I was very excited when I received the email wondering if I was interested in receiving an early copy of Wolfsbane, the sequel to Patricia Briggs’ fantasy novel Masques. I was entertained reading the first book, and I really hoped to get a chance to read the sequel after finishing the first. Slipping back into the high fantasy world that Patricia Briggs created so long ago was so easy and I didn’t have anything to be worried about that distance between when she wrote the first to the second.
(Disclaimer for FTC regulations – I have received this book at no cost)
Wolfsbane opens not long after the end of Masques, bringing us into Aralorn’s world and thoughts as she makes the journey to her family’s home in the North for her father’s funeral. When she returns to her family’s home, though, she and Wolf discover that her father is not dead, but has been placed under a spell to trap them, more than likely by the also thought-dead ae’Magi. Is it actually the ae’Magi or someone under his power after his death that is trying to get rid of Aralorn and Wolf?
Briggs has been keeping this story in the back of her mind for some time now, saying that after she had finished the original run of Masques, the character of Wolf just would not leave her alone so she had to write it for no one else other than herself. After tossing around the idea of a reissue of Masques, she decided to take another look at Wolfsbane as well.
With that in mind, I took out the unpublished sequel, Wolfsbane, blew off the dust, and did an extensive polishing run. I sent the result to my editor and asked about reprinting Masques and publishing Wolfsbane. She agreed and asked me if I wanted to revise Masques before they released it. Absolutely, I said. Please. And that was about the time I got a call asking me if I’d like to try my hand at an urban fantasy first. With the subsequent success of the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega novels, Masques and Wolfsbane got put on the back burner for a few years.
While I did have some problems with the initial set up on this, I think it was more a “me” thing to get back into that high fantasy mindset than it was the book itself. After November and the NaNoWriMo insanity that I put myself through, I may go back to this book and give it a try again to find out. After the first chapter though, I was back in that world that Briggs took me to in Masques, but with much tighter writing and plot structure than the previous book. I was genuinely surprised at the layers in the plot this time around versus the rather straight story of the first book.
I highly recommend both Masques and Wolfsbane as a lovely time playing around in the high fantasy sandbox, but don’t take my word for it. Just as she has done with Masques, Patricia Briggs has put a sample chapter online for you to get a taste of what you’re in store for with Wolfsbane.
Wolfsbane is available in mass market paperback on November 2, 2010.