In the unforgiving isolation of Wolf Country there is a settlement full of zealous followers of an ancient religion. Every full moon the settlers fight against a vicious onslaught of wolves to maintain their control over what they consider sacred land. These settlers though are not as they may first appear, they are vampires who believe that by protecting this land from the hated wolves they are fulfilling the contract made between them and their god.
Within the series we are introduced to Halfpenny and his wife Natasha. While he refers to her as a fanatic, he does point out that all those who choose to live in the settlement are in some way fanatics. Each of them is visited by visions that help them to protect the rest of the settlement. In order to maintain their supplies from The Kingdom, where a majority of the vampire population lives, Halfpenny periodically has to deliver a werewolf for use in a ritual killing. While there he is asked to meet with a man spreading propaganda about high government officials. Halfpenny detests spending time away from the settlement, but things turn violent and he is forced to delay his return. Before he left a well known vampire, Luke, who while still living in The Kingdom killed a wolf with his bare hands, has wandered into the desert to try and find a connection with the wolves. This decision has prompted the army to take over the settlement and without Halfpenny there they have taken over control from his wife. Natasha has found herself visited in dreams by Luke, but his insistence that peace can be made with the wolves makes her feel as though she is betraying her faith.
I am a huge fan of vampires and werewolves and when I started reading Wolf Country I was very excited. The set up for this series was something unlike anything else I had read before in terms of vampire mythology. The vampires, excluding their need to drink blood, initially appear human. They aren’t living in the desert settlement because they have to, but because they choose to in order to connect to their god and fulfill what they feel is a religious obligation to maintain this land. Not only can they walk during the day and have children, but the wolves that they are fighting are remarkably diverse. Some live as wolves for their entire lives, others shift under the moon, and some can control their turning. The wolves maintain lives of their own, but they constantly have to rebuild what they destroy while under the control of the moon’s powers. Religion is at the core of what we see of the vampires lives and learning more about this religion drew me in. What I found interesting was that when we first meet the wolves they appear frightening and dark, but when Luke has become part of their community they appear more like traditional wolves. If you are a fan of the Underworld series I think that this would be a great read for you.
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