When the men are away, the wolves come out to play. Thankfully the remaining residents have Gran. With her curt answers and feisty resourcefulness, she directs the counterattack. Yet Gran soon realizes the one behind the offensive is not an ordinary wolf. It is a were.
Upon receiving word of the attack, the militia returns home. But the were quickly disposes of them. Moving in for the kill, the beast dismembers Albrim's arm. Just in time, Gran's silver-coated frying pan and Sir Garen's sword put an end to the vicious canine. Only Gran knows the were's bite has infected Albrim with the curse.
To prevent an execution by a fearful mob, Gran fakes Albrim's death. In the midst of a fever brought on by his transformation, Albrim is transported to the secluded dwelling of a mysterious hermit.
This solitary man nurses Albrim back to health and chains him to a rock during the full moon. During these periods, Albrim's humanity is overtaken by the blood lust of the beast. With the help of an expert dwarf, a magic band is fastened to Albrim's arm to prevent his were characteristics from surfacing. The dwarf also fits Albrim with a rudimentary mechanical hand. With practice, Albrim regains his archery prowess in time to help the hermit against an imminent attack.
Due to a battle injury on his neck, the hermit is unable to speak. Albrim names him Mute. The two develop their own language as they work together to hunt down the remaining weres. When their plans go awry, the unlikely partners end up caught in their own trap.
The author, Trevis Powell is a former member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He masterfully creates a fantasy world reminiscent of the 1980s cult movie, Willow. The relationship between the changed boy and the disfigured man provides a human touch to this creature-filled romp.
At times, scenes run long. For example, several chapters are devoted to Albrim running from a pack of wolves. Descriptions, such as the construction of Mute's trap, are overly technical in nature. The text size is small and the line spacing is tight. It is hard on the eyes when reading for an extended period of time.
Overall, this is a must-have for lovers of werewolf mythology.
Albrim's Curse by Trevis Powell is available for $11.95 at Amazon.com and BlackWyrm.com.
A complimentary review copy was provided by BlackWyrm Publishing.
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