Publisher: Puffin (Penguin)
Release Date: 6th January 2010
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‘YOU’RE THE LAST OF THE WEREWOLVES SON. DON’T FIGHT IT . . . CONQUER IT.’ When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a vicious beast invades his home, his flesh tears, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms . . . Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan’s men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy. Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him – and master the animal within?
The multi-talented Mr Jobling has set his debut book within the imagined world of the Seven Realms. Within this world, Lycanthropes rule the different territories. If you're unfamiliar with this term, the traditional definition is that of a magical power to transform oneself into a Wolf. However, the author has also delved further into this idea and created the powerful "Werelords", who have the ability to change themselves into Wererats, Werestags and Werefoxes. In fact, they are able to transform into a whole host of powerful and dangerous creatures. The transformation from human to deadly beast becomes an important feature of the story, and certainly makes for an exciting and thrilling read.
The book has a fantastic blend of action-adventure, with a great sprinkling of horror-magic stirred in. It is written with skill, and in my opinion, the writing is equal to that of some of the best authors of this genre. The story is traditionally crafted with 'Tolkienesque' dark fantasy moments, including the Wyldermen (who feature early on in the story) and are developed from the dark realms of original fantasy genius. They had me captivated through their gruesome pursuits - I would really like them to be featured in further books.
Curtis has created a world full of historical detail, which leads you along a path of wanting to know more about the characters, the different places they visit and the built-in folklore. This is seamlessly sewn into the story and gives the reader a sense of authenticity to the plot, which is a great achievement within the complex world that Curtis has built.
The book has a strong sense of good overcoming evil, through the tyrant ruler of King Leopold, and the unlikely hero, Drew. However, his fight to stay alive brings out the beast (or Lycanthrope) within him. The fight for survival helps him to find new friends, who give him renewed strength, in order to equip him for what might be ahead.
The more you read, the more the pace quickens - until the very climatic end, which is not totally predictable, and leaves you clinging onto every word. This book is a cracking start to Curtis Jobling's writing career. This book should do well in the 2011 Waterstone's book prize, as this genre is hot at the moment, and readers just can't get enough to feed their appetite.