There are 2 reasons I hated this. One, it’s billed as fantasy, and really is not. Promising me something, and giving me something else is just uncool. Two, I do not enjoy at all narrative that try too hard to be philosophical. This goes there big time. The same story repeated from 3 different perspectives offering new details each time, involving werewolves and half werewolves. This is probably where the fantasy label comes from, but you need more than werewolves to bury the fact the this story really wants to be about identity and creation and sexuality and maybe a little about race. Surrounding it all is a frame that has a scholar looking for meaning meeting a mysterious stranger who gives him scrolls translate.
I didn’t really like the writing, and none if the characters are that relatable, except the frame pair Alok the professor and mystery man Izrail. The progression and meaning that develops in their relationship actually works since these two actually get what they need from each other, and they’re both seemingly ok with that.
It’s like each one of the three main characters in the story within the story part is looking for one of the others in order to make some kind of point about how they need or want that person for self-completion or something like that, and none of them want the person who wants them. Fenrir and Gevaudan are the werewolves and Cyrah the human woman. The setting is vaguely India, but since most of the narrative is about characters and their inner selves/identities, it really doesn’t even matter that much. Supposedly these parts of the story take place starting in the 17th century, but there’s little in the story to really make that relevant or meaningful.
Calling yourself fantasy and then trying to be more of a philosophical reflection on gender, identity, relationships, and life equals really not my thing. This is just going to go down as one of those books that are supposed to be amazing and artful that I just don’t get, and I just don’t care.