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Hungry like the wolf
's fanciful new historical novel The Wolf Hunt takes us to the time of the Crusades. The daughter of a minor noble, Marie Penthievre of Chalendrey has been left by her father in a convent while he is at war.
Marie is abducted from the convent by her father's enemy and, upon realizing her predicament, manages to make her escape. But she is eventually recaptured and taken to Duke Hoel of Brittany's court, where she declares she will never marry against her father's wishes and is fortunate enough not to be forced.
A classics scholar from Cambridge, England, Bradshaw has shown a talent for bringing history to life in several previous critically acclaimed novels. Her confident and intimate writing, her rich variety of characters and her refusal to use stock descriptions of the people and the period make The Wolf Huntan engaging experience. Marie's predicament at the court, the background of the Crusades and her growing realization that she has fallen in love with someone she cannot marry add up to a great page-turner. There is only one fantastical plot element, lycanthropy (werewolves), and Bradshaw's take on it is refreshing. She gives it an unaccustomed beauty; her descriptions of the lives of wolves would sit comfortably with some of the best nature writing.
Gavin J. Grant lives in Brooklyn, where he reviews, writes and publishes speculative fiction.