Sam reviews ‘Wolves of Black Pine (The Wolfkin Saga Book 1)’ by SJ Himes . Self-Published on June 30th, 2015 and is 427 pages.
A complimentary copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: The synopsis sounded really good and I love wolf shifter books.
An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war. Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes.
The nightmare begins with an ambush by humans at a gathering of their kind, and lives are lost. Among them is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans. Thought long dead and gone, he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.
Kane, Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, is charged with hunting down the traitors who betrayed their kind to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.
Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining. Though the gift of their reunion doesn’t come without price. Faced by the consequences of their growing love, and the goddess-forged bond between them, Kane and Ghost are besieged on all sides. Enemies are coming for their blood, and without the steadfast loyalty and love of family and friends, they may not be safe from the very people they fight to protect.
Book One in a series, The Wolfkin Saga. 150,000+ words, contains graphic sex between men, dubious consent, mentions of abuse. Contains gore and violence. Mature readers only.
Luca is the grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the northern clans Grey Shadow a Shaman and Caius the Alpha of the Black Pine Clan. Luca is young only 5 years old but will be a powerful wolf when matures. He is full of life and adorable. You can’t help but love the little one.
Kane is Caius’s distant cousin’s son and one day he will be the alpha who will run the pack. He also thinks little Luca is adorable and vows when they return from their gathering that he will spend more time with the little pup.
The pack will be leaving Baxter State Park early in the morning to return home. Right before they are set to leave Little Luca jumps on his Grandpa Shadows wolf form back and begs for a ride. Grey Shadow lets them know that he and Luca will meet the van at the entrance. Unfortunately this is when the chaos breaks out. An ambush is waiting for the wolves to arrive. The loss and extent of those who were injured is horrific. During all the chaos little Luca is taken. Kane goes after him but he can’t get to poor Luca in time.
Kane is beside himself knowing that he should have been able to save those in his pack especially young Luca. He feels that Luca is alive but has been ordered to abandon the search and be the leader he is supposed to be and find the traitors.
But in reality Luca wasn’t dead, with the costly help of another, Luca was given the strength to save himself and change into his wolf form. The process for this to happen was beautiful but so heartbreaking. Alone and scared Luca stays hidden until a man and a woman stumble upon him. Kat is a director of the Wolfe rescue and research sanctuary. Glen is a photographer who spend most of his time photographing wolves in their natural habitat. When they see Luca, they know they have never seen a more beautiful wolf before. Thinking that he has been abandoned by a human not able to take care of the pup they take him in knowing he can’t survive in the wild by himself so young.
Fourteen years go by, Luca now goes by the name Ghost. He continues to live with Kat and Glen at the Wolfe Rescue and Research Sanctuary. He has had a good life but deep down he knows he is missing something. He also knows he isn’t like the other wolves that are in the sanctuary. When danger shows up and threatens them all Glen, Kat and Ghost take off back to where Ghost was found all those years ago.
Meanwhile, Wolves are still disappearing and dying. There is still traitor among them. Kane is determined not to let his clan down again like he did all those years ago when they were attacked. After rescuing several wolves from a different clan, to ensure their safety Kane takes them to the Red Fern Territory at Baxter State Park.
With both Ghost and Kane both back in the same place I knew the reunion would be coming. But what I wasn’t expecting was the emotional reaction I had while witnessing Kane and Luca see each other for the first time and realize that the one who they each have been searching for so many years was really there. The bond they share is nothing but phenomenal.
Since the Great War and the Shaman was created it is known that a Shaman and Alpha can not mate. This is prevent an exploitation of shamanic magic by an alpha through a mate bond. So what happens when a Soul Bond destined to be together is forbidden? Will Kane and Ghost be torn apart? Will the traitor harm them first?
The author has done such a wonderful job of writing The Wolves of Black Pine. Saying my heart broke while reading was an understatement. With about 10% of the book read I had already become emotionally attached to some of the wolves. To watch as they tried to protect and help each other had me crying bucket loads. Even with all the heartache there was plenty of happiness included in the story as well. Throughout my review I have written the words watch and see, that is because SJ Himes has an amazing ability to not make you just love the story but be able to make you feel a like you are right there with these spectacular wolves, a part of their clan. To be able to reach reader on this level shows you how brilliant of a writer the author is. I can not wait to see how Ghost and Kane’s story continues in the next book.
10/10 Pots of Gold
I’m a thirty something bisexual cisgendered woman with way too big an imagination, but that comes in handy when I’m writing. I have been writing since I was a child, when I took a four page assignment on what I was going to do on summer vacation and turned it into a 100 page fantasy epic all written by hand…in crayons. No joke.
I work a day job but I can’t share for who, since the Old Man isn’t as liberated as the people who read my books. I’m married, I have furbabies, and I live with loved ones. I adore a certain show about a British consulting detective and his grumpy army doctor, and that spawned an addiction to Johnlock fanfiction, which then evolved into me writing it. Gawd, that’s embarrassing. Put this down in the TMI section of my Bio, okay? I enjoy martial arts, movies where things blow up, and I wish I lived in a Marvel movie.
I live in the beautiful and lonely Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and I see way more wildlife than I care to on a daily basis (bears!). My perfect day is reading surrounded by friends and family who don’t think it’s odd I want to hang out but not talk, and my favorite scent of all time is a cool fall evening with leaves burning….less a scent, and more of an experience.
My writing is focused on gay and lesbian people, who are more than interesting side characters that hang out with the heterosexual MCs. My wish for the future is that when people ask me what I do for a living, I can say, “I write gay romance,” and NOT get weird looks.
The sequel to Wolves of Black Pine will be released in December 2015, titled “Wolf of the Northern Star”.
If you’re feeling brave, I also write under my pen name of Revella Hawthorne, and write fanfiction on Fanfiction.net as Revella, for a certain British consulting detective and his army doctor. My erotica, Bred For Love:The Prince’s Consort, is available now.
See my Author Page for Revella Hawthorne for upcoming releases in the Bred For Love Series.
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