The Passion
by Donna Boyd, fantasy (1999)
Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-380-79094-7


I wish they wouldn't compare Ms Boyd to Anne Rice. Have these people read what nonsense Anne Rice is churning out lately? How insulting - Ms Boyd's The Passion is a lush, deftly lyrical, and absolutely magical start to what promises to be a thrilling series of werewolf mythology. And I really can't wait to read more. Oh, how exciting - I think this is going to be the start of a grand adventure!

The story starts with a horrifying murder of some werewolves in Fifth Avenue. Werewolf pack leader and alpha Alexander Devoncroix and his son and heir to the title, Nicholas confront the possibility of a rogue werewolf (or werewolves) behind this murder - an unthinkable possibility until now. And there's a dark secret behind this murder - a hybrid of werewolf and human - is involved. Hybrids are aberrations of nature. Should hybrids like these be discovered, it may as well spark a civil war between the werewolves - the Dark Brothers who want total obliteration of the human species would have justification for their crusade.

The Passion sets the stage for this scenario. Alexander is the one responsible for producing these hybrids: his love for a human, Tessa LeGuerre, results in several hybrid children. As he tells Nicholas and me his story, I am plunged into a dark, subterranean world of the werewolves. The Passion is not a romance - there is no happy ending here and there are betrayals, heartbreaks, treachery, and power struggle throughout the book. This book is often violent too, though the pitch isn't as feverishly brutal as that of the Anita Blake series.

Yet the prose is overly and I care deeply for Tessa and Alexander, enough that reading the snippet of the next book leaves me devastated about Alexander's fate. Yet the darkness of this book is simply enticing, and the quiet moments between Alexander and Tessa are enough to offer some respite when things get really murky. But that's the fun of it all: these werewolves are dangerous: Alexander could kill Tessa with a snap of her slender neck, but yet, he treats her like a jewel. Now that's a thrilling and heady sensation of being loved and cherished. Fans of castrated werewolves and vampires, those that whine throughout the book about their non-humanity, should look elsewhere, but me, I say bring these Devoncroix books on.

Rating: 85


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