Book Review

by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Genre: Fantasy, General Fantasy

RT Rating

A truly captivating book — here is a story that gives a different perspective on creatures of the night. The reader gains an immediate affinity for the characters, and the setting is as real as it can be — you can really feel and smell the streets and canals of ancient Venice as you follow the characters along on their twisted tale, full of complex people and ever-changing allegiances. The author manages to weave an accomplished tale of unfulfilled desires, unrequited love and uncertain humanity. The climax is quick moving and vivid — this is a real page-turner.

Set in medieval Venice, a time of intrigue and power struggles between enemies and allies alike, this story takes the reader from the filth of a 15th-century waterfront to the glitter of its ranking noble homes. People and palaces alike rest uneasily above the dark and murky waters that fill and flood, changing with every tide.

He has been a slave all his life — at least the parts he can remember. Feared and despised, left to die, he is pulled from a canal in the slums of Venice, and his life takes a turn. Trained as an assassin to fight against the growing threat of the Kriegshund — demon wolves who hide in the shape of men — and with a strange growing hunger, his body begins changing. This boy does not know where life will take him next. But he has a growing conviction that the hollow darkness within him is the place where his soul should be. The love and friendship of two good women may be the only thing between Tycho and a life as something not quite human. (ORBIT, Jan., 417 pp., $14.99

Reviewed By: S.L. Rosania

Publisher: ORBIT

Published: January 2011

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