The Tempering of Men

Elizabeth Bear, Author, Sarah Monette, Author
Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. Tor, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2470-2
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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Bear and Monette follow 2007's Companion to Wolves with another tale of the frozen northern lands of Iskryne inhabited by Wolfcarls and their telepathically bonded trellwolves. When wolves mate, so do their humans—leaving thoroughly heterosexual Isolfr, the bond-mate of Queen-wolf Viradechtis, in an uncomfortable position with Skjaldwulf and Vethulf, men bonded to Viradechtis's consorts. The Wolfcarls have at long last vanquished the trolls who plagued Iskryne, but without a common enemy, their tenuous alliance with the mysterious Svartalfar has become even more fragile, while the nearby Rhean Empire turns its ambitions northwards. Vethulf and Skjaldwulf must forge a new path for their people and a new understanding in their relationship if either of them is to survive. This well-wrought tale serves as an exciting adventure as well as a thought-provoking and often disturbing deconstruction of companion animal fantasies. (Aug.)
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