Sharon Shinn's fantasies are always fantastic because they
are so richly developed and intricately detailed. In the
creation of this modern-day shifter tale, Shinn draws upon
the same skills that make her other works so wonderful. Not
only is THE SHAPE OF DESIRE an intimate look at a different
style of shifter with different rules from those often
depicted, the work emphasizes the experience of a non-
shifter: what is it like to be in love with someone who has
to leave you to change shape, whose time in human form is
getting shorter and shorter, and about whom you can't
really discuss with anyone?
Maria Devane has loved Dante for fifteen years, and they
have worked out a schedule for when they see each other.
She tries not to make him feel trapped, and they live their
lives by the fluctuations of when he must change into a
beast, a transformation she has never witnessed nor seen
the result of. However, Maria feels herself hollowing out
with pain and anxiety the longer she is without Dante
because he is staying longer and longer in animal form. In
addition, she is afraid that a recent spate of murders
might be attributed to him. She has to force herself to
consider how little she knows about her lover and his
THE SHAPE OF DESIRE is an excellent work. It raises some
questions about how well one can know someone as well as
develops a fantastic tale.
For fifteen years Maria Devane has been desperately,
passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving
him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante
can never give all of himself back-at least not all the time.
Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal.
During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria
alone. He can't choose when he shifts, the transition is
often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in
human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him
without hesitation, wouldn't trade their unusual
relationship for anything.
Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that
their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal
attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is
in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies
she's been telling about her life have turned into lies
she's telling herself...