Review of Johann Carlisle’s, “The Wolf Behind the Sun”, The Future Fire Volume 1, 2005: Read online. Reviewed by Elliott Baye.
In this story, two camps of opposing armies are ravaged by unexpected violence when a sorcerer hunts and enchants a wolf. There’s a lot to this story, and it remains ambitious right up until the very end. Unfortunately, shifting between four perspectives is a bit too ambitious in a story this short, and I had to reread some of the passages to fully understand what was going on. It’s clear the author had a very visual and thought-out idea for this work, but by trying to include so much detail, it was a bit overwhelming.
Despite that, the writing itself was quite vivid. The wolf’s bloodlust, and the humans’ as well, was encapsulated by the gory descriptions. Though it switched too often for my personal taste, each perspective’s tone shifted appropriately. The pride of the wolf, the cockiness of the young spy, the determination of the enemy, and the destructive nature of the werewolf all felt real, and kept me on my toes. It was clear anyone was capable of anything, and I was never sure what to expect next.
Unfortunately, the descriptive nature of this story made me a little uncomfortable when the sorcerer “enchanted” the wolf. Mainly because it was sexual in nature. Upon rereading, it does suit the story, but it was definitely a shock when I first read the tale. I have to caution anyone who reads this one: if sexual content bothers you, tread carefully. Actually, the same goes for violence and gore.
I do recommend this story to those who love dark werewolf myths, worldbuilding, and characters getting their just desserts. The writing itself is worth the read; I just can’t recommend this one to the more sensitive readers.