I will be the first to admit that I haven't delved into the werewolf/shape shifting genre. I really wasn't sure how a book like this would turn out to be for younger readers. Needless to say, I was really drawn in by the wonderful realm Curtis Jobling created. Not only that, Drew is such a likeable character. He strives to do the right thing above all. The supporting characters also help add dimension to the story providing for the action that is to follow.
The story begins with Drew living in a small farm town as a shepherd's son. This small town falls under the Seven Realms which are controlled by King Leopold the Lion a mean and ruthless leader. Hints that Drew is somehow different begin to emerge when the farm animals begin to get skittish around him and then he appears to be suffering from some ailment. Things drastically change when a black creature breaks into the home attacking his mother. Drew is forced into transforming into a Werewolf. Despite his efforts, Drew's mother is killed and upon his father's return, he is labelled her murder. Drew flees into the forest when his father attempts to kill him. Drew then roams the forest until he is captured by the Bearlords men. It is then he learns of his parentage and how he is sought after by non other than the King of Lyssia. There is way more to the story but I don't want to give to much away in my review.
Drew's story is a mythical tale involving Kings and Lords, Princes who transform from a human form into their Werelord counterpart, be it a bear, boar, fox or even shark. The detail with which the transformations for Drew are described can seem somewhat graphic (what with bones cracking and faces shifting) but intriguing and not to disturbing. Not a book for the faint of heart, yet it is also a story of allegiances and a boy who is true at heart. A delightful fantasy for a slightly older audience or someone who appreciates fantasy horror with plenty of action. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for the next in the series as I want to see how the story progresses plus which Werelord will make an appearance next. Overall a 4 out of 5 book for me. An interesting side note, author Curtis Jobling http://badablingthing.blogspot.com/2012/10/wereworld-rise-of-wolf-missing-chapter.html has also posted a missing chapter from the book on his blog this past Halloween.
Just for the record, copy of the book provided by Penguin publishing and won at Charlotteslibrary.blogspot. A big thank you to both.