Review Blog

May 01 2008

A pact of wolves by Nina Blazon

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Allen & Unwin, 2008.
(Age 13+) For readers who like horror with a difference, this is a compelling story that has murder, witchcraft, a secret society and a terrifying beastly creature to keep the tense action alive. Blanka arrives at the Europa International School where she is confronted by the Wolves, a society of students who prowl the school and seem to take an instant dislike to her. When she stumbles over a body at the bottom of the stairs she is convinced it was murder, and is determined to uncover the truth. With the help of the enigmatic Nicholas, Blanka investigates and discovers disturbing and frightening things about the school.

Blanka is an independent girl who rejects the other students' overtures of friendship and seems unable to forgive what she sees as her parents' transgressions. Her lack of trust adds to the suspense in the story as the reader is not sure whether any of the other characters are trustworthy.

Blazon, an award winning German author, has combined an unusual blend of mystery and horror with some medieval facts thrown in. Her prologue where she describes the mysterious It prowling the corridors, is a tantalising start to a book that was difficult to put down. She keeps up the momentum with plot twists and turns that culminate in a tense if inconclusive finale. The chilling atmosphere of the school with its rumours of witchcraft and torture provide a powerful background to the murder mystery.

Pat Pledger

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