Title: Trial by Fire
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack – or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. B efore collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.
But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats – old and new – looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she willl have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And she’s going to have to do it alone.
This installment is just as good as Raised by Wolves. There’s less snark from Bryn, unfortunately, because of the responsibilities that she has taken on as alpha. However, there are scenes between Devon, Lake and Bryn where it’s visible through her thoughts and actions. This leader side of Bryn is different, and as a trailblazer – a female, human alpha – she’s taking steps that no one would expect in order to protect her pack. She’s learning more politics and how to see manipulation, especially when it’s being done to her.
The inner workings of the new pack, and how they all work together, was really insightful. The differences between the rest of the North American packs and Bryn’s were really shown in how she worked not as a dominant dictator, but as a guide, almost, and a stubborn military leader. Her role as alpha was more as a protector rather than a ruler, and it was clear through the interactions of the pack. Her conflict with Chase in this book also helped uncover the way she felt about the pack, but their relationship grew and hardened through all the difficulties they faced. I can’t wait for the third book to see how they end up!
The way Lucas impacted the entire pack, and pretty much the entire story, was amazing. I loved how by adding in one factor, the entire plot enters into chaos. Also, Ali’s backstory was revealed, too, and she became more important as a maternal figure, a model for Bryn as a slightly-more-than-human member of the pack, and her past becomes a prominent factor in the plot. And then there was the ending – can’t wait to see when something happens to Bryn! Can’t tell you, because it’s a spoiler, but let’s just say I love Bryn’s dreams, and what she wants isn’t so much to ask for, to be honest. I can’t wait to see how it impacts the pack bonds, though!
Basically, I can’t wait for the third book, Taken by Storm!