Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything–including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
This book started off slowly for me. Cremer has a talent for complex twists and turns in her plot, but Calla’s emotional vertigo made it hard to follow at first. Calla faces an oppressive cult like society of Guardians (wolves) who serve their masters, the Keepers, without questions. She distrusts the boy she’s grown up with, choosing to assume his actions, rather than seeing the boy she hurts that the reader sees.
Calla views her every interaction with new, human Shay as a mistake, perhaps because the boy draws her out of the brainwashed obedience she tries to cling to, as Shay fights for her to believe she’s allowed to think for herself. While she nurses feelings for both her fiance and the human who teaches her about self respect, they delve into the history of why the Guardians were created, if the Keepers are as altruistic as they claim, though we never get answers about who the villainous Seekers are.
Calla’s personality seemed incongruous to me. I had issues believing a girl who would yell or punch anyone who dared disagreed with her, would turn around, and allow two boys fight over her, while she hesitantly protested.
The society of the Bane and Nightshade packs did intrigue me, and I wanted to know how the Keepers commanded wolves, wraiths and other creatures, and I was disappointed the villains’ motivation was never explained. The book ended on a cliffhanger, so I hope these questions will be answered in the future book. For those of you who read this, I hope the opposite boy is the one who comes back for her.
ARC provided by Philomel via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers. Review first published August 22, 2010