Stories about vampires and werewolves have been around for centuries but Michael Wallace manages to bring a fresh take to the old tale. The story seems far afield from his other work but that doesn’t hamper Wallace’s ability to take us back centuries to weave a tale of sorcery and deceit.
The year is 1450 and the location is France. Two Italian brothers from a wealthy merchant family in Florence, travel to Paris to find a man of their employ who has disappeared. They find a city terrorized, not only by supernatural creatures, but also by Dominican priests mired in the work of the Inquisition. One brother, Lorenzo, has already been “put to the question,” and resents his brother, Marco, for accusing him of heresy and turning him into the priests who tortured him. The brothers also resent each other because they are both in love with the same woman; the beautiful and now widowed, Lady Lucrezia d’Lisle.
Werewolves, or Loup-garou, terrorize the countryside. Where did they come from? Why do they seem to follow Lucrezia wherever she goes? And more importantly, how do the brothers protect the woman they love and get rid of the demonic creatures?
Sure, it’s all a bit familiar, but the characters are brought vividly to life, the settings are dark and suspenseful and you care about these people, especially the brothers who struggle to come to terms with how they feel about each other and how to settle their rivalry over the woman.
Wallace is just good at taking us along. It’s very different from what we’ve seen from him in the past. He says he enjoyed writing this book and it shows.