The Wolf Gift is Anne Rice’s latest foray into the realm of the supernatural. Within its pages, she makes werewolves human as she has done for vampires, djinn, and even angels. By human, of course, I mean beings with whom we can relate and empathize. She transforms them into vulnerable, three-dimensional beings.
I won’t describe the nature of the beasts or their history other than to say she makes them sympathetic figures. In fact, though brutal in their attacks, we can all sympathize with them as they are driven to remove evil among men. There is a certain purity in the nature and focus of the savagery of her werewolves.
I did find it interesting that those who receive the wolf gift call the transforming element in the saliva “Chrism.” Within Christianity, that’s the oil with which the newly baptized (in ancient times and still in Orthodoxy) are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The wolf gift does transform the recipient, if it doesn’t kill them, down to the cellular level. They are also sealed by it in their new state.
Christian baptism and chrismation is supposed to similarly, though perhaps over a longer period of time, work its way throughout our bodies — our being — transforming and sealing us as truly human. The Spirit, though, will not overpower our will as the Wolf Gift often does in the book. And that, I believe, is a key difference. We have to attune and submit our wills over and over and over again in order to see lasting change. Nor do we have any special gift for sensing evil — even the evil we commit ourselves.
As with every Anne Rice book, it’s interesting and entertaining. And the book will make you think. I highly recommend it.
My daughter recently read the first three volumes of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and she’s hooked. She’s now reading The Wolf Gift. When I told her Anne Rice would be in Austin for a book signing, she squealed. So I pre-ordered her a copy from Book People and we’ll be standing in line at the signing this evening. Should be fun, even if it’s not the sort of thing I would normally do myself.