CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 41. . . .June 20, 2014
The Night is Found. (The Magdeburg Trilogy, Book Three).
Halifax, NS: Fierce Ink Press, 2014.
301 pp., trade pbk., $16.99.
Grades 8-10 / Ages 13-15.
Review by Ann Ketcheson.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
...I stare out the window across the length of the forest and beyond, where no one’s the wiser when it comes to the existence of werewolves.
“Here’s the thing,” I admit. “I’m not actually sure how great I’m going to be out there. In battle, I mean. I think it would be better if you left before you found out.”
She moves directly in front of me, barely an inch from my face, and places her hands on my shoulders to peer into my eyes. “You are the living kin of Rodolfus de Aquila.”
I look away. “I’m not him.”
I can’t live up to the titanic shadow he left behind. She forcefully puts her hand on my chin to make me look at her again.
“You are a champion of our kind,” she says with more passion than I’ve ever heard from her. “Your most admirable quality has been your fierce determination. You have done more to unite us than Roul did in hundreds of years. That determination will be a trait unequalled by your adversaries, now and in your life after this.”
I swallow a lump of emotion. “Thanks, but that still doesn’t mean you have to stay.”
“Where would you have us go?” She steps back. “There is no place on Earth where we could hide from ourselves and the shame we would feel for deserting everything we have ever known during such a dire time of need.”
Taking hold of her hands, I bring them down between us. Her fingers squeeze mine and then she withdraws and stalks off to her own room. I strip out of the rest of the battle-worn suit on loan from the Founders, collecting my belongings while considering our plan of attack. Heading a counter-terrorism unit obviously comes with the ability to pull strings around the globe. He knows the European packs aren’t organized in the same way as the Americans, so there’s no real threat of him coming under attack by our own kind in Paris. All the same, it’s a gamble. The Luparii would have been wiser to leave the American packs out of the war. It was a ballsy move to use their own BadWolf technology against the Founders, but I wonder if they understood the repercussions of what they were doing. I’ll bet they didn’t bank on Captain Lyall Marrock.
The Night is Found is the third volume of Kruger’s “The Magdeburg Trilogy,” and it begins just where volume two, The Night Has Claws ended. Connor Lewis, who came to Paris as a 17-year-old exchange student, must now take control after the assassination of former leader Rodolfus de Aquila. Aquila’s plan had been to unite the European werewolf packs in order to fight two different enemies: the Hounds of God and the Luparii. Both groups seek, by different methods, to assume control of the werewolf packs of Europe. Connor has heard that the American packs have been able to unite, and so he heads to New York City in order to find out first-hand just how this has happened and whether or not he might use the same tactics in Europe. When Connor meets his American counterparts, however, he wonders about their methods and the long-lasting effects they might have on the werewolf population. Thus Connor has a perplexing problem; if he cannot successfully unite the European or Old World packs, it is quite likely that the entire species will become extinct.
Kruger’s novels are an intriguing mixture of urban fantasy, the paranormal, adventure and romance. The novel is plot-driven, with Connor meeting and interacting with werewolves in both the United States and Europe. Much of the time is spent preparing for battle and involved in battle, and often Connor cannot be sure whom he can trust. Bio-chemical warfare also plays a role as the werewolves attempt to evade the chemical produced by scientist Henri Boguet which he discovered thanks to his studies in genetics and the DNA of Connor, himself. This drug, called Wolf’s Bane, would “cure” werewolves forever and lead to their extinction.
Connor’s character changes during the story as he realizes the weight of his new role as a leader. He gradually learns to accept the advice of those around him, and eventually he is able to differentiate between those who support and help him versus those who are rivals and wish to usurp his authority. Other characters are more one-dimensional and show little, if any, development as the novel unfolds. There is a vague romantic link between Connor and Madison, but Kruger, at no point, makes this a focus of the novel.
The novel can be confusing at times, particularly with occasional chapters from Madison’s point of view. She remains in Europe while Connor visits New York, and the glimpses of her parallel story, although marked by a word and its definition at the beginning, cause readers to have to ‘shift gears’ before continuing on. In fact, it is important that readers are familiar with the first two volumes of the trilogy before jumping into this final novel since much of the story depends on readers’ familiarity with werewolf culture, ‘born’ versus ‘bitten’ werewolves, and the tension between the werewolves and their two enemies, the Hounds of God and the Luparii. Without this background, many of the details would make little sense.
Kruger provides her readers with a fast-paced, action-filled urban fantasy. Young adult readers who enjoy the genre will find much to enjoy about all books of the trilogy and will feel that this final volume brings the entire story to a satisfying conclusion.
Ann Ketcheson, a retired teacher-librarian and high school teacher of English and French, lives in Ottawa, ON.
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