It’s no secret that Anne Rice is my favorite writer. I fell in love with her writing when I was fourteen years old and I’ve never looked back. I was with her as she completed the Vampire Chronicles, when she regained her Catholic faith and wrote her novels about Jesus Christ, and when she left the Catholic Church again, disappointed in its lack of honesty and morality.
The Wolves of Midwinter is the second in her Wolf Gift series. It seems like ages since the first book in the series, The Wolf Gift, was published, although it was only in 2012. The series follows the young protagonist, Reuben Golding, who is bitten by a Morphenkind (essentially a werewolf), and has his life forever changed. He is ushered into a life surrounded by ancient Morphenkinder, though he is unable to detach himself from the life he lived before with his mortal family. Living this new life in a beautiful house on the coast of Northern California, he finds himself haunted by the ghost of someone he once loved. She seems to be trying to tell him something, asking him to free her from some unspeakable pain. However, he doesn’t know how to communicate with her, much less help her.
The book is steeped in ancient tradition and superstition, mysterious and romantic. Rice’s writing is steady and compelling, as always. Her own beliefs are woven into the story on every page; I know this from following her on Facebook (she’s surprisingly active). The Vampire Chronicles remain my favorite series of hers. I can’t say that her more recent series (The Wolf Gift or Songs of Seraphim) have the same depth. That being said, The Wolves of Midwinter is a brilliant novel. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in fantasy, the supernatural, religion, or even romance. Bear in mind that you must read The Wolf Gift first!