Originally I was going to read Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's A Companion to Wolves right after Steal the Dragon, but then Camelot's Blood showed up. So as soon as I finished reading that, I went on to A Companion to Wolves. I originally discovered it on Bear's website, where she said they were planning on having it be a novella satirising the whole animal companion genre, but it took on a life of its own. And so, intrigued, I decided I had to read it. And it was definitely worth reading! A Companion to Wolves is a beautiful book about the interspecies relationship between a man and his wolf.
Isolfr is the son of a nobelman who is tithed to the wolfmen who defend the people from trolls and wyverns. He falls in love with the puppy Viradechtis, who is destined to be a wolf-queen. It is the story of their growing up and growing into the roles destiny has cast for them, amongst the threat of a war against the trolls. But it is also a book about sacrifices, and the sacrifices that both must make in order to stay together.
My biggest complaint about the book was the names. All of the characters have Norse, Anglo-Saxan and Germanic names, which can be a bit confusing because many are rather similar. But to make matters worse, all of the wolf brothers take on a new name once they bond with their wolves! For instance, the main character is Njall for the first while, and then becomes Isolfr. It gets very confusing, and about half way through the book I decided that if I couldn't remember who someone was, then they weren't worth remembering! But other than that, I really enjoyed it.
While I absolutely loved A Companion to Wolves, I cannot recommend it to everyone. There are aspects of the book of a sexual nature that not everyone will want to read. It is definitely for mature audiences.