I've finished my third book for the new year, Anne Rice's "The Wolves of Midwinter." This is the second title in her Wolf Gift Chronicles.
Rice has created quite a legacy for the world. Many readers consider her vampire novels to be the starting point for all current vampire fiction. She reinvented the genre and gave us Lestat, Louis, and so many other fascinating creatures.
She moved on and explored the world of the Mayfair witches and let us get to know Lasher and Rowan.
She even took a tour through the New Testament and provided two beautifully written books about Jesus.
Now, she has created her man-wolf and a new cast of characters who roam northern California. Rice's writing is decadent. It is lush, complex, and layered. You have to read her novels slowly and with purpose. She requires quite a bit of thought and analysis from her readers as she shares philosophy and theology through her characters.
In "The Wolves of Midwinter" the Distinguished Gentleman and Reuben are preparing for the Christmas season. This will involve not only their own special Yule celebration away from human eyes, but a large festival in the town of Nideck. Reuben is coming to grips with several issues in his life and the wonder/magic/love of Christmas serves as the perfect backdrop for the action taking place in and around him. When you boil down many of Rice's plots what you have left is this: how do the relationships we have help us grow and evolve? Our relationship with the Divine, with our parents, with our friends, with our lovers all impact us in so many different ways. Her characters think about that and ponder it to an extent that many 'real' people never do. And it always comes back to Love and the many forms Love can take.
I'm an Anne Rice fan. I think she is a very intelligent and extremely interesting woman and writer. So, of course, I would recommend this book, but do read the first one in this series. In many ways, the book ends in such a way that Rice would not need to author a third one. I hope she does, but if she chooses not to, I would be content with how she left Reuben and his families, the human one and the furry one.
Off into Tuesday I go.