THE WOLVES OF MIDWINTER
Rice is skilled at bringing the gothic to life. The sequel to The Wolf Gift does just that, while bringing in serious existential questions and Rice’s trademark for spiritual searching. Descriptive passages are lovely and long, and most of the characters are easily loved. Although the detail and dialogue can sometimes be overblown and overdone, Rice’s attempt to do with werewolves what she has done before with vampires and witches seems to be successful. Jim, Reuben’s brother, takes a large role in this novel and is a character well worth the study.
Nideck Point, the home Reuben has inherited from his former lover, Marchant, is decked with regalia for the midwinter season. It is also bedecked with the supernatural: The Wolfenkind gather to observe an annual and sacred ritual, while the Forest Gentry occupy the woods surrounding Nideck Point and undertake a selfless and horrific task on Christmas Eve. Reuben finds himself conflicted in his support of his human and his wolfen families. (KNOPF, Oct. 400 pp., $25.95)