The Wolf Hunt

Written by Gillian Bradshaw
Review by Ilysa Magnus

Bradshaw is one of a few authors who can take a snippet of history at any time in the past and turn it into a novel worth reading. The Wolf Hunt is one such endeavor.

Based upon one of Marie de France’s lais, the story of Marie Penthièvre, a novitiate at a Norman priory during the Crusades, is ripe for storytelling.   Marie is abducted and taken to the Breton court, where her overlord intends to marry her off and take title to her estate.   Tenacious and clever, Marie manages to escape but becomes lost in the woods.   Tiarnán, a young nobleman, saves her life and grants her surety with her overlord that she will not be forced to marry a Breton.

But Tiarnán has a dark secret: he frequently goes off into the woods near his estate, without his hunting dog, companion or any explanation, and remains away for days. When Tiarnán disappears and is believed dead by nearly all who surround him, it becomes the quest of the perceptive Marie to learn the truth.

This is a beautifully written, lyrical novel about an often brutal time.  Each character is fully realized and the story, as embellished by Bradshaw, is both entertaining and historically accurate. Although the ending is predictable (this is obviously not Bradshaw’s doing but Marie de France’s), getting there is all the fun.