"Stark and feral romance with a mesmerizing wolf shifter series..."
Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted August 2, 2018
Romance Paranormal | Fantasy Urban
Packing the same visceral punch as book one, A WOLF APART is Maria Vale's second book in the Legend of All Wolves series.
This is a gritty book that does not hide from the realities of life as a
wolf shifter, such as bloody gore all over one's muzzle from prey or the
high likelihood of being shot by a hunter to end one's life prematurely.
Fans of Anne Bishop's The Others series will revel in the profound
sense of other-ness that Vale creates in her wolf shifters.
Elijah Sorensson is the Alpha wolf of the 9th Echelon. He's been living
away from his Pack for 30 years, operating at a New York City law firm
in order to shepherd the interests of his Pack through human affairs.
The prolonged separation from his Pack, broken only once a month for
the mandatory moon-called change that every wolf undergoes, has
been wearing on his sanity. I love how deftly Vale draws the strokes to
show Elijah holding on to his mental state by the tips of his fingers. Er, I
Elijah then meets a human that he falls in love with. Thea Villalobos
seems almost other-worldly herself and is an intriguing character in her
own right. Elijah and Thea's romance causes all kinds of political issues,
as wolves are forbidden to consort with humans. The political
machinations between Pack members as well as between the Pack and
their enemies are constantly roiling, providing a great deal of suspense
A WOLF APART continues to flesh
out the surprising world of shifter culture, with the concepts adding a
great jolt of new blood to the old and sometimes stale ideas in the
genre. A WOLF APART can stand
on its own, although the richness of the wolf world is more fully
appreciated when the books are read in order. A stark and feral read,
Vale's A WOLF APART continues
to bring a bloody yet appealing realism to the shifter genre.
Can a human truly make room in her heart for the
Thea Villalobos has long since given up
trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah
Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man
who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something
inside him is dying...
Elijah Sorensson has all kinds
of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City
apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah
despises the human life he's forced to endure. He's Alpha
his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside
him will no longer be restrained...
She sizes me
up quickly with eyes the color of ironwood and just as
"Thea Villalobos," she says, and it takes
a moment to get my breath back.
of the City of Wolves.
ExcerptSetting the Scene: Later in the book, Silver must face her
lying-in, the last weeks of her pregnancy. It is a deeply
stressful and arduous time and Elijah and the Pack do
everything they can to care for her.
And when it’s all clean and stocked, the Alphas head out to
the Meeting House to retrieve Silver herself. I link elbows
with Eudemos to my left. Across from me, Tristan takes my
hands. Altogether twelve of us, with Evie at the head, join
hands and arms, linked together in this unbreakable chain
of responsibility. Silver’s slight body will be laid across
our arms, and we will carry her to the Boathouse.
Silver may be the weakest member of the Pack, but she is
about to fight the hardest battle a wolf can face. Up until
now, the little beings inside her have changed in response
to their mother’s hormones. Soon, they will start
responding to each other, and for the next month, Silver
will be forced to follow the whims of the four tiny tyrants
as they change from skin to wild and back again. If she
doesn’t change when they do, if she gives up, her body will
see them as aliens and destroy them. The pups will die, but
so will Silver.
Every Alpha, the whole Pack, owes her its support, but
Victor and a small group of sullen Alphas stand back,
gathering around the edges.
Tiberius is already in the large chair, waiting anxiously
when we carry Silver in and lay her down. Pillows are
fluffed. Blankets are tucked. Then one by one, the Alphas
bend over her. Most mark her, though some do not touch her
skin. Evie does it last, of course. She squeezes Silver’s
hand tightly and whispers something to her. Silver nods.
She seems so small in the middle of the huge mattress built
to handle a more viable female.
Everyone looks expectantly at Victor standing at the foot
of Silver’s bed, waiting for our Deemer to give the
traditional blessing that marks the end of the ceremony and
the official beginning of Silver’s lying-in. But Victor
says nothing. Because he is standing in front of me, I
can’t see his face, but I see the slight movement of his
head as he scans the gathered Alphas. Lorcan nods slightly.
So do two other younger Alphas. Not Eudemos though. The
burly Alpha of the 14th steps forward, positioning himself
behind Silver and Tiberius.
The thing I thought I saw when I fought Tiberius is real.
Victor doesn’t like change, doesn’t like what’s happening
to the Great North. He wants it to go back to the way it
was, when we were all, at the very least, wolves.
Because I am descended from the wolves of Mercia, he thinks
I am an ally. I know how to speak our tongue. I know our
laws. I studied them for years at the feet of the ancient
Sigeburg, our previous Deemer. What he doesn’t know is that
I am an abomination much more terrible than a half Shifter.
I am a monster beyond his worst imaginings.
I am a wolf who loves a human.
“Say it, Deemer.” I bow my head and whisper softly in his
ear. He suddenly lurches to his toes. I squeeze tighter on
the vulnerable sac in my left hand. “Say it.”
“Wes þu gebledsod,” he starts with a squeak.
Be thou blessed. Be thy body as strong as the tree. Be thy
will as hard as the mountain. Be thy young as wild as the
storm. Be thy land as plentiful and untouched as the stars.
Be the lead of men as soft as snow upon thy fur. Be thou
I let go, my left hand covering my right, my head still
lowered. Wes þu gebledsod, I murmur with the rest.
Victor whips around to face me. “You,” he whispers, shaking
the crimp out of his clenched scrotum, “have made a fatal
“Fatal? Is that what you really mean? Are you challenging
me, Deemer? Please, I will not lose.”
“You lost once,” he spits out. “When you needed to win.”
“I have never lost when I needed to win.”
He stomps away, followed by Lorcan and those two other
Had he been any other Pack, I would have challenged him in
the paddock, but I can’t. I am a lawyer. I understand the
need to protect judges from intimidation and influence, but
that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t dearly love to tear his
miserable hide to shreds.
The room has cleared, leaving only Gabi, the ob-gyn, who
has once again taken time off from her Offland practice,
and Alex, the radiologist who is fitting Silver with an
ultrasound holster so that he can give her as much warning
as possible that her progeny are switching species.
At the door, I watch Tiberius hold her hand. He looks
momentarily at the four little bodies in her body, but then
his eyes go careening around the Boathouse, searching for
something solid and real and comforting that isn’t the
woman who is both the source of his strength and his
Then I lope back. Leaning down, I mark Tiberius, first
along one cheek, then along the other.
As I leave, Silver gives me a sad, hopeful smile full of
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