Book Review: Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow
Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow
Published June 28th 2006 by Torquere Press, Inc.
Format: Kindle ebook
Length: 246 pages / 446KB
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, M/M, Adventure
Reading Level: Teen
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Scarlet of Lysia is an honest peddler, a young merchant traveling the wild, undefended roads to support his aging parents. Liall, called the Wolf of Omara, is the handsome, world-weary chieftain of a tribe of bandits blocking a mountain road that Scarlet needs to cross. When Liall jokingly demands a carnal toll for the privilege, Scarlet refuses and an inventive battle of wills ensues, with disastrous results. Scarlet is convinced that Liall is a worthless, immoral rogue, but when the hostile countryside explodes into violence and Liall unexpectedly fights to save the lives of Scarlet’s family, Scarlet is forced to admit that the Wolf is not the worst ally he could have, but what price will proud Scarlet ultimately have to pay for Liall’s friendship?
It’s Little Red Riding Hood with a … ahem… twist. This isn’t my first foray into m/m relationships but this is the first time I’ve read an original novel with that themes. I mostly read fanfiction and I must admit that reading a proper book with a homosexual pairing as the main characters was a little odd for me. Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow adapted a classic fairytale into an adventure story for adults and Crow’s story is detailed and vivid in a way the old fairytale can’t match. (Thank god. I can feel my childhood squirming.) I’m afraid that I might be a little bias because I’ve been reading fanfiction with m/m pairings since I was a teen and actually reading a proper novel with the same subject makes me too happy for words. Plus, I always enjoy classic fairytales being turned on their heads and Crow created a masterful world and characters from the base material.
There truly are no original plots anymore. Scarlet is a stubborn but handsome man that won’t back down from a challenge. Liall is a rouge with a secret heart of gold. Scarlet hates the arrogant Liall at first but then Liall does something to prove he’s more than he seems and Scarlet warms up to him. This is pretty much every love story ever. I pretty much expected that. But it’s interesting because under that overused premise lurks tidbits of a larger story and events that the characters are just barely getting into by the end of the novel. (Woe and frustration!) Those morsels of world building draw the reader in and we all love to watch the train wreck that is the relationship between Scarlet and Liall. Their story spans a whole continent and beyond.
Like I said, I’m probably bias because the two main characters are men and I’m fascinated with nontraditional relationships. Past their love story is a tale involving entire populations, royalty, and a fading goddess. I really want to know what those little teasers will revolve into and how Scarlet will fair in the far north with Liall’s people. I think the series might end up being a nice fantasy epic if my predictions of where the story is going are right. I think this is one novel where the sequel might be better than the first book. Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow has the makings of a great series and I think well worth the read. It’s a romance that can be a readers’ guilty little pleasure and will surprise you with how complex it is. There is some petting and smooching between the two main characters but I think an older teen should have no problem reading this book.
Rating 3.5 out 5
Posted on January 29, 2013, in book review, fantasy, fiction and tagged book review, books, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, Kirby Crow, m/m romance, male/male relationships, romance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.