Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trial By Fire (Raised By Wolves #2) by Tara Lynn Barnes

Trial by Fire (Raised by Wolves, #2)
 Good Reads Summary

There can only be one alpha.

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.
My Thoughts
Trial By Fire... how many months has it been since I read the first one? I kept mixing up the story of Nightshade and Raised by Wolves, expecting Shay instead of Chase and the jock hot head instead of Devon. Then I remembered what it was about Raised by Wolves that I enjoyed more (what made it one of my favorite werewolf YA's, aside from the fact that it was one of the first YA books I read last year.) It was Bryn's resilience, and here she still does remind me of Rose, only this time she allows herself to be just a little vulnerable.

It's not bad for a second book. With a pack all her own, things just got a little more complicated. I tried to recall who everyone was but was really hoping for a little more of Callum. In the first one, he was always there, this time around he was there but he wasn't. He was my favorite character then, all wise and all knowing but still a tough, just a little hard to love given all his decisions. I remember thinking how bad he was not to have just acted. In this one he is there and not there too; this time I appreciated it. She had some learning to do... and he let her.

The best thing is it isn't as focused on romance as Raised By Wolves. That aspect had dealt with in the first installment, so now it's a little of getting to know each other more. Bryn actually raised the fact that she knew next to nothing of Chase's past and would like to know more. What held her back was Alli, another character I loved. Alli too added something different. She's an active presence in the protag's life. Yes, she's a cool mom, but she also played an important role in the story. She wasn't just the mother, but had a history of her own that contributed to Bryn's learning.

Her learning to be an alpha, to be separate from Callum, to be independent but mindful of those under her care; her learning the in's and out's of were politics just added more to Trial By Fire's non-romantic feel. Basically, there's intrigue, twist after twist, and a really big surprise in the end that shouldn't have been one, especially given Callum's little present in the beginning. (I mean it was a horse for gosh sake!)


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