Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Volyk learns very young that he has to hide what he is—oboroten’, shape-shifter—after his father is killed and skinned by a hunter, and the pack that takes in his pregnant mother is hostile to his kind. When Volyk is ordered to fight the pack’s beta to prove his fitness, but instead obeys his hormones and tries to mount him, he’s declared an abomination and forced to flee.
Ilya, too, hides a secret. Being young and gay in modern Russia is dangerous, and he knows it. But the truth eventually gets out, and his brothers lure him into the forest to kill him. They’re stopped by Volyk, who hides the mortally wounded Ilya in his den. The only way to heal the human is to turn him into an oboroten’.
Unfortunately, Ilya’s gentle nature is ill-suited to the life of a wolf. But when Volyk’s old pack returns, seeking to take away Volyk’s magickal den, Ilya will have to embrace—truly become—the wolf Volyk made him to save both his mate’s life and his own.
Very few authors do primal, elemental characters like Rory Ni Coileain which is very good for this story full of such characters. They feel steeped in Mother Russia and the ancient earth they trod on and the blood they easily spill. It may take place in Modern Russia but the actions and dark emotions feel anything but.
Those hatreds and fears are timeless and the author makes us experience it through her story and the lives of characters of Volyk and Ilya.
I found Wolf, Becoming to be part old Grimm fairytale and part shifter romance, with some horror story thrown in for good measure and it all kept me enthralled.
Volyk’s past is one we are tumbled into at the beginning of the story and its heartbreaking. Nor does it get any better for him as a young kit. For him life is one of loss, endurance, and pain. Then a chance meeting with Ilya changes everything for both of them. I love the language that Rory Ni Coileain employs in her narrative, somehow it seems old and modern at the same time, anchored in the past with Volyk and yet modern with Ilya, the freshness of the current times must coming from him.
There are some things I would have loved to have seen enlarged on here, Marik is a formidable and evil character, one that this author does so well. I’m torn between wanting to have more and less of him. And definitely wanted more of Ilya and Volyk’s relationship.
As it is I can absolutely recommend Wolf, Becoming to all lovers of shifter romance and romance in general. It kept me enthralled from the first page until the end and the storytelling was everything I expect was this wonderful author.
Cover art by Maria Fanning is beautiful and perfect for the characters.
Expected publication: February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press