There seems to be a phase of strange names in books that I'm reading. The last book I read featured a heroine named 'Stasi', which constantly made me think of East German secret police. In this book, our heroine is apparently named after a particularly irritating conifer tree, Lelandi. I found it rather hard to take her seriously and had a mental image of a fast-going tree that causes rows between neighbours (at least in the UK).
Lelandi is a werewolf, although in this book they aren't called werewolves but lupus garous (garoux?) She is visiting the Silver Pack to try to find out whether her sister's death by suicide was, in fact, murder. A letter from her sister said that she was being blackmailed, so Lelandi goes to try to find out - and also to avoid being forcibly mated to her sister's abusive former mate.
When Lelandi comes across the Alpha of the Silver Pack, Darien, who mated to her sister without realizing she already had a mate, she discovers he's the man that sheís been dreaming about for some time. But Darien and the others seem to think that Lelandi is Larissa, her sister, and vice versa. When someone tries to kill Lelandi, the Silver Pack guard her - but they may not be able to keep her safe from elements within the Pack. Who killed Larissa? Who was her secret lover? Can Lelandi be kept safe from her family? Can she really work something out with Darien?
Destiny of the Wolf has quite a developed and interesting plot which goes in several directions. The identity of the villain is clear before the end, but itís interesting to see how itís unveiled. The world of the lupus garou is one of violence and summary justice, and a surprising number of people died before the book finishes. The pacing was fairly good, although all the confrontations between villains and heroes seems over unexpectedly quickly.
What this book lacks is characterization; it has a large cast of characters, but I didn't feel I got to know any of them. The romance between Darien and Lelandi is perfunctory (they are fated mates, so once they meet, thatís it), but Lelandi's interactions with her mate and the rest of the pack remains unexplored. The only truly interesting character is a human nurse who hangs around and the opportunity for more interest in the character of the PI, as well as Lelandi's family, isn't plumbed. This is a good read, but the lack of characterization means that none of the characters are truly memorable.