is a novel by SA Swann about a girl named Lily who makes a gruesome escape from her captors. During her escape, she receives head trauma and develops an innocent split personality. Shortly after her escape a boy named Udolf finds her and brings her home. As the novel progresses we find out that the girl is in fact connected with the boy's horrific past.Wolfbreed
is an homage to Elfen Lied.
However, the author actually gives credit to the original work. Despite it having a considerably happier ending, it's every bit as violent and gory as its counterpart.
The second book in the series, Wolf's Cross
, is a little more original. Maria, a 16-year-old servant in a Polish fortress, witnesses the arrival of a party of Teutonic knights
, warrior monks, who are battered and beaten. Seeking refuge after a horrible defeat, they surrender their weapons, which, surprisingly enough, are edged in silver. Maria is assigned to care for Josef, who is not expected to survive his wounds. One night when heading home from the fortress, she is attacked by a stable hand and rescued by revenge-seeking wolfbreed Darien,
who comes out of the woods and displays super strength. When he gets her to remove the silver cross her father and stepmother have insisted she wear her entire life, she discovers that she is a wolfbreed.
This series contains examples of:
- A God Am I: Darien. Also, the old Prussian pagans revered the Wolfbreed as gods and that went to some of their heads. Not to mention it was guaranteed to push The Teutonic Knights' Berserk Button.
- Anti-Villain: Many of The Teutonic Knights are shown to be kind and just people. Lilly manages to get out of her cell mainly because her guard is something of a romantic idealist. Even Landkomtur Erhad, head of the Super Soldier program, cares for his charges, tries to fight the Kill Them All edict on the Wolfbreed, genuinely cares for his men and is definitely concerned for the safety of the peasants in the immediate area of Lilly's escape.
- The Atoner- I think Lily might just be everyone's favorite German war criminal.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name- The Teutonic knights. The conduct of the Teutonic knights during the northern crusade was actually surprisingly civil for the medieval period. It certainly didn't include: horrific human experimentation, attempts to breed super soldiers or using child soldiers to massacre half the civilian populace of every conquered village. These Teutonic knights seemed much more like Sergei Eisenstein's Teutonic knights IE obvious Nazis. Semyon and Erhard seemed much like medieval counterparts to Mengele and Heydrich respectively. The wolfbreed division were like the 13th century equivalent of an elite SS unit. During Operation Werewolf the real SS were supposed to slip behind enemy lines and slaughtered the opponent in a very similar manner to the wolfbreed.
- Attempted Rape: A group of soldiers try to rape Lilly and Darien tries to rape Maria.
- Bad Ass: Quite a few of the characters.
- Badass Army: The Teutonic Knights. By the second book they even have a specially trained group of soldiers known as the Wolfjägers who hunt and kill werewolves with swords!
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Subverted, many of the more deeply religious characters are shown to be intelligent and well-educated. Not to mention the Church takes a pretty scientific approach to studying the Wolfbreeds at first.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Harm anyone Maria or Josef cares about, and you die screaming.
- Break the Cutie: Lilly is pre-broken the first time we meet her. Then we get to see some of her childhood in flashbacks. See Child Soldiers and The Spartan Way for more details.
- Boom, Headshot: Done to Lilly with a crossbow. She gets better. She is a Lucy Expy — what do you expect?
- Child Soldiers: Lilly is killing Prussian Pagan soldiers for the Order by the time she is eight!
- Church Militant: The one, the only, the original Teutonic Knights!
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Lilly versus just about everybody else. Considering that she is a werewolf trained from birth to be a Super Soldier, it is kind of justified.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Udolf, as you can probably guess he is Kouta's Expy so he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Do we need to elaborate on Lilly?
- Doomed Hometown: Darien. He is responsible for it, too.
- Expy: Lilly is Lucy and the first book is pretty much Elfen Lied in The Middle Ages With WEREWOLVES!.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Darien is a werewolf — in other words walking, talking proof of the supernatural, living in one of the most religious times in Europe. Doesn't believe in any human religion.
- Freudian Excuse: Darien did something very stupid that leads to the death of his parents, entire family, and his entire home town. Rather then accept the blame for his actions he projects his self-loathing onto humanity as a whole.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Maria is put in charge of caring for a badly wounded Teutonic soldier named Josef, who is very much a literal Knight in Shining Armor. Three guesses on what happens. Also, when Udolf finds Lilly wounded in the first book you can easily guess whats going to happen.
- Fully-Embraced Fiend: Darien. He is proud of the fact that he is a werewolf, thinks werewolves are superior to humans and fully indulges in his animalistic side.
