Book Review: Gray Wolf by J.W Webb

Gray Wolf by J.W. Webb

Author: J. W Webb

Title: Gray Wolf

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Date: 2018

Synopsis:Child of destiny and pawn of the gods.

When his parents are murdered and his sister taken by raiders, Corin an Fol’s world crashes in on him. Wild and willful, he joins the elite Wolf Regiment but swiftly falls foul of its swordmaster, the brutal Taskala.

The regiment becomes embroiled in a vicious civil war between the sultan of Permio and rebel tribesmen. Corin, caught in the treacherous power play between rival factions and corrupt leaders, struggles to survive. Torn between his quest for vengeance and growing hatred for the sadistic Taskala, Corin has to intervene when the woman he loves becomes the latest target of Taskala’s wrath.

Book review: Gray Wolf by J.W Webb

I received Gray Wolf from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m reading J.W Webb’s books in the wrong order! Gray Wolf turned up on Netgalley and I realised it had been a while since I had visited Gol.

This is set before Shattered Crown, offering the origins story of Corin an Fol and how he came to be the mercenary we know and love in the following books. It’s been a couple of years since I read Shattered Crown and I have to admit to not remembering any of it. I had a look through my review though and discovered I rather enjoyed it.

I guess I liked this book. I certainly didn’t dislike it. But it lacked depth for me and I found connecting to the characters difficult. There was nothing that made me properly empathise with them and considering the violent nature of some of the book, that was a shame because it would have made it an intense read.

The story follows Corin as he leaves home and learns how to fight and become a warrior. He’s petulant and stubborn at the start, a lazy young man who thinks menial work is below him. That attitude changes and he embraces hard work when he sees the benefit in it for him: becoming a strong warrior. Corin is initially dismissive of his fellow recruits and although he softens, he doesn’t strike any true friendships. That lack of connection made it hard to see a depth to him.

You are the leaf in the wind, Corin an Fol. The harbinger, the vital pawn, and the fulcrum. You are the… Chosen.

That’s not to say he doesn’t feel; Corin falls in love, has a happy few years and then has everything stripped from him. But, again, although he obviously grieves, he also moves on pretty quick. His character lacked depth. As the entire story was focused on how he becomes the man we know later on, that was disappointing.

This is not a long book and considering it spans a number of years, events happen at a steady speed. There are several gaps in the timeline in order to get the characters to where they need to be for the next set of events to take place. That didn’t help with the development; you don’t see how they get there, they’re just suddenly there.

I’m finding this review such a struggle to write. I didn’t dislike the book. I didn’t particularly like it either. It fell flat for me, and maybe that was my fault for having high expectations. The writing is strong and there were a few descriptions I highlighted due to the prose used. There wasn’t unnecessary information (a problem I had in Shattered Crown) and the dialogue was both accurate and amusing.

It lacked a spark though. Missing the connection to the main character while knowing it is his development story made it hard to truly engage with this one.

That being said, it’s a short book. It’s a quick read that fleshes out one of the characters from the later books. If you’ve enjoyed the other Gol fantasy books, then I’d read it just to complete the set.

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A Rambling Reviewer

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12 thoughts on “Book Review: Gray Wolf by J.W Webb

    • Me too! It’s more frustrating when the plot/writing is good because you want to be blown away by it and it just doesn’t happen! Thanks for the comment!

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  1. What a shame this didn’t quite live up to the previous book you read! I do hate when bits are glossed over for the sake of speed in the book – how can you appreciate a character’s growth if you weren’t able to see it?

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    • I think it can be read alone – it kind of acts as a prequel to later books, I believe. It’s more all set in the same world rather than necessarily being a series if I understand correctly.

      Liked by 1 person

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