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Black Wolf by Dave Gross

Posted by travizzt on October 29, 2009

Talbot Uskevren has a secret that he would rather keep. However, that secret may just come in handy to save his family and friends lives.

Black Wolf by Dave Gross is the fourth book in the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series. The story centers around Talbot Uskevren, the youngest son of House Uskevren. The events that occur in this book follow the events of Thirty Days, the short story in Halls of Stormweather anthology.

I’ll just simply reword what the description says on the back of the book. Talbot, also called Tal, is an actor in a theatre troupe with a secret. Infected with lycanthropy, Tal has to control the beast within to protect his family and friends. Two different god’s priests show up to give him answers, but as all help, there is a price.

Negatives:

1) Middle of the story. It was just confusing. There was a lot of jumping around. It was linear, but the events of earlier installments made it harder to follow. There isn’t a really easy way to explain what I mean without giving away things from the earlier books.

2) The awkward fight scene with the helmeted ‘stranger’. I can really give much more detail, but it just didn’t fit the story. It seemed more like filler then anything else.

3) Lack of character description. When we first met some characters, the descriptions were lacking. This is more prominent with the theatre troupe. You get little hints and small descriptions in the beginning but they all blended together. Up until the end, I didn’t know who was who and such.

Positives:

1) Strong beginning. The beginning was really well written. It really did capture my attention and hold it.

2) Talbot, Chaney, Feena, and Darrow. Talbot was a good, well thought out character. He seemed genuine. Chaney, Tal’s friend, was funny. The one liners and bickering between the two were hilarious. Tal’s and Chaney’s relationship seemed as though it could be a real one. Feena at first came off as a know it all and grated on my nervous. However, she really started to develop a little more and did get more interesting. Darrow was an odd character. He seemed to want to do good, but it always didn’t go the way he planned. I really did pity him towards the end.

3) The End. I liked how everything came together and wrapped up. It actually felt like the story was told and finished.

Overall: 3.75/5

* It would have been higher except for the middle not fitting to well. *

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