on Nov. 21, 2011 :
RENEGADE – Donna Boyd
The Devoncroix Dynasty, Book 3
Blue Merle Publishing
ISBN 10: 0977329615
ISBN 13: 978-0977329618
Austria, France – Then and Now
In 1998 Donna Boyd wrote THE PASSION followed by THE PROMISE in 1999 about the Devoncroix family. The Devoncroix are like none other, they are werewolves, leaders of humankind. The books are fascinating stories that leave readers spellbound and hoping for more. What a wonderful surprise to finally see a third book in the series, RENEGADE, published in 2011.
The story opens with Emory Hilliford held captive by a man named Rolfe who is questioning him and threatening him if he lies. Emory is forced to tell his life story and that of the Lupinotuum (loup garou). A human, he grew up in a privileged Lupinotuum household befriended by the Fasburgs and their daughter, Lara. The loup garou are wealthy, intelligent, and powerful - few humans even know that they exist among them, but they have responsible for most of the innovations of the 20th century.
As Emory investigates the lineage of the Lupinotuum for the history book he intends to write, he discovers many interesting facts about the interrelationship between the loup garou and humans. He has no idea that he will later play a major role in this regard. Eudora Devoncroix comes to power in the middle ages and it changes the course of history, and the Devoncroixs rule the pack to this day.
The castle of Devoncroix is located in Alaska in the wilderness. It is a beautiful, large compound where there are no roads leading to the castle and it cannot be seen from the sky. The inhabitants live in the lap of luxury. In the 20th century, Alexander rules the pack with his youngest son, Nicholas. Emory would like nothing more than to be one of them. He feels less than loup garou and more than human, and when he has a choice, he always chooses the loup garou. Nicholas is an arrogant young man, handsome, smart, and wealthy. Lara prefers the human lifestyle.
The world of the loup garou is a fascinating one. As you read the book, it is so realistically and beautifully written you can almost believe that we humans live among the Lupinotuum who can be both violent and enjoy living life to the fullest. After all, the stories regarding werewolves have been around for years, but we think of them as only romantic tales of fear and horror. Ms. Boyd will have you looking around considering the impossible. Although RENEGADE is not a typical love story, love is part of the tale as well as intrigue. Emory’s choices are not always wise, but he has experiences that few humans have in the world of the Lupinotuum.
Readers will be wondering about the mysterious Rolfe, what does he have to do with the loup garou, and will Emory survive his interrogation? RENEGADE is a tale of suspense, and adventure. It is exciting to read and has a very unpredictable conclusion. Although it is the third book in the series, it can stand alone, although for added enjoyment, it is recommended that you read the two previous books to begin your fascinating journey. The three books are highly recommended. Once you begin reading, you won’t want to put them down.
Romance Reviews Today
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Matthew Lee Adams
on Nov. 15, 2011 :
Donna Boyd draws the reader into another tale of werewolves whose urbane nature seldom masks the cunning with which they scheme against one another. This third book, "Renegade," ties into the events depicted in the previous two books, "The Passion" and "The Promise" and carries things toward a new and satisfying ending.
Her ability to evoke times past in beautifully descriptive prose calls to mind Anne Rice. The settings are richly visualized and her characters are distinct and realized individuals, skillfully interwoven with strengths and flaws that are as inseparable as the dual nature of the werewolves.
Boyd's werewolves are magnificently detailed in the culture they have created and sustained for themselves over millenia of uncertain co-existence with humankind. They often exhibit arrogance toward humans and to one another, and their battles are more often accomplished by wits - although they resort to tooth and claw when demanded. These are not the simple and brutal creatures of legend, but are a more subtle blend of the primitive masquerading in the guise of humans - a mask that can sometimes slip and reveal their true nature.
A notable aspect of Boyd's storytelling is that she allows each book to stand upon its own. While it can be useful to have read the two books that came before (The Passion and The Promise) it isn't necessary to enjoy this third outing in the world she has developed.
"Renegade" opens with a tabula rasa, a blank slate that Boyd begins to fill from the very first chapter. The story unveils itself in the manner of a mystery, told primarily from the viewpoint of the human character Emory Hilliford as he's held captive in circumstances that are as mysterious as they are darkly sinister. Other characters are introduced through the telling, their world and lives developed and their relationships explored. As with "The Passion" and "The Promise," there is a love story - and one whose outcome is just as unpredictable and uncertain.
Boyd allows her story to unfold without intervention, with twists and turns that take the reader onto unexpected pathways. These creatures do not pretend to be nice or compassionate toward one another or to humans. Their world is one very much infused with the baser nature of their being - relentlessly focused upon dominance and survival. Rare acts of kindness will always come with a cost - one which may not be paid until decades into the future. For while the werewolves are aware of their own history - one that has been shaped and changed in ways that leave the truth shrouded in myth - they are always focused upon the future and the role they will play in the world they share with one another and humankind.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed stories such as Anne Rice's explorations of the lives of her many characters, who just like these are creatures whose self-awareness of their magnificence sometimes conceals their own hubris from their own eyes. Although it has been many years since Boyd first revealed her world of the loup garou, "Renegade" is a worthy addition to the prior two books - both of which are equally wonderful reads.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)