Reviewed by Tori
Having grown up in the violent, oppressive world of the Brood with his father being one of the worst offenders, Brand Geirson has no desire to accept his destiny and rule the clan. Brand walks away from the Brood and never looks back. When a brutal murder points back to the Brood, Brand finds himself having to embrace a destiny he fought against. He must become what he never wanted to be in order to save the only woman he ever loved.
Brand is a Brood, a wolf shapeshifter. He turned his back on his world after he killed his father, their king, to stop the atrocities and bloodshed the his father ruled with. Brand was so brutally tortured as a child, he keeps his wolf safety buried in fear he will submit to the rage and become just like his father. He now owns and operates a security firm and stays as far away from Brood politics as he can. When a human woman is found murdered at a site he provides security for; he recognizes the claw marks and knows a member of the Brood committed the murder. Brand knows he will have to enter back in to Brood in order to determine just how chaotic the clans have become. As Brand navigates his way through a dangerous minefield of exploding emotions and archaic rules, he finds himself at the mercy of those who have decided that he will claim his destiny-or die.
Broods of Fenrir is a dark and sinister urban fantasy that takes us back to a time when shapeshifters were beautiful, savage, chauvinistic predators. They take what they want through blood and violence. The weak are viewed as prey to done whatever to. Fast pacing and a cast of charismatic characters makes for an engaging story. Using an interesting mixture of Norse mythology and legends, Ms. Moore creates a world that is real despite it’s paranormal origins with it’s never ending power struggles, emotional rampages, and general make up. This world is not nice. It’s not pretty. There are no soul searching, waxing poetic wolves in here. These are raw savage beasts who cling to their humanity through sheer willpower. They are wolves first and humans later. I found myself cringing during certain scenes and tearing up at others as we are shown just how violent and evil this society can be.
Brand is the ultimate tortured hero. Sexy, strong, ruthless with an underlying vulnerability that has him forever fearful that he will become his father. I liked that his protective streak was tempered by his rational side. His demands all come from an intense desire to keep those he cares for safe. Yet he is smart enough to know that a true strength comes from the ability to trust those around him and ask for help.
Dagny, daughter to the insane and manipulative Isobel, is nothing but a pawn in her mother’s quest for power. Sold into slavery, Dagny’s life has been hell on earth. Isobel’s turbulent past with Brand has her believing that she can mold him into a king that will obey no one-but her. When Dagny and Brand meet-the sparks fly. Dagny is the alpha female that Brand’s wolf has been looking for. The build up of this romance is dark and intriguing as Ms. Moore spends time shaping their emotions all in accordance to their culture. Brand offers Dagny the one thing she craves. The one thing she has suffered for all her life. Freedom and acceptance.
Our secondary characters (good and bad) are all just as richly designed as our protagonists. The woman in this book as just as strong and deadly as the men yet are shackled by cruel tradition. Alice is my favorite. Alice is Brand’s best friend whom Brand saved after she was brutally beaten by another Brood. He is over protective of her and at first you see Alice accepting this. Ms. Moore slowly brings Alice out of her shell and reveals the hidden strength this young and admittedly weak wolf has. She truly shines at the end and shows everyone that true courage is the ability to face what you fear most.
There are three story lines that run concurrently though out. The main conflict and the romance blend nicely together but an attached sub story is weak and underdeveloped. It’s resolution was predictable and fell flat for me. I also wished we could have explored more of the Brand’s history, Brood history, and the other clans that make up this world. The story is told in the present with background given sparingly and with the assumption you already know it.
The main conflict wraps up nicely with action, suspense, and a huge surprise that knock me for a loop. I enjoyed this foray into Ms. Moore’s world and look forward to visiting again.
Overall Rating: C+