming miscreant packs and causing harm) in the city streets of her new home, and much more. There’s not a ton of shape-shifting, FYI, and I didn’t mind this at all. It’s a more cerebral werewolf tale told through the smart voice of a very likable heroine.
The Magical: I really believed in Winter and Sterling’s relationship. They might be soul fated but they still didn’t know each other when they were thrown together. That partnership grew over the course of the book which made it feel as real as the werewolf culture the author created.
The Mundane: There are a lot of mysteries going on throughout the book but the ending didn’t answer any of them. I mean, ANY of them. That left me feeling a little adrift, especially when more mysterious things happened. It seemed at least some things could have been answered without spoiling what’s coming in the sequel. It didn’t cliffhanger but the pay off felt a little deflated as a result. Still a great ride, though.
Summary of Thoughts: Currently, this book is $2.99 for the Kindle. Not your typical werewolf story which was awesome because werewolf stories tend to be all about the bulging biceps of an Alpha male and the resistant (called stubborn) way of his mate who *wink*wink* is secretly dying for him to take her. Ugh. Here is something much more interesting: a fully fleshed out culture (not just a smattering of habits), and two people trying to lead a tiny pack in their complex world. Intrigue abounds and I loved it. Recommended and dying for the sequel!
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