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M.D. Lachlan
Gollancz, 532 pages

M.D. Lachlan
M.D. Lachlan is the pen name for the fantasy work of author and journalist Mark Barrowcliffe who is the British author of Girlfriend 44 and Infidelity for First-Time Fathers. He lives in Brighton, England with his dog.

M.D. Lachlan Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Wolfsangel
SF Site Review: Wolfsangel

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

First there was Wolfsangel, the prequel to Fenrir. It was a strange yet bewitching tale that used fantasy mixed with reality in a Norse atmosphere that raged dark, savage and was as unusual as it could get. In it were several Vikings and gods that could not be forgotten. As you can guess, the idea for this novel, Fenrir by M.D. Lachlan is about the wolf Fenrir, and according to Norse mythology he was one of Loki's terrible children who, along with Jormungandr the world serpent, would fight the gods at Ragnarok, the end of the world.

Fenrir, as a piece of Norse inspired fiction, becomes a part of the story where M.D. Lachlan has woven another tale around it entirely. In this second novel in the series, the Vikings are intent on getting a French Count's sister, they want to take her and, in return, they will not slaughter the people. This, in turn, proves to be a no win situation for the count as he can either let them take her and protect his people, or face the Vikings and the wrath of his own people. As he is next in line to be the ruler of the Franks, he has to let his fate take its course, even if his caring attitude toward his sister seems to be of greater importance.

He and his people exist for a man who is a cripple and blind who acts as their seer, as he has the power to contact God on their behalf and may give them another way to save themselves from the Viking threat. They are not the only ones who have contact with gods though; the Viking priests of Odin worship their own, and act as messengers sent by theirs.

What is interesting in this story is that Lachlan has used a different approach to how his werewolf is depicted to the reader. If you remember your Norse lore, berserkers would, it was believed, don a bear shirt, thinking that they would be transformed into the beast and have its full power in battle. Lachlan has instead substituted the wolf skin for it and created his own kind of werewolf. As the Norse story of the Fenris wolf Odin is on Earth with the humans, and lives among them for a while, and Fenris will appear at the right time of the end of the world to fight him. Aelis wants to assume the God Odin's role by letting the wolf come to his camp so he can kill it and save Odin's life. This rewrites history, and what I will say is the story's outcome could go either way as there are several other factions who want to see him lose.

As this novel is a serious one, avid readers of Lachlan's work will be happy to know there are some funny moments too that I found to be unexpected but welcome.

Copyright © 2012 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes has been seen making lots of snowmen recently, but when she's not fooling around, she does work for Active Anime, Love Romance Passion, Love Vampires and Fantasy Book Review.

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