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4 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “Wolfsbane” by Grace Faolian

An Incredibly Imaginative And Absorbing Read!

Grace Faolian’s “Wolsbane” is surprisingly tame compared to the usual werewolf tale that paranormal fantasy fans are used to, but it certainly delivers on likeability for its characters, its unique perspective of “werewolf” culture, and its fantastic final scenes. Faolian’s family of “Thaynes”—humans who possess the ability to shape-shift into wolf form, are the self-appointed guardians over human beings and monitors over the “Ascendani”—actual wolves who are able to alter their natural form to appear human. Whereas the Thayne are primarily human and have all the abilities and feelings of humans, the Ascendani are beasts driven by the need to predate on humankind. This is the world that poor Josh, a former classmate of Evelyn (Faolian’s heroine), stumbles into when he is attacked by the latter and almost killed after a 60 year period of relative peace and tranquility between the two species. Josh comes to learn of this world and finds himself caught up in an oncoming conflict between the two groups.

Faolian’s foray into this new culture of human-wolf vs. wolf-human is an imaginative divergence on standard werewolf fare, presenting the Thayne as seemingly ordinary, everyday people who just happen to live an alternate lifestyle, as opposed to the Ascendani who seem to fit more easily into the mold of common Lycan lore and mythology. Like any other tale with a cause, “Wolfsbane” has its lessons to teach. We see one in particular when Josh moves in with Evelyn and her family so they can tend to his wounds and provide protection until Evelyn’s mom, the leader of the Thayne, can determine the reason for the vicious attack. We seem to empathize with Josh when he sees how the Thaynes, who live a similarly structured lifestyle to our own—except at feeding time, of course—are not so different from any other family. Of course, Josh’s attack is a sign of a much larger issue—a plotline which Faolian succeeds in introducing and developing with incredible detail and suspense. The author’s perspective on Evelyn and Josh’s growing affinity toward one another makes “Wolfsbane” more of a paranormal romance than a horror story. But the dramatic final chapters and Faolian’s interpretation and restructuring of the standard werewolf culture—which is presented in the same manner, over and over again, in so many other novels dealing with this subject—is keenly astute and fascinating.

“Wolfsbane” does have its issues with spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, and the author may have benefited from the use of a professional editor or beta reader. However, these issues are negligible compared to the smooth flow of this story and the incredible imagination of its author. All in all, I found “Wolfsbane” an exciting and absorbing read, and I hope to see a sequel coming out soon!

Find “Wolfsbane” by Grace Faolian on Amazon and Kindle at


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