Title: Alpha (Diaries of the Cwn Annwn #1)
Author: Jo Pilsworth
Can a Welsh legend, born in the 15th century, still be relevant in the 21st century?
“I have walked this world for 410 years, with 170 years having passed since I assumed the role of Alpha of the Cŵn Annwn. In that time, I have seen the world change dramatically from an agrarian society to one where common words include terms like ‘global warming’ due to the pollution levels engendered by mankind’s activities in less than a couple of centuries. I have found my Mate, I have lost close family, and throughout, I have remained true to my promise to my Goddess.”
“I harvest souls.”
“My duty lies with my Goddess, who has tasked me with bringing her the souls of evil-doers. Strange how they seem a tad reluctant to pay for their evil. But there is more to my role than that. For all the evil in the world, there are innocents, and as the gatekeeper to the Underworld, not the Hell that modern religions would suggest, but a place of rest, my Goddess has charged me to bring those for whom a reward for their suffering is due. For them, there is the choice of rest, or rebirth. Most choose rest, and paradise for each is different.”
“I was born Gabriel Black, although for the last few centuries, I have been known as Gavril Negrescu. These are our tales of my Mate and my Pack, our sorrows and our triumphs. Perhaps one day, evil will be no more. I am not holding my breath.”
“Alpha” is the first volume in “The Diaries of the Cwn Annwn” series and may be read as a stand-alone novel. Gavril and his Mate must lead their Pack through an ever changing world. Has mankind evolved enough that they are no longer needed?
Gavril is a Cwn Annwn. His job is to harvest souls, and he travels to do just that. He’s not prepared to find his mate, but when he does, it’s not long before they have a child. Their world gets caught up in that of Nazi Germany. In the war, many lives are lost, and it’s up to the Cwn Annwn to save people from a cruel fate at the hands of war criminals.
Fantastic concept wrapped up with beautiful landscapes and relatable characters. There’s plenty of action in this story too. I’m not usually one for historical fiction, but this story was different. I thought the touch of paranormal was especially unique, and it pulled me into the story. I also liked the way the author realistically portrayed emotions. I hate instanta love, so I was happy to see that this wasn’t one of those stories.
Gavril approached his mate with the same sense of level-headedness that he did every other challenge. And it was refreshing to see the way that he and his mate gradually grew into a state of bliss with one another.
The writing style also made it easy to get lost within this story. I’m happy to see this is the first book to the series. That means more to come!