Review Blog

Dec 02 2010

Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski

cover image

Woolshed Press, 2010. ISBN 9781864718256.
(Age 11+) Recommended. When sixteen-year-old Etienne goes to Lucanne to train as a knight at the manor of Geraint, he encounters more than he has bargained for. Geraint, his master, is betrayed by enemies and disappears on the night of the Harvest Festival. It is up to Etienne and wise-woman, Sylvie, and her unusual daughter, Jeanne, to try and save his lord. But Etienne has a secret, he is bisclavret, a born werewolf, and must use all his powers to help those he loves.
The medieval world that Etienne belongs to has been described in vivid detail by the author. The transition in beliefs and customs from the old religion to the new is quite absorbing, as is the mystical otherworld of the gods. I loved the way the author was able to build a scenario where I was able to imagine werewolves as an unacknowledged part of the society of the times.
Etienne, too, is a beautifully developed character, whose growth and development kept me reading to the end. The love between Etienne and Jeanne is tested and Etienne has to make some very difficult decisions to ensure the safety of those he loves.
It is very refreshing to read a book that has a different take about werewolves. Wolfborn is based on a medieval romance and has all the overtones of a well researched, gripping historical novel. I was fascinated by the Afterword in which Bursztynski describes the source for the story. In the 12th century Marie de France wrote a collection of stories called the Breton Lais and Bursztynski has used one of these as the inspiration for her absorbing story.
More mature readers who like this story may wish to move onto The Moorehawke trilogy by Celine Kiernan.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates