The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel by Bree Despain – short fiction review

"The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel" by Bree Despain.
“The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel” by Bree Despain.
The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel by Bree Despain is an often-misunderstood addition to her The Dark Divine cannon. Let’s discuss the history behind the ebook first, then get into whether it is worth reading.

As part of the release of the second book in the Dark Divine series, The Lost Saint, Bree Despain released these lost letters of Brother Gabriel on her blog. The promo was meant to whet the appetite of readers who hadn’t purchased The Lost Saint yet. These letters gave a behind-the-scenes look at Brother Gabriel, a historical character in the story, and his struggle at becoming an Urbat.

Each letter from Brother Gabriel to his sister was released as a blog post on Bree Despain’s website in January 2011, then later compiled into an ebook. Many reviewers have erred in assuming that this ebook was intended to be a full book that stood on its own. However, it was never intended to be anything more than backstory that fleshed out the details of Despain’s werewolf history. One would think that the introduction would have made that sufficiently clear.

Although the first letter feels rough compared to the others, Despain finds her stride quickly and provides insights into the struggles that her modern characters Daniel, Grace, and Jude face through the plight of thirteenth century Gabriel. The wolf wears down its victim and plays with reality until the victim is so confused he or she gives in to the relentless temptation. This has tragic results for Gabriel and his family.

I enjoyed the record of Gabriel’s descent into first the madness of the wolf, then the redemption from the wolf, and I thought it a compelling read. How he chooses to assuage his guilt over the years through these letters is heartbreaking. As supplemental material to The Dark Divine, The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel gives insight into a character who was pivotal to the story without taking attention away from the focus on the main antagonists in The Lost Saint. I found them a worthwhile read between the second and third volumes and recommend them to fans of the series.

Release Date: November 10, 2011 (USA)
ISBNs: none
Publisher: Egmont USA
Language: English

MySF Rating: Three point five stars
Family Friendliness: 80%


Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (wine used as ploy)
Language: 0
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 2 (violence without gore (werewolves do eat people, ya know))

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