- God Is Evil: Lilly's view on the matter. Maria, however, remains a devout Christian throughout the entire book.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The Teutonic Knights are not angels, but when you look at how some of the Wolfbreed like Darien act .you can understand where they are coming from.
- The High Middle Ages: The time period the stories take place in.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The Teutonic Knights didn't exactly use child soldiers or perform human experimentation in real life.
- Humans Are Bastards: Darien believes this. Maria and Lilly don't.
- Identity Amnesia: Guess.
- Love Triangle: Maria, Darien, and Josef.
- Kill Them All: The Teutonic Knights Plan B for dealing with the Wolfbreed if the Super Soldier program doesn't work out.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Josef, very much so. It is the main reason Maria starts to fall in love with him; well that and the Florence Nightingale Effect. Some of the other Teutonic Knights...not so much.
- Knight Templar: The Teutonic Knights actually do mean well for the most part. It's just that some are pretty damn ruthless, and others… well, let's just say Brother Seymon needs to work on the chastity part of his vows a bit more.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: How does Darien try and convince Maria Humans Are Bastards? By framing her for murder! And he does so in such a way that Maria and just about every major character figures out that he is really responsible for the killings in about two seconds!
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Darien's thoughts on Josef and Maria.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Wolfbreed are man-wolf/dire wolf shapeshifters, vulnerable to silver, able to change at will.
- They also retain their human intelligence in all forms and are able to speak while shapeshifted.
- Prussia: Where the action takes place.
- Shown Their Work: You can tell SA Swann did quite a bit of research on Prussia during the Late Middle Ages.
- Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Maria sides with Josef and humanity and helps kill Darien.
- Super Soldier: What The Teutonic Knights originally tried to use the Wolfbreed for. As you can probably guess it doesn't work out too well for them for a number of reasons.
- The Spartan Way: How the Teutonic Order turns the Wolfbreed children into elite commandos.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Karl, Lilly's attempted rapist. When we first meet him he is thinking about how he lost a golden opportunity by not killing his father and brothers.
- Sympathetic Murderer: It's based on Elfen Lied so guess who.
- The Teutonic Knights
- Tomato in the Mirror: Maria in the second book.
- Too Dumb to Live: Darien. Let's see what acts of stupidity he has committed:
- Disobeys his parents' orders not to let anyone outside the village know he is a werewolf or run around in daylight. Which promptly leads to the Knights finding out about the village and razing it to the ground
- Picks a fight with about thirty Wolfjägers all by his lonesome. Bad enough that he picks a fight with an elite unit of a Badass Army but this unit has been specifically armed and trained to kill werewolves. Than the dumbass has the gall to act surprised when they seriously wound and nearly kill him.
- Expects Maria to love him and leave her human family behind and run off with him simply because they are both werewolves. When, of course, she doesn't he gets all pissy.
- Frames Maria for murder, and does it in such a way that she knows he did it, in an attempt to make her think Humans Are Bastards though why he thinks this particular course of action would make her hate humanity as opposed to him is never really explained.
- Troubled, but Cute: Lilly, hey she is a Lucy Expy did you expect The Pollyanna? Darien also fits the bill.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A measure of some debate among Christian leaders and to be expected since you have a book series dealing with werewolves. Some, like Josef and the Polish Nobility, feel they are worthy of salvation as any other human. The Teutonic Order...not so much, especially considering the results of their Super Soldier program. Even one Polish Noble remarks the Order's problems stemmed from the fact they had something that was a man and they treated it as less than a man.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: The Knights go after Maria simply because she is a werewolf even though she is one of the better characters in the series morally-speaking.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The Polish Nobles were the ones who originally asked the Teutonic Order to intervene against Pagan Prussians. Fast forward one hundred years the Teutonic Order controls all of Prussia and has become a major regional military power and the Poles are starting to wonder if they simply traded one enemy for a more powerful, nastier enemy. Note this really happened in history. And even though the Poles team up with the Knights there is still quite a bit of mistrust and power plays going on behind the scenes.
- Yandere - I'm looking at you Darien.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Church originally considers the Wolfbreed to be temporal animals that can be trained and used and therefore gives the Teutonic Order the go ahead to use them in their Super Soldier program. Unfortunately, the program proves to be more successful then previously thought possible and significantly increases the Order's power and territory. The other Christian leaders become fearful that the Order might raise an entire army of Wolfbreed instead of a group of commandos and use it against them. So they convince the Pope to order the project terminated.
- Warrior Monk: Most Teutonic soldiers fall into this category.