The Wolfstone Curse by Justin Richards is a fast paced novel, full of action and adventure with a paranormal theme. At its centre are the mysterious Wolfstone Circle and Wolfstone Manor, whose dark secrets slowly unravel. The tale extends across Europe to Russia and back in time to World War 2 and the more distant past of myth and magic surrounding werewolves. Scroll down after reading this review for links to Caroline’s review and to an exclusive interview with author Justin Richards.
In The Wolfstone Curse, Peter is dismayed when his archaeologist father asks him to accompany him and his associates on what he believes will be a less than exciting dig of a stone circle near the village of Wolfstone in the Coltswolds, a quiet backwater which has little to recommend itself to a teenager on the cup of adulthood. However, Peter is soon drawn into the history of Wolfstone, where the ancient inhabitants of the old manor were said to be afflicted by a curse, and where werewolves and the mystical Wolfstone Circle also feature. He soon discovers some strange goings on at the dilapidated Wolfstone Manor, the adjacent land of which is being redeveloped into a new housing development by the mysterious Sebastian Forrest, who has employed his father to investigate the circle.
He is further encouraged to stay by an unlikely friendship he strikes up with Carys, the daughter of the lady who runs the Fleece Inn, where he and his father are staying. Carys ‘ family is a font of wisdom concerning the old myths and legends of the local wolves, legends which the locals still take seriously, avoiding going outside on nights which fall on and around the full moon. Indeed, it is said that no good comes of anyone who decides to investigate the mysteries of the stone circle…… It is not long before Peter suspects that Carys and her family know more than they are letting on and that they have their own secrets. When Peter witnesses some shocking events one night centred on the manor and the stone circle, his life and that of others is put in danger and he and Carys must travel deep into Europe to delve deeper into the mysteries and events linked to the manor and the circle and their apparent connection to experiments undertaken by Nazis in World War 2. They must use all of their intelligence and guile to work together to escape their enemies and destroy the threat of great evil before its plans can grow to fruition.
The relationship between Peter and Carys is central to the story as they work together to uncover the secrets surrounding the Wolfstone Circle and overcome the evil that is connected to it. After a bit of a shaky start, they form a tight friendship and their mutual respect grows into a budding romance as the tale progresses. Their bravery and tenacity are tested to the full as they find themselves in many fearful, hair raising and truly horrific situations, where their lives are threatened. The supporting cast includes Carys’ mother and her grandfather, Peter’s father and the owner of the Wolfstone Manor and surrounding land, Sebastian Forrest and his son David. There is also a mysterious character known as The Old One, who plays a key role.
I enjoyed how Justin Richards’ novel referred to fictional events from the past, specifically the experiments undertaken by the Nazis in World War 2 to produce genetically created Wolfen soldiers. I also liked how he referenced many of the werewolf myths and legends which exist within Europe, particularly how the power of the moonlight was harnessed by the stone circle. The use of ‘source documents’ throughout the text, including letters and a journal, add considerable depth and interest. There are a number of twists and turns in the novel which I did not see coming and I was entertained throughout.
I recommend this book to those with a reading age of 12 and above who enjoy exciting, nail biting, paranormal tales with strong elements of mystery, suspense and horror.
Copies of ‘The Wolfstone Curse’ were given to A Reader’s Review Blog by Templar Publishing in return for an honest and fair review.
Cover art by the-parish.com